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Volunteer!!!!

Don't sell your experience living with HIV short (both the good and the bad) chances are very good there is someone out there looking for the guidance and advice you might be able to give.

Most organizations that assist people living with HIV are strapped for cash and welcome volunteers with the ability to help out. Here are a few places to start looking for a position:

  • First, look to your local AIDS Service Organization (ASO). In larger cities, some ASOs might be well staffed but if they don't have a current position that fits, they can probably refer you to another ASO that may be in need.

  • If you are religious or spiritual (or would like to be) looking into helping out at Faith-Based or Church-Based Organization might be a good route to take. Many of these organizations have both in-house and outreach programs that need staff.

  • Many ethnic communities, especially in larger cities, have Community Based Organizations that operate like ASOs and Faith-Based Organizations. If you feel more comfortable with members of your own ethnicity, or feel that the need is greater serving people of your own ethnicity, a Community Based Organization like that might be what you're looking for.

The ways volunteering helps others is obvious but here are some ways becoming a volunteer can benefit you personally:

Volunteering can increase your self-confidence, self-esteem and help with a more positive outlook on life. Because you are doing something good for others with HIV, you can feel a sense of accomplishment and take pride in what you’ve done.
For many people with HIV, the feeling of being alone with nobody to talk to is one of the worst aspects. Being a volunteer puts you in contact with people who share a common thread.

If you've been depressed and alone or if your peer group has put you in a downward spiral, most people that volunteer are positive and energetic. These are the types of people that you can benefit from associating with - especially if you are trying to get a new set of friends in an effort to get clean or sober or just want to start a more positive lifestyle.

Studies have shown that volunteering and keeping busy can help prevent poor health. This is especially beneficial when you are HIV positive. People who volunteer often live longer than those who don’t, even when factors such as gender, physical health, and socioeconomic status are taken into account.

Another thing that nearly 100% of our Positive Profile people have told us is to "Get educated." Whether you're mentoring, involved in peer-to-peer counseling or involved with support groups. When you're involved with others who are HIV positive, you can't help but learn more about HIV and learn from their experiences.

So what are you waiting for? The opportunities are out there - Get started!

 

 

Copyright 2017, Positive Health Publications, Inc.


This magazine is intended to enhance your relationship with your doctor - not replace it! Medical treatments and products should always be discussed with a licensed physician who has experience treating HIV and AIDS!