How to Handle Bad News after an HIV Test

Few things in life can compare to the bad news of finding out you have HIV after a positive test. Not only do you have to find out you have one of life’s more devastating viruses, but you also have to contend with the knowledge that your life is about to change on many levels. There are many ways you can handle it, which include counseling and informative doctor visits, but remember to take your time and breathe once you find out your results.

Initial Feelings of a Positive Test

When you find out you have HIV, your world will probably begin to feel as if it is starting to crumble. However, while you might have to contend with probably the worst news you have ever been given, remember that having HIV is not the end. You may have to begin to change your lifestyle and you will have to be careful in many different ways. It is still possible to live a good life. Some individuals live most of their lives without feeling any of the effects, which means they can live a rich and full life, as long as they are careful.

Learning How to Deal With a Positive Result

How you handle bad news after an HIV test should also be based on your beliefs and how you prefer to handle things in life. For instance, an individual who is religious might prefer to sit down with a minister or priest and discuss the situation. Although you might feel shame at first, these individuals exist to provide you with spiritual guidance, and there is no better time in one’s life for guidance than when you find out you tested positive for an HIV test. In some instances, it is possible you will find yourself shunned within your religious institution, should you release news of your test. However, ministers and priests are bound by confidentiality clauses by law that state they are not allowed to release this information publicly.

Using Religious Outlets as Support

Religious institutions can help individuals in many ways with support and prayer. However, other support groups can help. Families are always present and in most instances, they would never turn you away. While it may be a true test of friendship, those who stick around after your news will be true friends probably for the rest of your life. They can help you through the worst of times in dealing with what is to come.

Joining HIV Support Groups

In addition, it is important to remember there are HIV support groups who get together and share stories, lending strength to one another during each difficult phase in the hopes of providing comfort as a group. If you have no other group to support you, you might wish to consider using an HIV support group or counselor, as they understand what you are going through. No one should ever have to hear bad news alone, and although you might have been alone when you heard your results, you do not have to be alone even if you have a long and full life.

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