Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Receiving a diagnosis of any life-threatening illness is devastating. But the emotional, social and financial consequences of HIV/AIDS can make coping with this illness especially difficult — not only for you but also for those closest to you.

Fortunately, a wide range of services and resources are available to people with HIV. Most HIV/AIDS clinics have social workers, counselors or nurses who can help you with problems directly or put you in touch with people who can. They can arrange for transportation to and from doctor appointments, help with housing and child care, deal with employment and legal issues, and see you through financial emergencies.

Coming to terms with your illness may be the hardest thing you've ever done. For some people, having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than themselves makes this process easier. Others seek counseling from someone who understands HIV/AIDS. Still others make a conscious decision to experience their lives as fully and intensely as they can or to help other people who have the disease.

Aug. 11, 2012