Coronavirus Disease or COVID-19 is a serious disease that all people living with HIV must take precautionary measures to lessen their exposure and prevent the infection. In the general population, people with HIV and lung or heart problems and older people living with HIV may be at a higher risk of COVID-19. They are most likely to suffer more serious symptoms as well.
Precautions that people living with HIV must follow to prevent COVID-19 infection:
- Cover your mouth and nose using a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean hands more than usual using water and soap.
- When you are ill, stay at home.
- Avoid close contact in people who has a cough or fever.
- Wear a medical mask if you are ill and stay far from other people.
- Know how to contact your clinic if you need medical advice.
- You must have a 30-day supply of your needed medical supplies on hand.
- Known how to access treatment and other supports your community.
- Various countries have not allowed having loner prescriptions. Be in touch with your healthcare provider as early as possible.
- Discuss with your family or friends on how to support each other if social distancing is implemented. You can make an alternate arrangement within your community for medicines, foods, or care for your pets.
- You can help others in your community and make sure that they also have an adequate supply of essential prescriptions.
- Check with your local authorities on how you can reach people living with HIV by electronic means. Make a plan for social media connections or telephone if public measures call for people to stay at home.
Support Yourself And Others
This outbreak may cause anxiety and fear. Everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves and connect with loved ones. People living with HIV and their communities have decades of experience of resilience, thriving and surviving. They can also draw in their rich shared history to support their families and communities in this time of crisis. Pay attention to your mental well-being by;
- Taking care of your body: Meditate, stretch, or take deep breaths. Try to eat a well-balanced meal, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. Wherever possible, avoid as well as drugs and alcohol.
- Avoid being excessively exposed: Avoid being exposed to media coverage about COVID-19. Read information from trusted sources only.
- Making time to unwind: Remind yourself to let negative feelings fade. Take breaks from reading, watching, listening to new stories. It’s upsetting to hear the same stories about crises repeatedly. You may try doing some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
Know Your Rights And Stop Stigma
- Your access to education, healthcare, and workplace may be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak if social distancing is implemented in your community. Find out your rights and make sure that you and your community are prepared.
- Discrimination and stigma is a barrier to an effective response to COVID-19. This is a time where discrimination, stigma, and racism can be directed against groups considered to be affected.