There are a lot of sites that are writing and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. I think the content in that regard is already well covered. For that reason we will take a different route today, a route which isn’t as rutted as it should.
What I’m talking about is the mindset of HIV/AIDS victims and the appropriate approach of those around them.
The world dropping beneath you
Yes, that’s exactly what most described it when they were sitting in the doctor’s office facing their physician telling them the situation they are in.
“You’re HIV positive.”
Their world crumbled, their future ruined, their young lives ended right there surrounded by white walls, and white sheets, in front of someone wearing a white coat. The world dropped beneath them.
Some felt a jarring stillness, others towering waves of grief – and underneath it all is quaking terror.
There are five stages that a person undergoes when diagnosed with a fatal illness. Its acronym is DABDA, which stands for Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
In the first stage an HIV/AIDS patient might refuse to believe what he’s hearing. He thinks it’s only a nightmare or the doctor’s diagnosis is inaccurate, something went wrong through the screening process somehow.
The second stage is anger. It’s where the victim shouts “Why me? It’s so unfair! There are so many who deserves this, yet why me?” This stage is where the victim becomes a danger, not only to himself, but also to others around him.
Let’s take a look at a report last year where a woman, 19 of age, allegedly admitted of purposely infecting over 300 men after finding out she was HIV positive. Although the report’s authenticity could not be confirmed it still left most people in shock to the horror of the claim.
The third stage is bargaining usually done on one’s knee, hands clasped together, begging for an extended life from a higher power. Next stage is depression. The victim enters a catatonic state; unresponsive and always sleeping. They’re more a danger to themselves than to others at this phase.
And last is acceptance where they have accepted their fate. Where a soothing calmness takes over and they tell themselves that it’s going to be alright.
Through the whole DABDA stages it’s of utmost importance that friends and family members are there to provide emotional support. Avoid victim-blaming, as some people are won’t to do.
Instead, find ways to help them cope. One of the best ways to do this is to simply listen and provide a shoulder to cry on. Remind them that they still have a life; that other victims have learned to live with the situation. And they can too.
Attend meetings and find groups where they can interact with others who might share some knowledge on how to get through the toughest days, where they are surrounded by people who can truly understand what they feel.
Expect to absorb a lot of negative emotion from the victim. It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be tough, but you have to remain strong to remind them that it’s going to be okay.