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How to support a loved one coping and living with HIV/AIDS

Supporting your loved ones

It is basic human instinct to want to care for, support and protect the ones we love.  Sometimes it can be quite daunting and frustrating as we are not the ones going through what they are.  We so want to be able to fully understand what it is they are going through and most of us would trade places with them in a heartbeat to save them.  But the fact is we can’t, and we probably will never feel what they are feeling all we can do is understand better understand their situation and them.

Advice on supporting your loved one living and coping with HIV/AIDS

  • Know their limits and work with them
    Most people living with a life-threatening illness already feel different, malignant, a burden and broken. The last thing they need is their loved ones treating them in a manner that makes them feel they are.   There are certain things that will need to change in your daily routines, eating habits, exercise routines, etc.  Find alternatives that do not change the patterns too much and ways to do the normal things that suit the person condition.
  • Encourage them to join in
    A lot of times the person will want to withdraw and hidefrom society. But what they need is to continue living their life, going to functions, sports and mingling with their friends.
  • Talk about the illness
    The best way to get others to accept your loved one’s illness if for them to accept it. Help them take control of the disease, help them fight it and not fear it.  Help them find their path to living with the disease.  Once others around them see how well they deal with HIV they will have more confidence in your loved one.
  • Find support groups
    They may not know it and at first, reject it. They may even think you are abandoning them, but they will finally get to see the value in joining these groups.  In fact, you should go with them to a few of them if you are permitted to do so.  We may not be able to fully understand what our loved ones are going through but the people who go to those groups do.  They are going through similar ordeals and are that missing piece to helping your loved one cope.  By going to a few or all of them is showing them how much you actually want to be there for them and how hard you are trying to understand what they are going through.


It is one of the hardest things to do, watch a loved one go through something like this.  We worry about those we love and care for constantly when they have nothing wrong with them.  But when they are burdened with a disease you know there is no known cure for that worry increases tenfold.  We want to wrap them in cotton wool and shield them from life, but the fact is we cannot.  We have to let them live their life all we can do is be there for them, support them and ensure they never give up!