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A positive HIV test can change many aspects of a person's life

Category: HIV

Following a positive test for HIV, individuals have more to worry about than just their physical health. Experts say that the disease can have significant psychological effects for which patients should consider seeking treatment.

Ken Howard, a psychotherapist in California who was recently awarded for his work helping individuals with HIV, said that the disease can impact almost every area of a person's life, and dealing with only the health consequences can leave patients unprepared. Instead they should be ready for their entire life to change.

"HIV/AIDS is not just a medical disease, it requires social support services, including mental health counseling, as well, at every stage," he said. "From diagnosis, through getting connected to treatment, to coping with ongoing medical care and complex laboratory work, to dating, sex and issues combating the stigma of HIV, counseling can be a vital resource."

He added that giving patients complete information about the disease can empower them and that this can give them the strength to overcome the adversity that they are sure to encounter during the course of their treatment.

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