Counselling for HIV-infected people

2021-03-19 12:00 AM

The main task of the counsellor at this stage is to support HIV infected people to cope with and continue living with their illnesses in a beneficial way. If possible

Social counselling for HIV-infected people

Demand to contact relatives: many HIV-infected people want to contact and notify their relatives right away but hesitate due to guilt and fear. Counsellors should ask subjects if they want to help, and who should contact / notify them in advance to facilitate them. When interacting with these people, counsellors need to find and encourage their cooperation. However, it is still necessary to ensure the principle of keeping subject confidential, only inform relatives of information that the counselled person asks for help to inform.

The main task of the counsellor at this stage is to support HIV infected people to cope with and continue living with their illnesses in a beneficial way. If so, it is necessary to encourage the support of their family members in the first place because it is almost certain that they will collapse very quickly without that support. The awareness of HIV-infected people about their social support is also essential. Therefore, it is important to introduce them to counselling services, social support, the group "You help you" ... All this support from family and society needs to be carried out. continuously and promptly, should not delay when a mental crisis has occurred.

Counselors also need, depending on their expertise, to guide and help their loved ones by providing practical information for home care and the need to reach medical facilities when needed. .

The need to keep working: many people living with HIV are afraid of losing their jobs because the agency / factory where they work learns that they are infected with HIV. Therefore, counselors need to keep the principle of confidentiality for the subjects and also need to advise them to avoid doing work that could lead to infection to others.

People living with HIV are at high risk of discrimination and stigma in society as well as in their families. Their relatives are also at risk of being discriminated against in the community they live in because their family members are HIV positive. Therefore, counselors should pay attention only to inform relatives, with the consent of the subject and keep test results confidential from unrelated people.

Notification to an infected person's spouse / partner is an essential part of HIV counseling. Counselors need to explain to the subjects that it is their responsibility to communicate test results to their spouses / partners, encourage them to seek counseling and testing, and take predictive measures. room for the future. It is important to prepare them to know that the contingency measures can be a variety of measures, from the partial termination or all previous intimate relationships to the continuation of these relationships but the application of safe / low-risk behavior.

In many cases of infection, both husband and wife will be found to test positive for HIV. The question of who was first and infected with who may be raised. It is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to answer this question based on medical test results. However, it is advisable to advise both spouses to understand that it is not helpful for their current situation and should not focus on the matter. On the contrary, they need to discuss their future plans together.

On a case-by-case basis, people living with HIV may need to consider those at risk of infection from the time the counselor was exposed to HIV. This requires subjects to recall times of sexual activity or needles and syringes for a long time from a few months to a few years ago. Need assistance for the subject to inform others appropriately.

Reluctant case

Usually, when well consulted, there are very few cases where subjects refuse to use appropriate preventive measures to prevent the spread of HIV to others. Most of them will worry about HIV spreading to people. According to the current law in Vietnam, if an HIV-infected person refuses responsibility to prevent transmission to others, the consultant is responsible for notifying competent authorities according to the provisions of the Ordinance on the prevention of viral infections. in human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV / AIDS).

Health counseling for people living with HIV

A guide for infected people to live healthy

Counsel the infected person to understand the progression of HIV infection in the body. Once the body is infected with HIV, there are three possible trends of development:

Or subjects can have HIV for a long time (10 years or longer) and still live healthy normally if they change their behavior, practice good nutrition and exercise.

Or, HIV infection can develop into AIDS within 5-7 years if left to its own.

Or it will turn into AIDS very quickly in a few years if the subject continues the risky behaviors of sharing needles and syringes, having unprotected sex with many people. Such behaviors on the one hand will infect others, on the other hand get them more infected, or get opportunistic infections more quickly, or be triggered by other infections for HIV. grows rapidly in the body. Therefore, continuing to engage in unsafe, high-risk behavior means shortening yourself for the rest of your life.

When AIDS turns into AIDS, depending on medical and social care conditions, the patient can also live 1-5 years longer. Current medications are intended only to cure opportunistic infections and to slow the growth of HIV in the body.

Guide infected people to apply preventive measures of HIV transmission for families and communities

Do not give blood, semen, ovule or body organs for use by others.

Avoid blood transmission, use personal hygiene tools (toothbrushes, razors ...) as well as needles and syringes, handle cloths and blood-stained waste according to the rule of law. coincide.

Do not share needles and syringes, use only clean needles and syringes.

Practice safe sex, use a condom.

HIV-infected women should not get pregnant, should not breast-feed.

Counsel infected people about diet and exercise activities to maintain a healthy life

Need to eat adequate nutrients. Ensure eating and drinking hygiene, do not eat rancid food, raw. Food processing utensils should be washed with dishwashing liquid, preferably soaked in antiseptic water and rinsed before and after use.

Exercise regularly and gently.

Avoid unnecessary sadness or worry. Meet friends and family often.

Rest when you're tired and make sure you get enough sleep.

Continue working, working if possible.

Use a condom when having sex.

Pay attention to matters of staying healthy. Follow your physician's advice to avoid opportunistic infections.

Practice good personal hygiene: brush your teeth, shower, change clothes. For women, practice menstrual hygiene well. The sanitary napkin after use must be put in a sealed plastic bag in the garbage to throw away.

Try to avoid injuries and injuries.

Do not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes.

Do not arbitrarily use drugs without a physician's prescription.

See a doctor as soon as you get sick.

Mood of insecurity

This is an almost natural reaction of every human being when they are suddenly forced to change their living and working situations, and adapt to the new situation. The truth about the subjects' HIV status and changes, new and diverse demands in their lives, families and those around them. If not reassured, this prolonged reaction can lead to unnecessary panic and affect the subject and the treatment outcome.

Effects of other diseases

During the development of the disease, people with HIV develop opportunistic infections. The appearance of infections, cancer ... has a great influence on the subject's psychology. This can also lead to alienation from those around you, including family members. Counselors need to inform the subjects of these diseases in advance and explain that they are normal phenomena. It is important that they be alerted to be prepared to deal with these diseases and be treated promptly.

Afraid of infection HIV

Infected people may fear excessively about the possibility of infecting others with HIV. Some people may have difficulty wanting to have sex. They will worry about how their partner will react when they find out they have HIV, and also worry about trying to protect their partner from becoming infected. Counsellors should encourage their sexual partners to get tested for HIV and also encourage them to practice safe sexual behaviors to reduce the risk of infection. It's not about giving up altogether, not having sex, but practicing safe sex.


HIV-infected people, even after overcoming the initial shock, are more vulnerable to respect than ordinary people and can be severely affected by even factors such as:

A broken relationship.

Change at work.

Trouble, loss in family ...

In addition, there are a number of other factors (directly or indirectly) related to HIV infection that can cause a crisis such as:

When suffering from opportunistic infections.

When advised to start drug treatment.

When hearing about social events, messages related to HIV / AIDS.

Being discriminated against ...

The counselor should try to prepare the subject in advance about possible problems. When subjects have been in a crisis, counselors should encourage them to express their fears, worries, and questions and answer questions if necessary. need help and encourage them to help themselves as well as seek the help of social organizations, you help you ... Their active participation in social work is also a preventive measure. avoid mental crisis, reinforce self-confidence.

Grief, loss, depression

There are many causes of feelings of loss in HIV-infected people, some related to losses (actual or inferiority) in relationships in family, friends, society, social status, expected future, ambition '(may not be able to do it anymore) as well as health. Many people are forced to change their old way of life, depend on losing their independence, ability and living habits, including sexual activity. On the one hand, it is necessary to advise their families on these aspects to care for infected relatives, to avoid feelings of loneliness and abandonment. On the other hand, it is important to emphasize the importance of changing behavior and encourage the subjects themselves that these are measures they can take to positively contribute to their own safety and to avoid infection. for those around you.

People with HIV can also feel depressed, hopeless, and even lead to suicide. Counselors need to comfort them, instruct to participate in positive activities to find themselves still useful for themselves, their family, children and society as if using it as a comfort for themselves.

Feelings of guilt, shame

Once infected, many people will probably feel ashamed for what they have done before, now unable to hide their family. Many people may also feel guilty for infecting others, or bothering others when sick.