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HIV: Find Strength All Around You

Get connected to people who can help

You may have just found out you're HIV positive, but you'll find that you're not alone. Many people like you know the importance of a support network. As you start thinking about what it means to be HIV positive, you might think people in the community will discriminate against you or your family because you are living with HIV. Talking about your feelings with your doctor, your loved ones, and your support groups is just one of the positive actions you can take to help live life to the fullest.

Take care of yourself and stay healthy

Make connections that can help you take care of yourself and your family. This includes finding a doctor who understands your needs. You will also need to:

  • Find support, because you are stronger when you don't feel alone
  • Reach out to friends or family who will be there for you
  • Create new friendships through organizations and groups for other people living with HIV. People with strong, supportive relationships in their lives are more likely to stick to their treatment and medicine

Reach out to your support networks—emotional and financial, new, old, and trusted

Combine them. Revisit them. Use them over and over again, whenever you need them. Start with these resources:

  • Support groups
  • AIDS service organizations (ASOs)
  • Therapy or counseling
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Partner/spouse
  • Case managers/social workers
  • Religious or spiritual groups
  • Doctors
  • Support programs for substance or alcohol abuse
  • Community meal programs

Where do you go from here?

If you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure about your next steps, remind yourself that every challenge can be met. Find the strength you have within you, and all around you, to meet this one. There is help and support out there for you. Embrace this challenge—and the people who want to help.

Look here for HIV/AIDS resources and information:

National AIDS Hotline (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

www.cdc.gov/hiv
1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), in English and Spanish
(For the hearing impaired: 1-888-232-6348)

AIDSinfo (National Institutes of Health)

www.aidsinfo.nih.gov
1-800-HIV-0440 (1-800-448-0440), in English and Spanish
(For the hearing impaired: 1-888-480-3739)
E-mail: contactus@aidsinfo.nih.gov

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) AIDS Hotline

www.gmhc.org
(212) 367-1000
E-mail: cubb@gmhc.org

The Body

www.thebody.com

AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA)

www.acria.org
E-mail: give@acria.org

This list of third-party resources is being provided as an educational service by Merck. Compilation and publication of this information constitutes neither approval of, nor endorsement by Merck, of the organizations or the opinions, inferences, findings, or conclusions stated or implied by the authors of the information contained on the Web sites.