Being diagnosed with HIV can be very detrimental especially to young people. It calls for sobriety for one to deal with this condition. Denial sets in, when one turns positive. You start querying the competency of the health care provider who has conducted the test. You demand another confirmatory test and this time round you are keen on checking the expiry date of the test kit. You start to doubt the genuineness of that facility and you opt to seek another opinion only for you to receive the same results again and again. It is understandable for one to develop this spirit of paranoia, grief, discomposure, and dread. However it is very important for the victim to embrace the precept of acceptance because there is no any other alternative.
1. Accepting your new status is fundamental in maintaining and promoting a healthy living. It’s crucial to acknowledge the fact that things will never be the same again but one can achieve a restoration provided there is incorporation of positive attitude.
2. Accept to strictly adhere to all the medical advice that you are going to receive from the health care providers including the medication regimen and life style changes. Share your concerns with them and they will be willing to assist you in your journey towards recovery.
3. Accept to confide your status to people that you trust and can uphold confidentiality. Opening up liberalizes one from the slavery of self-pity. These are people who are willing to empathize with you and are determined to assist you in rebuilding your normalcy without pointing a judging finger at you. This may include family members, close friends, support groups and health care professionals. Give them an opportunity to brighten your life.
4. Accept there are people out there who have mastered the art of capitalizing on other peoples misfortunes. There are some who will offer you very expensive “healing” prayers. In fact they will command you to stop taking your medication because you have been healed. Others will offer very bitter concoctions as an alternative for the proven medication. Be on the lookout.
5. Accept that there are Pharisees who are going to be “disappointed” by your new status. They will lament vehemently by the turn of events. The fact that some of them have married severally and others have dozen kids from different fathers will not restructure their fault finding minds. Just ignore their babbling and let promotion of your health be the focal point.
6. Accept that there are “prophets” who had seen this coming although they can’t trace a single event that inspired their “divine prophecy”. However their conscience reminds them of the countless sexual advances they have made towards you without succeeding but they shake it off fast. Giving a deaf ear to their hell inspired prognostication is vital in stabilizing your health.
7. Accept that being infected does not give you a social defect. You can still have meaningful relationship provided that all the necessary precautions are taken including telling your partner about your status without the fear of rejection. Believe me there is somebody out there who will accept you the way you are. Don’t choose celibacy on the basis of your status. You can get married and have healthy children like everybody else.
8. Accept to assist in reducing the rate of new transmission and cross transmission by sticking to one partner and using a Condom whenever you get intimate. Oral and casual sex should be highly avoided.
9. Accept to integrate health seeking behaviors in your daily living. Taking too much alcohol will affect the potency of the ARVs negatively.A balanced diet will take you a long way. Working out is equally important.
10. Accept the following facts about death.
• That one day you will die like everyone else
• Your death will be unpredictable like everyone else.
• Its God prerogative to decide whether you will go to hell or Heaven.
Let’s support each other to live optimally because its either you are infected or affected. Don’t rush at judging any one because you don’t know their story. Feel free to include more acceptance principles.
Author: Eliud Kigotho Maina. KRN, HTC Counsellor