Being HIV positive can take an emotional and mental toll.
 

As you may know, World AIDS Day is not only about learning more about HIV/AIDS; it's also about doing your part to help people living with HIV or AIDS.

Whether you're a relative, a friend, a volunteer, or just a helpful person, there are ​a few things that can be done to foster acceptance for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Do your part on World AIDS Day by providing emotional support to people living with HIV.

As you'll see, being informed is one thing, but contributing to stigma, discrimination, and rejection of a thing of the past is something else!

That's why we thought it'd be helpful to give you some tips on how best to support the various initiatives for advocacy, empowerment, and education.

Oh, and remember that support can take many forms, so don't worry if some of these tips may seem too small or too big for you!

What matters is that you're involved! 

1. Social Support for People Living with HIV

Misinformation on how HIV/AIDS is transmitted may make some people fearful of interacting with them, a situation that may isolate them in their time of need!

The presence of informed, non-judgemental, and reliable support systems has proven successful in helping people lead a normal life.

Most importantly, positive social support can contribute to improved living conditions, as stress can affect how the body reacts to treatments.

2. Emotional Support

Whether they're feeling happy, sad, angry, or just doubtful, some people need to voice their emotions or have someone to listen to them.

If you think you can be helpful and someone living with HIV/AIDS reaches out to you, be that special someone they confide in and talk to.

Don’t be afraid to ask how your friend is feeling! Avoiding the issue is never the answer, especially where health matters are concerned.

Your interest and support can help people feel less self-conscious or less embarrassed.

3. Support with Treatments

As you know, the medical treatment of HIV/AIDS has been making pretty big strides over the years.

Having heart-to-heart discussions about this aspect of life can help people living with HIV/AIDS make their treatment a part of their daily routine and not feel as though they are different from everyone else.

So why should there be something wrong with following treatment for HIV/AIDS?

If you're close to the person and you know he/she is forgetful, figure out how you can help him/her manage medications and medical appointments!

Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is keep things simple and practical!

4. Empowering Methods

One form of empowerment you can contribute to is education and advocacy.

Organising educational workshops to create awareness and explain prevention methods may not directly help a person's condition, but it can debunk myths and reduce people's apprehensions.

Creating a vibrant, tolerant, and educated environment can be of big help for people living with HIV/AIDS!

You can involve your teachers, parents, and even the community to find out more about the condition, its symptoms, and its prevention.

Remember - every little bit counts!

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