Do's & Don'ts
- Empathise with them.
- Provide them family and social support
- Allow them to be a part of the family as he / she was prior to disclosure of the infection
- Allow them to get back to their work as soon as soon as he / she is physically fit, since HIV infection doesn’t require special rest
- Keep them engaged in some activity, as an empty mind is a devil’s workshop
- Make efforts to reduce their stress
- Encourage them to exercise and meditate as these help prolong the life span
- Provide them with a high protein, high vitamin diet and clean hygienic water.
- Convince them to stop all addictions such as tobacco cigarettes, alcohol or other psychotropic / recreational drugs
- Register them with a health care facility like; ART Center for regular checks and follow up
- Take immediate steps to treat even minor ailments.
- Dispose off blood stained tampons and bandages properly.
- Advice them to use safe sex (condoms) with their sex partner, even if partner is already HIV positive
- Help fight the discrimination meted out to them by hospitals , doctors and employers
- Educate family members and friends about HIV / AIDS, if they already know the HIV status of the patient.
- Don’t accuse them for getting infected, it doesn’t help
- Don’t try to probe into when, where the person was infected
- Don’t make them feel guilty
- Don’t isolate them at their home / workplace
- Don’t separate them from spouse or children, since they are the best support for them. It is important for them to spend quality family time together
- Don’t use gloves in feeding the infected person or to wipe off his saliva, sweat, nasal secretions and tears
- Don’t share razors, tooth brush and other sharp objects for that matter with any body else
- It is not necessary to wash their clothes seperately
- Don’t disclose the HIV status of infected person to friends, employer and insurance company
- Don’t humiliate the infected person, his / her spouse or children
- Don’t get conned by the fake claims, false cures, witch hunters and faith healers. Wait for declaration of the noble prize for the real cure
- Don’t spend the entire available money limit in the first bout of illness, it may be the first of such illnesses in the pipeline. Make a proper planning of your spending capability.
When dealing with a person living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA) the bottom line is that you must treat them , the way out would like to be treated if you were infected with HIV.