The new year is a year of doing new things, meeting new people, starting new resolutions. Maybe this new year can be brought in with a little cautiousness. Instead of the usual resolutions that we might forget in the coming month. Let us look at the POZ community for a ninja-level self-care plan 2020.
In recent times people have become more prone to taking health and self-care very seriously. It has become such an important part of life. Especially those that are HIV positive. The life span of HIV positive people is almost the same as those that are HIV-negative.
Studies have shown that with good access to medical care, growing facilities for HIV treatment and giving a little importance to self-care, a person with HIV can have a similar like expectancy to that of an HIV negative person.
Well, we have a few resolutions for you this year to achieve a higher life expectancy. They are doable and not very hard to follow.
1. Test your self.
HIV testing is essential to slow the spread of infection. It is better to know the status before so it is easier to get it treated at an earlier stage. Many people still do not know if they are infected. This, in turn, increases the risk of infecting others. The CDC recommends yearly HIV testing. Especially for those who have unprotected oral or anal sex with more than one sexual partner. And/or men who have sex with other men. It is also recommended for those who use IV drugs like steroids or hormones or have been diagnosed with tuberculosis or any other sexually transmitted diseases.
There is also some test yourself at-home kits that you can use to determine the status of HIV. All you have to do is follow the instructions carefully.
2. New Year in moderation.
This is that time of the year where you tend to do things that are over the top. It is tempting to do it all in one night. Maybe wanting to indulge in that cheeseburger or partying with that boy whos in town. Whether you are positive or negative, let’s take things slow. You don’t have to have it all in one night. You can indulge but maybe take a few breaks in between those indulgences. Eat healthy, detox and include loads of exercise. This one might get tempting but add this to your resolutions list. It is better to be safe than sorry.
3. Exercise makes a lot of difference.
Whether HIV positive or no, exercising make a lot of difference to life expectancy. Exercising does not always mean having to join a gym. There are many other ways to keep fit. Maybe try a sport that you love. Or any other physical activity. Make it a regular habit to indulge in it often.
Let us talk inspiration for those that don’t seem too interested.
Michael Zalnasky was diagnosed with HIV at a very late stage. He had lost 90 pounds and had progressed into AIDS. After stabilizing on balanced medication he moved to Florida and started cycling. He has been thriving ever since. He also founded the AIDS HIV Survivor Living Memorial. A gallery on social media for those who are thriving with HIV/AIDS.
4. Don’t be ashamed to talk and listen.
Not everyone is open to talking about their situations. Maybe this new year you should be able to talk it out. It is kind of a skill to talk and learn about your HIV status. Look for inspiration and information or community support if needed. Have a look at the Living Fiercely With HIV section of Healthline. It is a platform where people share their stories, experiences, stories of honesty, courage. It gives people hope and encouragement and a sense of belonging.
5. Let’s hit the gym.
Adding this one to the list of resolutions might not be the worst thing. Gym memberships usually are ignored after a point of time. But once you get regular it becomes a part of your daily routine. Make this a point and you can have a much healthier lifestyle. Let us look at an inspiration again.
Raif Derrazi took his HIV diagnosis seven years ago. He then decided he would become a bodybuilder. His Instagram handle is all about education and overall physical and mental health. His HIV status is now undetectable and untransmittable. You will find his handle as well as many others that can inspire and motivate you to do the same.
Once you get into the habit of your resolutions there is nothing that can stop you. It eventually becomes a part of your routine. And once it does, it is hard to get rid of it. It makes you healthier and increases once life expectancy.
Get going and make a difference. It can help you and others around you.
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