According to a 2017 survey, approximately 36.9 million of the population around the world were HIV positive. Take note that this survey has been taken over two years ago already. The aforementioned number has most likely grown to more than we could ever imagine.
Possessing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) inside your body is indeed terrifying. But it is even more horrible if you find out you have them at a tender age of teens. Something you don’t know is inside you and can most probably contribute to your suffering and death, later on. That is why having a support group that can definitely understand and even get out of the way to provide aid is a huge help.
Besides the usual uttering of encouraging words and providing attention and understanding, a support group for a teen with HIV can do a lot more.
1. Never Prescribe
One of the biggest mistakes of people who try to support an HIV-diagnosed teen is to give unsolicited medical prescriptions. The intention is good. However, this condition is sensitive enough to only listen to a professional physician. You may end up giving the wrong medication that may worsen his condition with sensitive, or worse, fatal side effects – just like what happened with the infamous and grueling Truvada Lawsuits. Truvada was said to be an HIV medication. However, intake of such drug developed aftereffects to people who were able to use it.
2. Learn the Basics and the Language
If you want to further assist a teen with HIV, knowing even just the basic terms with regards this condition is necessary. The language is important to aid on the avoidance of stigma on the patients. Example would be “HIV infected” – proper term for that would be “diagnosed with HIV”. Another would be “AIDS virus” – where the word AIDS is actually a diagnosis and not the name of the virus itself.
3. Act Normal
What would give ease to patients with HIV is basically for your to act normal. Let them to do the same routines and household chores. It will absolutely help to keep them mentally and emotionally well. You just need to help them remember the medicines and assist them on developing new habits significant for their welfare.
4. Be Mindful of the Meds
Write down the schedules for taking the meds on calendars, refrigerator doors, boards, and other easy access parts of the house. This way, you will not forget, neither will your teen patient. It is so much better to make lots and lots of reminders, than to totally forget about.
5. Keep Up with the Healthy Lifestyle
A teen with HIV, although still healthy, desperately needs to keep it that way. So in order to encourage the teen to eat balanced diet, engage in outdoor sports and exercise, avoid unhealthy food intake and a whole lot more, you personally need to do everything as well. It’s always so much easier to journey with good support. Acting as part of a support group for teens with HIV is not an easy task. But try to go the extra mile in order to better encourage and protect them.