How to Seek HIV Support Groups Near Me

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hiv support groups Finding out that you are HIV positive can be one of the scariest and most confusing moments of your life. You have questions about what and how, and you are often surrounded by people who cannot answer those questions for you. For this reason, HIV support groups are often the most therapeutic and effective method of handling your diagnosis.

The vast number of support groups available makes finding one easy, but it also may feel overwhelming. There are clinical support groups, religious support groups, and even online support groups. This variety allows you to determine which type of group will be the best fit for your needs.

There are key characteristics to look for in a support group. The most important aspect of a support group is a sense of confidentiality. A support group that you cannot trust makes opening up difficult and discouraging. Secondly, a support group should be sympathetic to your fear and emotions. The group should pass no judgement or make you feel as if you are unwelcome to share your feelings- that’s what a support group is there for! Next, the support group should be able to provide you with personal and professional advice and resources. Sometimes personal stories make the diagnosis seem less daunting and easier to face. Personal advice can come in the form of encouragement or in the form of knowledge about how to approach your treatment options. Professional resources should also be made available by a good support group so that an individual may seek psychological counseling and find the best treatment option, often recommended by the members of the group. Finally, you should find a support group with people with like interests. It is easier to open up to people that are like you and it allows you to connect with them on a more intimate level so that you may open yourself up to ask difficult questions and share sensitive emotions and thoughts.

Clinical support groups often focus on self-help and health awareness. They most often provide group members with a broad array of treatment options and stick to the logistics of the illness. Religious support groups may be appealing to those who are part of or would like to become a part of a certain religious group. Religious groups often emphasize healing through a religious deity and utilize prayer as a source of comfort and stability. Lastly, online groups are known for their anonymity and secrecy. Nobody knows your true identity and nobody can target you for your illness. Online support groups often operate 24/7 and can be accessed at anytime for questions or for those who need encouragement.

Every state also has its own HIV and AIDS Hotline that you can connect. Project Inform can also be contacted at or at (800) 822-7422. These hotlines are options for quick answers and can provide you with information about support groups. Being diagnosed with HIV should not be discouraging. Rather, it should be a learning experience that opens individuals up to healing and support from others.

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