I have a niece who is living with a friend that just found out he is HIV positive. What can she do to help her friend through this difficult journey? What precautions should she be taking for herself (just roommates, nothing intimate)? Thank you for your help.
First of all, she needs to let that friend know that she's STILL their friend....at this time he needs her support. He needs to know that she won't treat him any differently. As far as herself, if they're not intimate and doesn't do drugs (sharing needles) then she has nothing to fear, she can not and will not contract it from him. Tell her supporting him (many hugs) and letting him know that she's there for support is the best thing she can do for him at this point. Usually when someone first find out they feel isolated, ashamed and seldom do they talk openly with people, so knowing that it's OK to do just that is what he needs most right now.
Thank you so much for responding to my post. My niece actually has no plans of moving out or leaving her friend because of his HIV status. Quite the opposite in fact she is very concerned about his well being and really wants to be a support person for him. I will share your comment with her and encourage her to keep doing what she is doing (just be herself). Thanks again for the advice.
As a person who has been diagnosed with HIV the advice I would give to your niece is to just be there for her friend at times when he may need it. Personally, being diagnosed was scary for obvious reasons but also becuase you truely do not know how people are going to treat you- true friends will be supportive and not push you away. If he is newly diagnosed he is dealing with a TON of emotions- and to have someone there to support you in SO SO important- your niece is to be commended for her support and maturity for not turning her back on her room mate. Tell her to tell her roommate that it has been 7 years since my diagnosis and I am "healthy" and living a normal life- dealing with and treating this disease is nothing like it was when it first was discovered. Hearing other "positive" peoples' stories can sometimes give newly diagnosed people hope and strength..a positive attitude will carry you a long way.
As for her needing to take precautions- as long as they are not intimate she has nothing to worry about. Hope my info helps.
Ok...if the roomate is gay...he needs to be slapped and dragged out to the nearest gay bar for a night of forgetful debauchery and excessive fun while he's strong and healthy. I know when I found out I was poz in 2002, I could of used being surrounded by my closest friends over a vodka/tonic, but instead was far away from home with people I barely knew, living alone. She needs to not only be there for the drama of it all, but also to remind him that he IS alive...he's not dead yet...and he's going to have many years ahead of him where he may not FORGET he's positive, but he'll come darn close...especially when really enjoying other aspects of his life. And to add to boyblue...It's been...what...5 years? And I haven't yet even seen a med...just blood drawn every three months to make sure my levels are ok. So other than becoming rather comfortable with the sight of a needle (ok...so I cringe every time :P ), I think I'm pretty much the same as I was in 2002...minus the rock hard abs
I don't understand your reference to homosexuals. I think its great to hear the story that you have been five years and you feel good. This is a good story - a story to share b/c how has it been possible - not everyone lives so well - please JohnyXY share your story more of healthy living. how do you manage to be so healthy?? Just working out and taking care of yourself???
Erm...well...I don't think I do anything exceptional. I eat like a normal person...including the occasional fast food, but always try to eat healthier. I read a book on nutrition that says HIV attacks our lean muscle and creates a deficiancy in vitamin B...so I always snack on proteins (nuts, soy, beans, and my fav mozzerella cheese 7.79g of protein!) and take vitamin B supplements on top of the normal multivitamin. I also load on protein during breakfast (my cereal always has 4-5 grams and I might have an egg or two as well), and as much as possible during dinner. Does any of this actually have an effect on anything? I don't know. Maybe I've just been lucky thus far. But it def will not stop an opportunistic infection. I was hospitalized for three months with MRSA and though I only felt a lilttle tired and barely ill, I was told later that if the Vancomycin did not work, that there would be little the doctors could have done for me. Even after that, my doctor did not placed me on meds as my counts all returned to normal once the infection was gone...but now I wash with microbial soap...LOL. I dunno. I hope that helps. And just to share information, here is the book I read:
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