Living with HIV in Times of COVID-19
As a person living with HIV, we understand that you may have concerns about your health and safety in these difficult times. There is currently no indication that people living with HIV who are immunologically stable are more susceptible to the new coronavirus. Nonetheless, it is an extremely serious disease and we must all take extra measures in this period to minimize exposure and avoid getting infected by the virus.
Just like everyone else, you must maintain proper hygiene at all times. Wash your hands with soap and water more frequently, make use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, avoid touching your face, and keep a reasonable distance from anyone who you think is ill or might have a fever.
Because of the possibility of a shortage of drugs generally, you should have at least a one-month supply of antiretroviral treatment in order not to compromise the status of your immune system. In the event that more ARVs are required or you become ill, reach out to your health care provider as soon as possible.
While stocking up on ARVs, remember that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is essential in a serodiscordant relationship. If you are locked down with your partner, it is important that they use PrEP regularly to maintain a long and healthy relationship.
We know there has been a lot of cooking, eating and snacking since the lockdown began. So do all you possibly can to eat healthily and up your vitamin intake. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy snack bars!
Finally, keep up with the latest updates on the new coronavirus from accurate sources at your own pace. Don’t let the situation get to you. Take care of your mental health and explore new ways to de-stress.
Remember, we are in this together.
For the most accurate info on COVID-19, text “COVID” to 0041798931892 or chat with the WHO chatbot on Facebook.
You can check out all our suggested helplines here.