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Thanks to an increasing number of successful drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS, persons with the disease are living longer, more productive lives. Nevertheless, those who are faced with a life-threatening illness such as this, regardless of improved medical treatment, still require the emotional support that only therapy can provide. |
Therapy for persons with HIV/AIDS comes in many shapes and sizes and different medical professionals subscribe to many different kinds of counseling. The fact remains that happy and well-adjusted AIDS sufferers who maintain a positive attitude will live a life that’s more likely to be free of depression and may even live longer.
While expecting an individual stricken with AIDS or HIV to be free of all emotional distress may be unreasonable, it’s a noted fact that those with counseling support do indeed live a more productive life, and because HIV is no longer an immediate death sentence, quality of life has become even more important.
First, seek out a therapist who is experienced in dealing with AIDS/HIV patients. Not every therapist is well-versed in all aspects of psychotherapy so it’s necessary to do a bit of research before you make a choice. Contact your local mental health agency for referrals.
HIV patients will have many questions and therapists use varying methods by which to answer them, depending on their specialty. Some may use behavioral therapy on an individual basis while others will tout the successes of group meetings and discussions, stressing the importance of creating a network from which the afflicted can draw not only comfort but information as well.
Patients will want to find answers to questions like “Why me?” or “Will my family abandon me at the end?” Therapists can help the patient sort through feelings and arrive at answers that will bring peace of mind.
While therapists who offer counseling for people with HIV/AIDS are becoming more common, those who live in rural areas or small towns may need to travel to larger urban areas for their psychological care.
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