D R . E L R O I


Thursday, July 10, 2008

From Diagnosis to Acceptance 4

In the last phase, which is the rebuilding phase, the healthy HIV positive person accepts his status, with all its consequences and continues with life. Whether a person ever reaches this stage will depend on his own internal coping skills and his support structure.

The first move towards acceptance is to realize: I am still here! The person realizes that he is HIV positive but is not going today or next month.... and has a life and family and people around. The person can make the choice to remain sorry for him or herself or can start to live and love again. This implies that he starts to appreciate life and live it to the full, appreciating every small detail life can offer!

One of the biggest problems of HIV and AIDS being a slow but progressive disease is that the infected person loses the will or ability to dream about the future. The challenge is to think beyond next year - to think what you would like to do with your life if you were not HIV positive.

On hearing that they are HIV positive, a person might start to "eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die!" But as you accept the fact that you have a life-threatening illness, you change this into a healthy lifestyle - not fatalism but of appreciating life and the people around you.

Currently, I am in this phase of my life and I am so happy that I have accepted the Lord as my personal Lord and Savior. God has turned this nightmare into a beautiful dream that is gradually becoming a reality. I have prayed for a ministry and God has given it to me. Being an advocate for HIV and AIDS and de-stigmatization and promoting Christian living to stop the spread of HIV is an honor for me and I am happy where I am now. God is truly working on my life now and walking beside me every step of the way. Yes, there are still struggles but with the Lord, I can take control of them and not the other way around. Teaching HIV & AIDS and de-stigmatization to faith or church leaders is a wonderful experience and a privilege to me as well. I'll talk about it next time.

Source: "Channels of Hope" workshop manual.

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