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10 Things HIV Positive People Should Believe About Themselves

Understanding the importance of self worth and maintaining a high self-esteem helps those living with HIV live more fulfilling lives.

You have heard this before: stay positive about your diagnosis with HIV or AIDS. I even joke about that how that phrase literally is the best (and worst) thing someone can say to someone diagnosed with the virus. Mainly, because those of us living with HIV do not have a choice whether we stay positive. (There’s no cure yet. I see you.)

Here are 10 things that those living with HIV should believe about themselves:

  1. You are STILL somebody.
  2. You accomplish things everyday! Laugh often.
  3. Your present is NOT dictated by your past.
  4. You deserve to find LOVE.
  5. You can STILL have amazing sex.
  6. You are NOT what stigma says, EVER.
  7. You are better today, than you were yesterday!
  8. You are healthy.
  9. You WILL live a long life!
  10. You are STILL YOU, and don’t let a virus rob you of your identity.

It seems pretty simple, right? But an HIV diagnosis does not claim or define your existence or reasons for living. You have a lot of value in this world — and it’s understood and respected by those that are closest to you. Do not allow being diagnosed with HIV to shame you into feeling that your life is pointless, meaningless, or over.

Keep Living

You accomplish many things everyday. And for many, we never give ourselves the credit that we deserve for much of it. Start saying “good job” to yourself. And remember that mistakes that you have made in the past is not indicative of where you are now or even what your future holds.

HIV Positive People Deserve LOVE

You deserve to find love regardless of your HIV status– but instead of considering your positive status as a hinderance to finding the person that you deserve, consider it experience of living life and thus being able to handle anyone else’s baggage with grace and compassion. And you deserve amazing sex! Yes, you deserve to have amazing, mind-blowing, toe-curling sex over and over. If you don’t believe this, then who will? Have fun!

READ: Some Neg People Want Positive People To Not Have Sex? WTF?

Stigma says stupid stuff– about you, to you, and is not educated. You can’t rationalize stigma because you are educated and you realize that you are not an infectious monster roaming the streets. You are not transmitting HIV because you are undetectable. You are HEALTHY! And because you are adherent to your medication, you are not a risk and you will live a long life.

READ: 6 Things Only Funny To Those Living With HIV

You are still exactly who you were before an HIV diagnosis, at the least. But at your best, you have used this experience to continue to grow and towards becoming better than you could of ever imagined.

You are an amazing person. Start believing it. So many around you already do!

11 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Tim Meehan

    Nicely put!

  • Skyscudder

    Thumbs up big guy! And I’ll be quick to say that is what has kept me going for 25 years with this stinking virus. Nowadays, if you’re in treatment, absolutely compliant with your therapy, then viral suppression is not only possible in the short term, but in the long term as well.

    That’s not to say one runs around with rose colored glasses on, because a bit of pain and sadness too makes for sweetening the good times.

  • Eric Cc

    Even worse are individuals I’ve met that have said they wouldn’t be friends with someone that’s HIV+. It’s sad those people say that because chances are they’ll miss a wonderful person because of their prejudice.

  • Andrea Johnson

    GREAT ARTICLE JOSH….As a woman living with HIV and who tries to give the modern day look of persons with HIV or AIDS, this article is very encouraging. Andrea Johnson

  • Chris W. Luczak

    ya, “great sex” if you aren’t on 2 PTSD drugs that have robbed you of 99% of your sex drive that got you in this mess to begin with. Otherwise I am better then when I first was diagnosed. going on 9 years now. CD4 at 800. My husband was at a CD4 of 3..now he is at a steady 960 for over a year. you can live again…but for us there is always that little thing in our brains that has a freak out when you bleed in public or do you really tell people that your POZ. Now we have to get my husband off of Atripla as the Sustiva is causing deep depression and suicidal thoughts. bloodwork is due back this week for the DNA match for new meds. (USC medical center has made the connection between suicide and Sustiva in long term use)

  • Daniel Garza

    Nice read. Everyone has there own journey and make peace with it at their own pace.
    The only line that bothers me is: “You are still exactly who you were before an HIV diagnosis”.
    I wasn’t, there is new information to deal with, medications, side effects, doctor visit.
    Those first years disclosing and learning how to handle that. Dating and that trauma.
    After 15 years, fighting anal cancer, being off drugs, alcohol & cigarettes for almost 9 years.
    I’m different.
    I’m not who I was 15 years ago. I don’t want to be.

  • Terry C

    This virus does not let you be who you were. Just being 55yrs of age puts me at a disadvantage of having a sex life. Than add hiv positive even undetectable adds another disadvantage. Add to that living in a community where its hard enough just being gay. Than add if your neighbors find out your positive they will most likely burn your house down. Yea so much for a support system. Remember not everyone has that and has to try to fight it alone.

    • johne jones

      Being who you were before HIV…how??? Everyone you meet that you would like to become close with….you have to lay that in their lap..and some can..and most can’t…TODAY SEX IS DIFFERENT….BUT A MUST wrap it up …and BELIEVE it feel great..NO it’s different…FAMILY THAT KNOWS BUT NEVER SAID A WORD..THEN FAMILY situation were you get jump…by some…yes I’m very depressed right now…in need of true people…today..I’m hurting my spirit…is dead..

      • Kandyeyes23

        Hi there don’t feel sad or don’t give up stay positive

  • Chris Alex Lopez

    “You are still exactly who you were before an HIV diagnosis, at the least. But at your best, you have used this experience to continue to grow and towards becoming better than you could of ever imagined.”

    Yes. I can still be exactly who I was before being diagnosed. But should be a lot better know. Healthier lifestyle and more positive outlook in life. So I can’t really say it’s entirely different from who I was before, it should be way way better than who I was.

  • Alex

    Is amazing how much we get discriminated and bullied due to hiv status. Even for friends most guys wont consider us. Not to mention love. Now a days no one wants a relationship anymore.