Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Strategy for the Holiday

For many of us, HIV can be stressful and make us feel as if no one loves us. In this video I talk about some things that you can do to safeguard against depression as the holidays approach. Your HIV status does not define who you are and there are people who love you and want to spend the holidays with you.

Check out Aaron's blog to help you with tools on how to deal with holiday depression.


Aaron Laxton Video Blog


From TheBody.Com

Monday, December 3, 2012

AIDS is Going To Lose!


HIV And Your Family



When HIV is diagnosed in your son or daughter, parents say they feel a lot of emotions. These emotions include anxiety about their child's health and their own health and the challenges of taking care of themselves and their children. They often feel confused by how things work at the hospital, the clinic and how to tell people.

These, and many other feelings, are perfectly normal. An HIV diagnosis is very difficult information to take in and causes many changes in a family. This will be a stressful time. It is important not to judge yourself or blame yourself or others. No one sets out to get HIV, and no one wants to pass it on to a child or anyone else.

Here are some of the ways that families have learned to live with HIV. Some of them may be useful to you and some may not. Everyone develops his or her own way of getting through these times.

Some have found that maintaining hope, not just for a cure for HIV, but for strength to handle it, has been the biggest source of encouragement for them. Some like to make the best of each day, rather than think a lot about the future. There are parents who like to get all the information they can about HIV and medical treatment, and others who find that trying not to think about it except when necessary helps them most. Some people get their support from other families living with HIV, and some find comfort with HIV/AIDS organization volunteers. Some individuals and families have found strength in their spiritual communities. Most people find ways to continue living their lives as fully as possible.

What support is available to me?

There are many ways to get through problems you may encounter. Even the most complex problems have solutions.

Help can be anything from counselling and support groups to legal advice, and spiritual support services. Financial help for family living costs, special and HIV-related needs, and housing for your son/daughter may also be available.

HIV/AIDS organizations often rely on the work of volunteers, unpaid but trained people who wish to be involved in caregiving. Volunteers who are educated in HIV-family issues are available in many city areas and some smaller communities to help out by providing rides to the hospital, child care at home and support for your needs while you and your child are at the clinic.
Disclosure: Who needs to know about HIV in the family?

Most people are very concerned about whom they should tell or not tell about HIV in the family. It is your child's right to decide this for themselves The only people who need to know are the health care staff who work with child, and their doctor and dentist.
The HIV clinic team includes the doctor, nurse, social worker, psychologist, dentist and others you may meet who attend to the health care needs of your child at various times. You must obtain permission from your adult child to communicate with their HIV team.  An HIV team and support group for families are very confidential.  Seek out those that are in your situation through your local clinic.

A parent living with a partner or a spouse usually decides to tell this person. Finding out about your child's HIV brings stress that you and your partner may choose to work out together to be able to support your son or daughter. If you have difficulty talking to each other, your social worker or other counsellor may be able to help.

If you have other children or close family members who do not have HIV, you may feel that they also should know. Deciding when and how to tell children is not easy, but keeping secrets from them can also be a problem. Talk to your adult child about who he/she would like to know about thier status.
As always, open lines of communication with your son or daughter on how best to support them through this is the only way!  If your child is hesitant to discuss his/her illness or treatment and it is killing you with worry, contact your local clinic to participate in a support group for families. The bottom line is ASK your son or daughter who they want to know about their status.  They will let you know from time to time that it is okay as they learn to accept their diagnosis.

You can always email us on this site or call 630-669-2588 to get the confidential support guidance.


The Road To Health



Confused about where to go?  The AIDS Foundation of Chicago can help you through some of the more difficult navigaion. HIV case management begins when a person living with HIV realizes he or she needs help navigating the foreign terrain of HIV care systems. Just one phone call can set one on the road to health.

The Northeastern Illinois HIV/AIDS Case Management Cooperative — "the Cooperative" — is managed by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, which oversees case management for more than 5,000 people per year. Its story is one best told through the clients receiving the services and the case managers on the front lines.

Please explore this collection of vignettes to better understand the struggles of those living with HIV in Chicago and how the Cooperative can help. We suggest starting at the "The Beginning" and then go wherever you like from there.

 Check Out "The Road To Health" !

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