Supporting a friend or loved one that is living with HIV

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I want to first of all make emphasis that HIV cannot be transmitted by casual contact. This means that you can still hug, kiss and share a drink Supporting a friend or partner BLOG image 07.05.14with your loved one.

No two people living with HIV (PLHIV) will have the same experiences living with HIV and as such, no two PLHIV will require the same type of support. It is also important to acknowledge that often people supporting a loved one with HIV require support of their own. This is why QPP is here to support both those living with, and those affected by HIV in Queensland.

If someone has disclosed his or her status to you, you should thank him or her for trusting you with their health information. Information that is private. If you need to talk about HIV, but don’t feel comfortable talking to your loved one about it, I encourage you to contact QPP or check out our publications page for more information and support.

QPP’s website has a fantastic range of information, and I recommend the following for information on HIV:

•               Supporting a loved one with HIV

•               Recently Diagnosed

•               Talking About HIV campaign

•               Living with HIV

•               Treating HIV

•               HIV Prevention

Having a solid understanding of HIV is a big step forward in supporting your loved one.

Friends and loved ones often want to know exactly how they can support the person living with HIV in their lives. There is no simple response to this. As I outlined above – everyone is unique. There is no cookie-cutter response to supporting PLHIV; we will all require different levels of support. All you need to do is let them know that you are there for them; if and when they need help, that you will be there. You can encourage them to access a service such as QPP – we have a fantastic recently diagnosed workshop which runs several times throughout the year, and we take expressions of interest from around the State and run the workshop as required in each region.

As I also mentioned above, as a friend of loved one you may also require support. I encourage you to contact a Peer Support Officer for a chat. It’s important to clarify here that I will never breach confidentiality of a client, so if your loved one has accessed QPP for support, this is not something we can talk about – I am more than happy to talk about HIV in general and support you directly, but never at the expense of an individual’s confidentiality. This also applies to any conversations we may have – our conversations remain between us.

Looking at the QPP website and this blog is a good indication that you are already doing all you can to support your loved one. They are incredibly lucky to have such a supportive loved one.