Ask an Expert: How Do I Stay Mentally Healthy With an HIV Diagnosis?

This article is part of Health Divide: HIV, a destination in our Health Divide series.

ask an expert HIV

Julie Bang / Verywell

Verywell Health: How do I stay mentally healthy with an HIV diagnosis?

Dr. Elopre: Unfortunately, we’re still living in a time when HIV can be a very traumatic diagnosis. A lot of that is related to the stigma and lack of education, especially in the general population, about HIV and the advances we’ve made in regards to treatment and care.

I always recommend that when you’ve been diagnosed with HIV or if you’re concerned about a potential diagnosis, that you ask for counseling services. Most clinics, especially clinics that have Ryan White funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, have counselors on hand that can help you through the process of accepting your diagnosis and learning how to live and communicate with loved ones about your diagnosis.

The other thing you can do to stay mentally healthy is to empower and educate yourself about HIV. If you know how to take your medications and you understand that taking your medications every day means you can be virally suppressed, which impacts your future life and goals, I think that can help you live with your diagnosis.