Lived experience of HIV

Learning that you are HIV-positive can be one of the most difficult experiences you go through in life. You may feel scared, sad or even angry – this is OK, and a completely natural part of coping with something that can be life changing. But remember, HIV doesn’t have to stop you living a long, happy and fulfilling life. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to live as long as the average person. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be living with HIV. Ultimately, everyone’s lives are different – how you cope with your diagnosis and how you move forward will be unique. It is a principle, which advocates for the active and meaningful participation of people living with HIV in the design, research and development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all policies and programmers that affect their lives. The participation and leadership of people living with HIV in shaping the way we think about HIV and in guiding the work we do increases the quality of our work and contributes to the goals we are trying to achieve.

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