DOs and DON'Ts in the Family of an HIV + Person
Note: JAPANetwork would like to thank Dr. I.S. Gilada who has graciously allowed us to use his article on our homepage, in the hope that it will bring needed information to both students, teachers and caregivers here in Japan.
Dr. I. S. Gilada is a Consulting Physician in HIV/AIDS and Managing Director
of the UNISON MEDICARE & Research Centre, Alibhai Premji Road,
Bombay-400007; which is India's first and the only Comprehensive HIV/AIDS
Clinic established for investigations, counseling, medical care and the
holistic management of people with HIV/AIDS.
DOs & DON'Ts in THE FAMILY OF THE INFECTED PERSON:
by Dr. I. S. Gilada
The bottom line in DOs and DON'Ts is that you must treat the infected person, the way you would like to be treated if you were infected with HIV. Make all possible efforts to reduce the pain, agony in the infected person and to increase his/her life span. Provide him/her honour and dignity in living and dying.
- Do sympathise and empathise the infected person.
- Do provide family and social support.
- Do allow the infected person to be a part of the family in true sense, as he/she was prior to the disclosure of the infection.
- Do allow the infected person to get back to job/ business as soon as he/she is physically fit. Remember HIV infection doesn't require special rest.
- Do keep the infected person engaged in some activities as an Empty mind is devil's workshop.
- Do provide good nutrition with high protein high vitamin diet.
- Do provide clean potable water at home or outside (boiled water or Zeroed
- Do allow the infected person to join any self-help group like 'Positive People'.
- Do register the infected person with a health care facility (with name or anonymously) for regular checks and follow up.
- Do dispose blood stained tampons and bandages properly, either by flush
or by disinfecting them first with any detergent.
- Do forgive the infected person for his infection.
- Do grant permission to die to a terminally ill infected person and share their responsibility.
- Do foster care the children of infected person or the AIDS orphans.
- Do fight the discrimination of the infected person by the hospitals, doctors, work places. It is your right to fight!
- Do ask the infected person to use safer sex (condom) with the sex partner.
- Do seek psychiatrists or counselor's intervention inn the event of infected person developing any suicidal tendency or irrelevant behaviour.
- Do seek the help of 'Semen Bank' or Cryo Banking for pregnancy in an uninfected female partner of infected person.
- Do make or pursue making a 'will' of an infected person at an appropriate time.
- Do encourage the infected person to exercise and do meditation, that helps prolong the life span.
- Do make efforts to reduce the stress of the infected person.
- Do make efforts to get peaceful sleep in infected person.
- Do make efforts to stops all addictions in the infected person such as tobacco, smoking, alcohol or other psychotropic or recreational drugs.
- Do prevent TB in infected person with proper medical guidance.
- Do review and re-decide about the engagement/ marriage in the pipeline.
- Do prevent the infected person from becoming introvert and make them speak up or open up.
- Do use home remedies for any ailments which you know can benefit the patient and think don't have any side-effects.
- Do take immediate steps to treat even minor ailments. However it is not necessary to disclose your patient's HIV status to the family physician.
- Do take measures to educate other family members and friend circle about HIV/AIDS, if they already know the HIV status of your patient.
- Don't be judgmental and/ or moral about the infected person.
- Don't accuse the infected person for getting infected, it doesn't help.
- Don't try to probe in when, how, where the person was infected.
- Don't blame god, fate, luck for infection.
- Don't make the infected person feel guilty.
- Don't isolate the person in family.
- Don't separate/ divorce the infected person from the spouse. In fact spouse is the best support and companion the infected person.
- Don't keep the infected person away from his/her children. It is better to provide opportunity to more parenting hours to children and being loved by them.
- Don't use gloves in feeding the infected person or to wipe off his saliva, sweet, nasal secreations and tears.
- Don't share razors, tooth brush and other sharp objects with infected
person or for that matter with any body else.
- Don't take blood from infected person for transfusion.
- Don't wash the clothes of infected person separately.
- Don't disclose the HIV positive status of infected person to your relatives, neighbours, friends, employer, community leaders, insurance company.
- Don't insist on getting a child out of infected women, in an act of
emotional black-mail or to safe-guard the superstitions.
- Don't insist on infected male member to impregnate his uninfected wife.
- Don't humiliate the infected person and/or his/ her spouse, children.
- Don't scare the infected person of suffering and death. Do prepare the
person for a smooth journey to death during the terminal illness.
- Don't irritate the infected person.
- Don't get trapped in fake cures or fake claims.
- Don't get trapped in the witch-hunters, faith healers.
- Don't make trips or travels to people who have claimed cures, and wait
for the declaration of a NOBEL Price for a real cure.
- Don't make the infected person guinea-pig for irrational trials of drugs.
- Don't spend all the available money limit in the first bout of illness, it may be the first of such illnesses in the pipeline. Make a proper planning of your spending and capability.
- Don't take many relatives to the patients admitted in the hospital.
- Don't take unnecessary transfusions of intravenous fluids and blood and
don't visit doctors unnecessarily.
- Don't do repeated testings for HIV once the presence of infection is already established, as the same remains positive forever.
Hon.Secretary Indian Health Organisation,
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