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Coping and living with HIV

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Living with HIV

People diagnosed and treated for HIV in the early stages of infection can live normal to near-normal life expectancies. Despite these advances, living with HIV still has its challenges in various aspects of life - emotional, physical, social, practical.

Emotional

Despite advances in treatment, finding out you have HIV can be overwhelming. You may be concerned about your health and future, and may feel stressed about how HIV can affect those around you. All of these feelings are normal and it can take time to process them fully.
There are steps you can take to better cope:
• Educate yourself about HIV
• Take charge of your treatment

Physical

Living with HIV requires you to stay healthy to not only avoid HIV-related infections but non-HIV-associated illnesses as well. To reduce your risk, there are several things you should do:
• Getting vaccinated
• Staying physically fit
• Quitting cigarettes

Social

The fears and anxieties associated with HIV can increase the risk of isolation, which in turn can increase the risk of depression and poor drug adherence. Reaching out to others not only helps you maintain a positive outlook but can improve your adherence as well.

Practical

Even if you have sorted yourself out emotionally and feel optimistic about living with HIV, you may still be faced with practical and financial stresses.
In Singapore, Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents living with HIV receive subsidies to help afford their medication. A subsidised drug list is available online.

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