HIV Support on the Web
HIV Support Is a Click Away
An HIV diagnosis can leave you confused, frightened, and filled with questions. In addition to support from your doctor and family, you can turn to virtual support.
HIV forums, online groups, and Facebook pages can provide answers to your questions. They’ll give you advice on how to cope and a venue to express your fears and frustrations.
Here are some of our favorite online sources that offer the emotional comfort and strength you need to tackle this disease head on.
TeenAids-PeerCorps (TA-PC) is a non-profit organization that focuses on HIV prevention and education among teens and young adults. Dr. John B. Chittick, the site moderator, is an internationally recognized expert on public health issues with a focus on teens and HIV/AIDS.
The Teen Advice Column and Ask Dr. John sections give teens the opportunity to ask any HIV or AIDS-related question. Or, you can browse archived questions and answers.
POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums
POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums was started in 2000 to provide people living with HIV/AIDS, their caregivers, and loved ones with a wealth of information on the disease.
The goal of the forums is to empower patients and their families through up-to-date information that’s comprehensive, yet easy to understand. Topics include mental health and HIV, nutrition and HIV, women diagnosed with HIV, and long-term survivors of HIV.
In addition to the moderated forums, personal profiles and a private, peer-to-peer mentoring program is available.
HIV Awareness: Healthline
In 2013, we created the HIV Awareness Facebook page with the goal to help educate, empower, and inspire those living with HIV.
Our latest campaign, You’ve Got This, encouraged the community to share their experiences of being diagnosed. It’s meant to reassure the over two million who have been recently diagnosed that it’s not a death sentence.
Join our Facebook page for updates on the latest developments in research, HIV topics trending in the news, and to gain a new perspective on your condition.
Let’s Stop HIV Together
Let’s Stop HIV Together is a campaign run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV-positive individuals come together to share their personal stories and remove the stigma of HIV by putting a face to the disease.
Let’s Stop HIV Together wants to spread the word that HIV doesn’t discriminate against age, race, ethnicity, or gender. Videos and written personal accounts are posted online to show that real people—mothers, fathers, siblings, professionals, students, the young, and the old—can get HIV.
PatientsLikeMe was founded in 2004 by brothers Benjamin and James Heywood and their longtime friend Jeff Cole. It’s a health data-sharing platform that’s meant to improve the way patients manage their disease.
You can share what symptoms you’re experiencing, the severity of your symptoms, and the treatments you’re undergoing. The information is then converted into charts so you can compare your experience with others. You can also sign up to chat online with others living with HIV.
HIVAidsTribe is a community meant to bring those living with HIV together to share stories and form friendships. In addition to connecting with others in the forum section, members have access to a variety of useful other tools.
Email and instant message other members, participate in discussion groups, and create a personal profile page. You can even manage your friends and favorites groups, and vote in member-generated polls.
HIV Stops With Me
Since its inception in 2000, the mission of the HIV Stops With Me (HSWM) Facebook page is to prevent the spread of HIV and to remove the stigma often associated with being HIV positive.
HIV-positive spokespeople deliver educational video messages and prevention tips. Each spokesperson tells a personal story about how they persevere and thrive despite having HIV. Spokespeople also engage in online discussions to address real issues affecting the HIV community.
You’re Not Alone
Far too many people who are diagnosed with HIV needlessly live in fear, isolation, and shame. With the help of reputable, informative, and compassionate online support, no one has to battle this disease alone.
The experts and patients you’ll encounter on these forums, groups, and Facebook pages will inspire, encourage, guide you, and even make you smile.
- HIV/AIDS: Online Q&A. (2013, October). World Health Organization. Retrieved October 24, 2013 from http://www.who.int/features/qa/71/en/