Obtaining helpful HIV support when newly diagnosed is a great way to help you get to grips with this life changing event. The help and medical advice and treatment that you will receive via your clinic or GP will help you take care of the physical side of your condition. In some instances they also offer free counselling. However to help you come to terms with a world which has suddenly been turned upside down, there is nothing better than real support from those who understand exactly what it is you are going through.
Should you be offered counselling then this is a great way to be able to discuss without prejudice your inner most feelings and emotions. Being able to explore the impact that your HIV has upon your life will help you begin to come to terms with it. Counselling or the talking therapy as it is sometimes called allows you space to discover things for yourself by offering you the breathing space you need. However for some people this type of HIV support is not enough. For the counsellor will never tell you things they are just there to listen and guide you in your thoughts. Sometimes, especially if newly diagnosed you need a type of support where they can offer you possible solutions and alternative means to coping.
Everyone who has some form of disability or condition feels different from normal people. And also they know that no matter how well meaning people are, they do not truly understand or ‘get things’ from your perspective. And how can they? No one can really understand your exact circumstances because no one and I mean no one is in your life, expect you! They may have the same condition but they do not do the same job, or are not in the same relationships, in other words, the outside life and their emotions are different to yours therefore you both see, feel and are able to cope with the same condition in different ways.
It stands to reason when you understand this that it does not matter how many doctors, nurses or counsellors you see, no one will one hundred percent truly understand your condition from where you are standing in life. Then when you also realise that doctors and nurses do not actually have the condition, they are just sharing what they have learned from training, then you are not ever going to get the true understanding that you crave.
The people who understand what it is to live with HIV are those who are living with it. No amount of training of any kind can prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster you now find yourself on – especially in the early days. For this reason it is a good idea to go and get some HIV support from those who are in the same position as you even if they do not share your exact life structure. At least they will understand the feelings and the emotions and the ins and outs which are similar to all those who are diagnosed with HIV.
HIV support can be obtained in various ways. For those brave enough to go to meetings there are numerous groups all around the country. For those living with HIV who does not feel like talking face to face there are many internet sites offering great HIV support. The majority of the HIV dating sites also offers HIV support. These have a huge community and following and so is a wonderful way to gain support especially if newly diagnosed and you need lots of immediate answers. The added advantage of using an online HIV dating site to find your HIV support is that it also offers you the opportunity to make friends and even find love!
It is therefore important to get all of the HIV support that you need. Do not limit yourself or wallow alone. There are many ways you can get the help and support that you need. Getting support is all about actively seeking help. There are many people who are in the same position, so make sure you go and seek the right form of HIV support for you.
This article is contributed by Alison Pullen from the HIVMatch Publishing Team. She works together with founders Richard and Nigel and writes dating/relationship articles. HIVMatch is open to all over the age of eighteen and offers, HIV support, friendship and dating. You can find more about HIV Support and HIVMatch by visiting their website.