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What should I do as a friend?

Jun 29, 2014

Not even 24 hours ago I found out a very dear friend of mine is HIV+. As a friend of an HIV+ person is there anything I should know? Other than shock I don't see him any differently, but I just want to be educated in any way possible to be there for him. Also he recently had a major falling out with his sons god father/bff and his grandmother is also dying. He feels very depressed and that once she passes he has nothing to live for which is worrying me. How do I go about being there for him? He has a 2 year old son and I am afraid that with everything going on in his life if his grandma dies i will lose a friend and his son will lose a father...

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for your concern. Friends can play a crucial role in helping people accept and adapt, including adjusting to a new diagnosis, starting meds, or dealing with shame and stigma. Being consistent and supportive is key. Many friends feel frustrated that they can't solve problems, but often people aren't looking for you to fix a problem they simply want to be heard and accepted. Be a good listener and, if you identify a concern, help him connect with the resources that might help him.

I've posted this recently, but here again is a link to a resource page for friends on

Take care,


I can't lose my brain
Trazadone for bedtime anxiety

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