Kelly's Blog

What makes a long term HIV survivor?

Posted in General, Quality of Life on Friday, September 10th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment


We have been hard at work here at doing research and creating new materials on quality of  life issues for HIV.

I am most concerned about our ability to effectively use the knowledge that is available right now about how to live with HIV. It’s not that we don’t know what we should do – there is no shortage of great fact sheets and pamphlets about HIV and how to treat it, live with it, and minimize its effects. So why do so many really struggle with HIV and don’t have a good quality of life?

Terry Wilder from wrote an article last year that shared the eight characterists of long term survivors. I think that her work bears repeating so we can understand more about what we all need to do to both lengthen and improve our lives.

Here are her eight characteristics of long term survivors:

♦They are realistic and accept their diagnosis and do not take it as a death sentence.

♦They have a fighting spirit and refuse to be helpless/hopeless.

♦They have changed lifestyles.

♦They are assertive and have the ability to get out of stressful and unproductive situations.

♦They are tuned into their own psychological and physical needs — and they take care of them.

♦They are able to talk openly about their illness.

♦They have a sense of personal responsibility for their health, and look at the treating health care provider as a collaborator.

♦They are altruistically involved with other persons with HIV.

It seems to come down to the concept of mindfulness or a calm awareness of one’s body functions, feelings, and consciousness itself.  You’ve got to know what it going on within you, around you, and because of you. And you’ve got to own it.

Now the question becomes: How do we help ourselves and others make changes in both behavior and beliefs to increase the odds of long term survival? We have some ideas here, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

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One Response to “What makes a long term HIV survivor?”

  • obmode says:

    the hiv aids story is being rewritten – – it turns out that co-factors are required for AIDS – you gotta see this film – and then watch it again until you really get it – understanding the situation will help everyone to accurately treat people

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