HIV is the acronym for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus damaging your immune system and making it harder for you to counter infections and disease. In contrast, AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which describes a variety of dangerous and life-threatening illnesses. This can affect your body since HIV has weakened your immune system. In this excerpt, we will debunk some common myths and understand why counselling for HIV patient with a top counselling psychologist in India is essential.
To date, there is no foolproof cure for HIV; however, with the available drug treatments, most people even having the virus can live longer. But early diagnosis and favourable treatment allow most people with HIV to prevent any AIDS-related illnesses. We will further gain a clearer understanding of HIV and AIDS in-depth, and especially the psychological effect it can give birth to.
Understanding HIV and AIDS
HIV has been present for decades. However, Scientists only uncovered it in the 80s. Then, the disease wasn’t known so much as we understand it today. Back then, AIDS was a natural consequence of an HIV definite diagnosis. But today, thanks to progress in our knowledge and drug treatments, it is scarce but not yet eliminated. Counselling for HIV and any counselling psychologist in India will help in dealing with the after-effects of treatment.
The difference between HIV and AIDS
Most people use both terms interchangeably to describe the same thing, but little do they know the difference. HIV is truly a lifetime illness. AIDS is a set of serious diseases people can contract and HIV if they don’t receive treatment. The virus can be transmitted to other people, whereas AIDS cannot. With effective and efficient diagnosis and treatment, most people with HIV do not develop AIDS. The original key to this is merely early diagnosis and timely treatment.
For around 80% of the people, after 2-6 weeks of contracting HIV, they are likely to experience a short flu-like illness. Once this phase of the disease has passed, HIV may not cause any further indications for several years.
The symptoms of this short illness can include:
- high temperature
- body rash
- sore throat
- joint pain
- swollen glands
How is HIV transmitted?
The most common way HIV transmits is through having sex with someone who has HIV without a condom. Those with HIV can pass the virus on when they aren’t experiencing symptoms and pass it on more quickly in the first few weeks following infection.
To lower your chances of contracting the virus, your doctor may prescribe pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a course of HIV drugs to be taken by someone at risk to prevent them from contracting the virus. If you have the virus, you can be prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This is a month-long course of medication taken after possible exposure to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
Treatment and Counselling for HIV Patient
The treatment of HIV involves antiretroviral medications. These stop the virus from replicating in the body, allowing the immune system to repair itself and prevent further damage. A combination of drugs is needed as the virus adapts quickly and can become resistant.
Some HIV treatments have been added together in just one pill – this is a fixed-dose combination. These cost more to prescribe but mean fewer medications to remember. The combination of drugs you take depends on your custom made requirements.
Effective treatment can make HIV undetectable. This means the virus level is so low it is undetectable by tests. This doesn’t mean the virus is no longer there. However, it does mean the patient won’t pass on the virus.
The importance of taking your medication
Taking the drugs you’re prescribed regularly is very important. Just a couple of missed doses can make HIV develop resistance, and they stop working as they should. This means the viral load increases, which is terrible for your health and means you can pass on the virus.
During the first few weeks of taking medication, you may experience some side effects such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhoea. Your doctors will work closely to ensure you get the best combination of drugs with minimal side effects.
Counselling for HIV Patient – Living with HIV
While this HIV treatment can protect your immune system and reduce HIV, it cannot cure it. This means that once you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, it is something you’ll live with for the rest of your lives.
Thanks to effective treatment and early detection, however, those with HIV can live just as long as those without HIV, with fewer HIV-related illnesses. This means you should be able to live a near-normal life.
As well as taking your medication, looking after your overall health can help reduce the risk of you falling ill. This means taking regular exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol intake.
Other things to bear in mind when you have HIV:
- You may not be able to join the armed forces.
- May not be able to donate blood unless cleared by your respective doctor.
- One will be able to donate organs, but only to others with the condition.
- A person will most probably not be able to enter certain countries.
- You will surely need to get a specialist life insurance policy.
Counselling for HIV Patient Helps Deal With the Psychological impacts
While HIV is no longer necessarily a life-threatening diagnosis, it is still a life-long condition that will impact your life considerably. Understandably then, you’re bound to feel some psychological impacts.
Suppose you are already struggling with your mental health, like if you have depression, anxiety or low self-esteem, getting a diagnosis can make the symptoms even worse. Even if your health has been good, you may still find it difficult to adjust to your diagnosis. In such scenarios, a top counselling psychologist in Chennai, India, is just a call away.
The constant urge to worry about your future, your health is widespread. There may be times where you start to isolate yourself. Sadly, the stigma surrounding HIV and the lack of understanding can affect how you feel about yourself.
Getting Counselling for HIV
Are you struggling after your diagnosis, isolating yourself, feeling upset or bad about yourself? If all this happens, seek support from a famous psychotherapist in Chennai. Speaking to other people who have HIV or joining a support group, whether online or in-person, could bring better results to your ongoing therapy.
You may even choose to speak to a counsellor or a counselling psychologist in India one-on-one about how you’re feeling. Talking to someone experienced in treating clients with HIV is very beneficial as they will have a greater awareness of what you’re going through and the psychological effects.
Counselling for HIV Patients – Telling people you have HIV
.When you are diagnosed with HIV, it’s important to tell your current sexual partner and any partner’s you’ve had since becoming infected. Doing this can be a robust experience; you may feel upset, embarrassed or even angry. Talk this through with your medical team as they can advise who you need to tell and the best way to get in touch – they may even be able to contact them for you.
You may also be wondering whether or not you need to tell your employer. There is no legal obligation to do this unless and until you are in the armed forces (in a frontline job) or work in a healthcare job where you provide invasive procedures. You will be protected under the Equality Act, which means employers cannot ask about specific health conditions during the job application process. Employers can then ask health questions once you have a job to help them decide whether or not you can carry out essential tasks for the job.
Counselling for HIV helps to ease any fears or concerns you or anyone else may have. You can even send them the link to this page. So they can read more about what HIV is and how it affects people. Just remember, you are not alone. There are people ready to support you, like counselling psychologist for HIV patient in India.
Counselling For HIV patients with Praveen Saanker
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Mr Praveen, the founder of ‘Vedicology,’ is an internationally renowned scholar on Sanatana Dharma recognised for his knowledge and application of Indian Psychology and Spirituality. He is regarded as an expert on Indian and Western Psychology, Vedic Scriptures, Indian Rites, Rituals, Customs & Traditions, Astrology, Vastu Shastra & Numerology. Aiming to be of the utmost help, Mr Praveen Saanker looks to understand your motivations and aspirations and then provide a solution accordingly. Praveen successfully integrates the principles of Vedas with modern Psychology and Business Management. Mr Praveen Saanker works with family business entrepreneurs and next-generation leaders, advising them on the family constitution and finding a subtle balance between family and business priorities.
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