From the Executive Director
For many of us who are living with HIV and AIDS, the disease is not the only obstacle that we have to face in our lives. Indeed, in many cases, the virus itself is only a small part of a much larger picture. Sometimes, it's these obstacles that can make living with HIV and AIDS a much bigger deal than it already is.
Those obstacles might include: finding the right information about treatment and care; finding a sympathetic clergymember, friend, lover or partner; finding housing or a job that is sensitive to our specific needs as HIV-positive individuals; finding and paying for good healthcare; negotiating a helpful relationship with our healthcare providers; getting legal representation; and waiting for your next set of lab results to come back. While all of this is going on, many may also need to cope with many of the other issues that life tends to throw in your way such as drug abuse, dealing with the illnesses of family and friends, and just figuring out whether or not you feel like pizza for dinner tonight. Other obstacles include the stress that we all tend to put on ourselves, leading to feeling shame, guilt, remorse, or such anger that it gets in the way of leading a productive, healthy and fulfilling life.
Often, just figuring out who to tell that you're HIV-positive, how to tell them, and wondering how they'll react is enough to drive us nearly mad with anxiety, grief and frustration -- none of which is good for our overall mental and physical health, much less our T-cell counts. So as you can see, HIV is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is my philosophy (and Body Positive's) that the more you know, the better able you are to made informed decisions about your health and your life. Knowledge is power. With that knowledge comes the ability to deal with the obstacles, whatever they may be and whenever they rear their ugly little heads.
So as you read on, think about what your personal obstacles are and how you can work to overcome them. Remember, everyone on this planet, whether they're HIV-positive or not, has their own life issues and obstacles to deal with. It's how you deal with them that defines you as person. We all have our life hurdles to overcome -- it's up to each of us to move beyond them and live life to the fullest in spite of them.
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.