HIV: Giving Support

Topic Overview

It is important to think about the emotional well-being of the person with HIV you care for. Because every person's emotional needs are different, no single approach is best for everybody.

  • Encourage the person to become involved in medical decisions that affect his or her care and daily schedules. Being involved will provide a sense of control and independence.
  • Don't avoid the person. Like anyone else, people with HIV feel anger, frustration, depression, and other emotions. Realize that these reactions are not directed at you personally but are caused by the disease.
  • Don't be afraid to discuss the disease. Often people with HIV need to talk.
  • Don't be afraid to touch. Holding a hand, giving a hug, or giving a back rub can greatly raise the person's spirits. But be sensitive to people who do not want physical closeness.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised April 5, 2012

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