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Don't let your HIV status kill you

By Faeza
31 March 2017

By Clement Ntuli:

HAVING a positive attitude is important in order to live longer if you are HIV positive. It is important to feed your mind with positive thoughts and have a positive mindset. Failure to master your thoughts could lead to the end of your life.

LOVE YOUR MEDICATION

It is a fact that anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) are effective in suppressing the virus into its dormant or inactive state. In the process, ARVs strengthen immune system. Love and embrace your medication with a positive attitude. Many people fail to do this because they still doubt the effectiveness of ARVs. As a result, they go for alternative medicine which

has not been researched, approved or proven to work. I love my medication, I take it religiously and accordingly. I have had this attitude since I started taking ARVs in 2004. You must believe in and love your ARVs to live a long and healthy life.

BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL LIVE LONG

When people share their stories of how they have been living with HIV, let that be your inspiration and allow it to convince you that you too can live longer. Other people’s testimonies must help you get rid of thoughts of getting sick or dying soon. When I was in prison in the late 1990s, I got a chance to read a lot. It was the articles of those pioneers who had lived many years with the virus that changed my attitude.

ELIMINATE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Despite many years of education, there are still people who are ignorant and are struggling with their own stigma towards HIV. Avoid these people’s distorted attitudes and ignorant understanding. If you are around such people, they will depress you. Do not let such people dishearten or discourage you. Let only positivity prevail. We are the products of our

own thoughts.

GET YOUR THINGS IN ORDER

It is important to address all the nitty-gritties of living with HIV. Know where you pick up your medication, have the correct set time of taking it and have a support buddy if need be. When not addressed and managed properly, these little things will result in you becoming unsettled and anxious.

DO CERTAIN THINGS

While it happens that you constantly think about your HIV status, you need to find other activities that will take your mind off this. If you spend most of your time thinking about being HIV positive, you might end up developing negative thoughts. As long as you know you are taking your medication and managing HIV, you are alright. Avoid thinking deeply about HIV. Find a hobby or anything to take your mind off the disease. Sports is ideal because it also boosts your immune system, read or watch TV when you find yourself focusing too much on your HIV status.