Living with HIV can challenge your emotional health

Living with HIV can be emotionally challenging. You may be dealing with stress and anxiety after being diagnosed with HIV or as a result of disclosing your HIV status to family, friends and sex partners. You may have experienced judgment, rejection or discrimination from those around you. Or if you decided not to tell people in your life, you may feel isolated. Losses you may have experienced—such as the loss of a relationship—can be devastating.

Perhaps you already struggled with depression, anxiety or other emotional health issues prior to your HIV diagnosis. Or you have been sexually or physically abused or you are a survivor of a residential school and are experiencing post-traumatic stress. Perhaps you are not entirely comfortable with your sexuality and you are blaming that part of yourself for your HIV diagnosis. Or your use of drugs and alcohol may have gotten out of hand and could be causing problems in your social life or on the job. To top it off, untreated HIV and some related conditions, as well as some of the HIV medications we take can impact our emotional health.

“I lived in fear of transmitting HIV and built walls to keep others out... I am now aware that I am much more than a virus. I can look forward to meaningful relationships with others and opening my heart.”

This resource provides practical information and tips to help you achieve better emotional health, to maintain it when things threaten to disturb the balance and to return to it after a period of emotional difficulty or crisis. So read on...