If a friend of yours is diagnosed with HIV, they might feel nervous, anxious, isolated and frightened at times. This is when you as a good friend can let them trust and count on. But if you don’t help them properly, they are more likely to feel hurt or depressed. Here are some steps for you to help your friend with HIV better.
Remember that confidentiality is key
That your friend confides their disease to you means that they trust you the most. They can also tell you about who else they have disclosed to. Your friend is the only one who can choose whom will be informed about their condition, so you are responsible for keeping it secret. In fact, HIV is still misunderstood by lots of people, that’s why you need to discuss with your friend in case you want to talk to any peer, otherwise, some things happen then can hurt your friend more than the virus itself and can destroy your friendship.
Facing with HIV can put lots of pressure on your friends, which contributes to their experiencing a lot of emotions in the initial stages of diagnosis. It’s time that you need to always beside your friend. You should help them focus on the bright side as HIV is no longer a death sentence. Although there is no way to cure, but it is treatable. You should express your love to them, let them know that their disease can’t change your caring for them. This can support them a lot.
Offer specific, practical support
The more specific things you can offer, the better it is. You can help bring homework to their house if they have to miss school for a medical appointment. In case your friend is required to stay at home due to the illness, you can help them keep in touch with other classmates through social network site. Whenever you decide to visit your friend, don’t forget to bring them joke books, Mad Libs, comedy DVDs, weird little toys or anything you think your friend may find it funny to do with.
Help your friend manage stress
It’s normal that your friend feels self-conscious and doesn’t want other friends or classmates to find out their disease, which leads to their lots of stresses. Stress can impact badly their immune system and lead to stress-related problems such as anxiety and depression. So it is important that you can be the one for them to confide in and talk to. If you observe they are drowned in stress, don’t hesitate to ask how your friend is feeling or talk about what it’s like to live with HIV when there are just two of you. Pay attentions to avoid the topic that makes your friend think you’re ashamed too.
Your friend with HIV has to face not only a big change but also a traumatic event in their path of life. However, if you can know what to do as do as a supportive friend, you can help your friend more than what you can imagine!
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
My friend has HIV. How can I have? http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/friend-hiv.html# . Accessed October 25, 2016.
Question: How can I help my friend who has just tested HIV positive?http://i-base.info/qa/101 . Accessed October 25, 2016.
How to Be Supportive of a Friend With HIV. http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Supportive-of-a-Friend-With-HIV . Accessed October 25, 2016.