Providing Support Through the Wellness Program
Persons living with HIV require a holistic approach to the management of their health. Asides medical treatment, there is a need for psychological and emotional support in light of society’s stance to people living with the disease. Amid stigmatisation, discrimination, among other things, persons with HIV are faced with threats to their mental health because of the disease. In turn, it becomes necessary that a wide range of actions emerge to ensure the protection of these individuals.
This is where the wellness programme comes in. It pr0vides a safe haven through which we respond to a wide range of challenges facing individuals with the virus.
We must tailor our program to ensure that we can respond to the wide variety of issues affecting patients directly. In turn, these activities must cut across the following issues.
Diagnosis of Anxiety
When people living with HIV get to know of their positive status, there is the fear and concerns rooted in the history and ignorance about the workings of the diseases. HIV used to be a terminating illness with no ways of management, and thus, the news of a positive status was met with fear of deterioration of health due to weak immunity.
Thus, patients would need counselling and proper information on the improvement in technology and medical science, and how their condition can be managed effectively with the same. Also, peer relations help allay fears of deterioration of health as they can see others like them living a healthy life.
Anti-Retro-Vital Treatment (ART) needs consistency and the continued dependency of medicine to ensure good health could be a strain on mental health. Discontinuing the use of ART medicines, in turn, poses a risk to the health of stressed patients. Thus, patients need continued support to ensure they maintain their health.
As HIV is classified as a sexually transmitted disease, people living with the virus usually have strained sexual life. There is the fear of infecting sexual partners and also criminal charges if such happens. What is needed is the proper education on how to engage in safe sex, and resources to protect sexual partners from the infection.
Reorientation of General Public
The stigmatisation of PWHIV is still presently active. It stems from the ignorance of the nature of the disease and how it can get transmitted. People still refusing to share utensils, spaces with patients because they think it can get transmitted with regular human contact. This could lead to isolation and loneliness of PWHIV, and in turn, depression.
Discrimination also comes into play when patients are denied services, facilities, goods and services because of their medical conditions. Wellness programmes thus have to be a two-way approach also to include members of the general public to reorientate them as regards the medical condition.
Overall, the mental health of people living with the virus depends on how the members of the public accept them, and these members of the public have to be reorientated on how to treat PWHIV.