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- Peer support may help with coping with the challenges of living with HIV.
- Online support groups provide a convenient way to connect with others at a distance.
- It’s important to discuss any medical information from online support resources with a doctor or medical professional.
Peer support may help those with HIV cope with the challenges of living with this condition.
- improve quality of life
- relieve physical symptoms
- reduce anxiety and depression
- decrease sleeping difficulties
- make it easier to stick to prescribed treatment
If it’s difficult or inconvenient to attend an HIV support group in person, an online support group or other support resources may help.
Many online support resources are available to help people with HIV connect with others with this condition. Learn where to find online support for people with HIV.
POZ Community Forums is a discussion board that allows people with HIV and loved ones to share information and support on topics such as:
- daily living
- community resources
Access the forums at any time of day to share questions and stories or to respond to posts from others.
The forums are moderated, and users may be banned for making inappropriate posts or sharing inaccurate medical advice.
Keep in mind that others can see posts, so choose a username wisely to remain anonymous if needed.
Therapy Tribe is an online community that offers support to people coping with mental health and wellness concerns, including HIV.
The HIV/AIDS Tribe offers a space to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Take part in discussion forums, send and receive friend requests, and find a variety of wellness tools.
The Well Project is a nonprofit organization for girls and women living with HIV.
The organization hosts multiple moderated forums where girls and women around the world can connect to share information and support.
Visitors can read about the experiences of others on the organization’s blogs, including A Girl Like Me in English or the Spanish version, Una Chica Como Yo.
Positive Peers is an online app for teenagers and young adults ages 13 to 34.
It helps youth with HIV find information and tools for managing the condition. It also helps them connect with other youth who have HIV.
Users need a smartphone and email address to register for the app.
People with HIV have an increased risk of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
Doctors may recommend medication, talk therapy, or a combination to treat mental health conditions.
It may also be helpful to join a support group for people experiencing mental health challenges. The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers in-person and virtual support groups in many states. Check for nearby support groups with the NAMI Connection search tool.
Many groups on Facebook and other social media platforms share information and connect people living with HIV.
One example is Healthline’s HIV Awareness Facebook group.
Social media groups are asynchronous, which means comments are posted at any time. Some groups also offer live videos or virtual events about specific topics and connections with others.
Some social media groups are run by medical professionals or patient advocacy organizations, while others are run by individuals. Choosing to join a group or multiple groups depends on preference.
A licensed therapist or counselor can help develop coping strategies to manage the social and mental health challenges that may come with HIV.
Some counselors lead group therapy sessions for multiple people at once.
Online group therapy sessions allow members to share experiences and hear from others who are facing similar challenges while getting support from a trained professional.
Some counselors run group therapy sessions using online apps such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Citrix.
Doctors can provide a referral, or an online search for group therapy will turn up results. Some companies such as BetterHealth and Grouport help to connect people with therapists who offer online sessions, including group therapy.
Sometimes, you may need to talk with someone right away.
If you have questions about HIV, call the CDC Info hotline at 800-232-4636 or click here to find your state’s HIV hotline.
If you need immediate help or you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Calls made to these hotlines are anonymous.
Connecting with others who have similar experiences may help those with HIV feel less alone. It may help improve mood, quality of life, and ability to manage the condition.
Online support groups and other resources provide a convenient way to connect with others at a distance. From chat boards to social media and more, there are a variety of options to consider.
It’s important to discuss any medical information received through online support resources with a doctor. Another person’s advice may not be accurate or the best fit.
Talk with a doctor or medical professional for additional information and support resources.