How can I improve my quality of life if I have HIV?
No one - neither modern medicine nor traditional healers - has a cure for HIV. But most people with HIV can be healthy for many years, especially with the right care and treatment. During this time it can help to:
Make the best of every moment of your life.
Spend time with friends and family.
Try to keep active by doing your daily work.
Be sexual if you want to. Enjoying safe sexual touch can help you stay healthier longer.
Use protection (condoms) when you have sexual intercourse. This will protect you as well as your partner.
Try joining or starting a group of people with HIV and AIDS. Some people with HIV and AIDS work together to educate the community, to provide home care to those who are sick with AIDS, and to support the rights of people with HIV and AIDS.
Look after your spiritual and mental health. Your faith and traditions can bring you hope and strength.
Think about the future. If you have children:
- spend time with them now, and give them care and guidance.
- make arrangements for family members to look after them when you are no longer able to do so.
- make a will. If you have some money, a house, or property, try to make sure that they will go to those you want to have them. Sometimes women who are not legally married cannot leave their possessions to their children and other family members. So it may be helpful to get legally married in order to leave your possessions to those you choose.
If you practice safer sex carefully, the infected person can avoid passing HIV to his or her partner. Condoms are the best way to prevent HIV. Cover open skin wounds and get treated promptly for STIs. And remember, there are other ways to be sexual besides sexual intercourse.