Living Well with HIV
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Help to cope with anger and anxiety over HIV


I'm writing this because I find myself feeling a lot of anger and even a little anxiety whenever I think of or remember that I'm positive. I'm very well educated on hiv and know that it's not a death sentence and even know its easier to manage than diabetes. Just a pill, that's what people always say. Although it's not a death sentence is a sentence that I don't want to confront (notice how I said want, not can't). I just find myself turned into someone pretty bitter ever since I got diagnosed a part of me died and that will of helping others and seeing the beauty of life has gone away. I have a pretty solid plan to take my life in a couple of years and right now I'm just trying to live it up. I am not looking for people to talk me out of it or even agree with this decision. I just would like to know input of what they have done to deal with the anger and anxiety themselves. I want to have an amazing life the rest of my life as short as it may be. And I am at peace with pretty much everything else except this. I know I'll probably won't be able to fix it completely unless I do the soul searching and accepting your status and don't let hiv define me and yadda yadda yadda. But since I'm not wanting to do that anymore I'd like to know if anyone knows anything that can at least help in the meantime. Thank you

7 Replies

I was near death when I was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. With treatment I've since gotten healthy and am probably in the best shape that I've ever been. There are plenty of days that I wish that this didn't happen, and there are plenty of worries that going along with living with HIV, but I wake up each day and I choose to live. I say to myself that today is a gift. Today is precious. And I go about my day and try to be kinder to myself.


Hello, when I was diagnosed I felt a whirlwind of emotions like anger, sadness, hopelessness, and then even denial for a year or so until the lack of medication and the virus slowly drained my body until near death. I was slowly dying right there in front of my friends and everyone I cared about, but no one had the courage to say anything, and I lacked the courage to ask for help and accept what had happened to me. With a cd4 count of 6 I finally got the help that I so desperately needed. With time and medication I eventually healed my body, but not my mind or my soul/essence (or whatever you want to call it)...and it's still not quite whole. I was a psychology major in college so I know all the signs and defense mechanisms that people use to block out reality. My advice to you; as a person who is still struggling is to just let go. Don't fight. Don't hold on to the anger and dispair. What has happened has happened, and cannot be undone. We need to reach acceptance. We need to try to find some sense of joy and happiness with this life no matter how minute and minuscule it may seem. I know this sounds like a preachy "live life to the fullest" cliche, but honestly that's what we have to do. We have to find the beauty in our situation, and accept that "it is what it is." Life does go on, and planning to "end it all" isn't it.


I like your style, the plan. Sound like it might be meticulous and well thought out I'm sure. However, HIV is just a disease. And it's one of the easier diseases to medicate (as you mentioned - 1 pill, yadda, yadda).

I would ask you to live your life to the fullest and ditch the "plan" to end it all. I mean you could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

When I get really down and think this sucks so bad (usually because someone has inadvertently said some stigmatizing comment). For example a friend of mine said recently, after testing for HIV and finding out he was negative, "I really dodged a bullet." I asked him what "said bullet" was. He looked at me and realized the impact of his statement.

Anyway - what I think about is 9/11 and the decision that the people on the top floors of the WTC had to make. The fact that jumping nearly 100 stories to their death was the better alternative to staying in the building and what faced them. That's way worse than having a little ole disease like HIV! I bet if you asked any of those jumpers would you take HIV and living over jumping that take HIV.

So you have HIV, try to get over it, and choose to live despite the stigma and ignorance and the fact you'll be dumped by people you love and judged as well. I say give people something to think about and show them how freakin positive (yes positive) you can be.

Don't give up and don't give in. You have a responsibility to live your life to the fullest.


Dear Noreasonstolive...

My daughter has a serious mental disorder and suicidal thoughts from time to time, so perhaps I can help. As hard as it is to think of someone in so much pain to consider offing themselves I had to accept if she follows through there is not much I can do other than to be there and remind her that you will feel differently tomorrow. I usually suggest she get out, get a little bit of sunshine (we live in California so there is usually some just around the corner). Then we'll go over the following exercise:

First of all, think of something you are grateful for right now. Think about that one thing. It doesn't have to be anything significant, just one thing to take your thoughts away from what's wrong or hurting and focus your mind on something you are grateful for. And then think about what else you are grateful for. If your list stops at only one thing or not even there, don't worry. The thought will eventually come to you. When it does, write it down.

Next, go help someone. Whether it's opening a door, saying hello to a stranger or feeding a homeless person, helping someone else gets you out of yourself.

Journal your thoughts. I've often told my daughter there is a reason she is experiencing the difficult stuff. We really don't know the big picture right now, but whatever you write may eventually help someone else that may be experiencing the same things you are right now.

You didn't mention how long it's been since you were diagnosed with hiv. I found out on my birthday in 2014, just slightly more than three years ago and went through all those emotions for about 20 minutes, but being a positive person can always see the bright side to just about anything you throw at me. I've been through adversity before, though. Like being deep in debt and suddenly without income. But each time I seem to pick myself up and trudge on and learn something along the way.

Fortunately my partner (who is still hiv negative) was supportive and understanding and suddenly I had a great medical team even though I am living at less than poverty level (see above). I started religiously taking one pill a day and knocked the viral load from 70,000 to less than 100 after three months, and undetectable ever since.

That said, I am in a group of senior positive men that meets every week to share our stories. I wasn't out in the 80's when many of them were told they wouldn't live more than a few months. Most of their friends didn't survive. But they did. And because they are alive today they can share something so valuable you cannot put a price on it. And for that I am grateful.


Thanks for your words nicku2, I know they were not meant for me, but they did help me understand a lot of things.


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Anytime Edgar_84. And, of course these were meant for you and anyone else going through the same stuff. Hugs! :•)


Thank you very much!

Hugs :-*


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