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:
- You are STILL somebody.
- You accomplish things everyday! Laugh often.
- Your present is NOT dictated by your past.
- You deserve to find LOVE.
- You can STILL have amazing sex.
- You are NOT what stigma says, EVER.
- You are better today, than you were yesterday!
- You are healthy.
- You WILL live a long life!
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!