HIV: Making it through the Festive Season 

The festive season is a time when many people relax. People also usually consume more than their usual intake of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol affects your ability to exercise competent judgement. These poor decisions often lead to a loss of inhibitions. This can, in turn, then lead to unprotected intercourse.

By Cindy Pivacic.


The festive dangers

Poor decisions can lead to contracting a sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancies, substance abuse and other life-changing factors. Don’t allow yourself to be in a position to be influenced by friends. Remember your moral values and responsibilities to yourself and others. Not only should HIV- negative people be alert to their lifestyle, but HIV-positive people should be aware too. Stay on your guard and do not allow the festivities around us to affect our mindset.

The festive isolation

Many of us cannot travel, some have to work, and others may not have a family anymore. It is human nature to compare our situation to other people’s. This thought process is a trap for everyone, but it is especially so for PLWHIV. This may remind them of what they have lost to HIV or of the deep, supportive relationships they may have never had. Being alone over this period tends to be isolating. 

Plan your time 

Plan an activity with someone every day. If they are not available, take yourself out! Go for a walk, hike, beach day, lovely meal, a real movie with the works, popcorn, chocolate and a beverage. I often take myself out as I don’t have many family members near me, and friends are not always available. I do activities that please me. Give it a try sometime.

Additional Activities:

  • Go to a concert
  • Visit a museum
  • Read a book in a park
  • People watch (take a picnic bag to avoid looking creepy, lol)
  • Try a new workout class
  • Have a spa day
  • Take a drive/train to somewhere new and brunch it out at your destination
  • Dance in the forest like nobody’s watching
  • Volunteer at a children’s home, SPCA or at an old age home
  • Play putt-putt
  • Complete a random act of kindness
  • Explore your town/city like a tourist

Self-care during the season

The festive season is, without a doubt, a stressful time for many.  Through self-care and a conscious effort, you can enjoy this time if you go into the season with the right mindset. Ultimately, you are the creator of your happiness and wellbeing.

Be safe during the season

Reduce the number of HIV infections, be responsible and practice safety at all times. This action means using condoms and being faithful to one partner or abstaining. Whatever you do during this holiday period, do it responsibly and safely. Rather be safe than sorry – act responsibly and prevent regrets later in the year. 

Be Safe, and All the Best!

A chronic condition can affect anyone. How you manage it is what makes the difference.

You can get cover of up to 1 million rand for your chronic health condition and up to 10 million if you are living with HIV. 

SMS CHRONIC to 33857 to find out more. 

I did!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure, and is not a substitute for professional consultation with a health professional.

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