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Word on the Street

From Me to You: Tips on Dealing With an HIV/AIDS Diagnosis

HIV-Positive People Share Their Experiences and Offer Advice


Rafael Abadia

Rafael Abadia, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., diagnosed in 1993

My main advice to someone just diagnosed is to always try to seek a good counselor, a good therapist.

Just to have that one person who's impartial, who's not a family member, a partner, a lover, who you can really share your deep, deep emotions with. Because it is hard. It is extremely hard. And it's good to have that outlet.

So don't be afraid to ask for help. There's help out there. There are people who are willing to help and to listen. And if you could get connected to another person who's HIV-positive, just to talk to them, that's an excellent thing to do. That's why I like these buddy programs, or peer programs. I find them to be extremely useful. I can speak for myself, as a peer. We think we're helping other peers, other people with HIV, but many times they're helping us, also.

So, if you can, get into a good counselor, and try to connect with other people living with HIV and AIDS, because they could help you.

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