We believe that the best way to live better is by sharing real-world health experiences with each other, and today, PatientsLikeMe and aids.gov are encouraging everyone to share their own stories with HIV and AIDS. The theme of this year’s World Aids Day is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation,” and you can participate by reaching out and speaking with the global HIV/AIDS community.
If you’re wondering about HIV/AIDS, did you know that…
- Over 30 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, including over a million people in the United States1
- Many people with HIV don’t experience any symptoms until they progress toward AIDS, and as a result…1
- 1 in 5 Americans living with HIV/AIDS are unaware of their condition2
So, how can you do your part to raise awareness today (and beyond) and help people learn more about this condition? You can:
There are over 3,500 PatientsLikeMe members sharing their journey with HIV and AIDS in the community forums. Today, and every day, you can share your own story and help change the lives of others for good.
When you are diagnosed with a life-changing illness, your doctor may prepare you for how the disease will affect your physical functions. But as our members point out, patients also need to be prepared for the changes in physical appearance they may experience. For example, how do you deal with hair loss, facial swelling, weight gain, blotchy skin or other unexpected changes? Or get comfortable with the use of new equipment such as leg braces, walkers or wheelchairs that may attract attention? Most importantly, what can you do to still feel beautiful?
Here are some suggestions from members of our PatientsLikeMe Forum, where patients with different conditions come together to discuss universal issues:
- Using attractive scarves or hats to cover thinning hair or bald spots
- Experimenting with different cosmetics to see what works best
- Treating yourself to a spa manicure and pedicure as a pick-me-up
- Trying out different explanations for your new brace/walker/wheelchair when asked to see what feels right and what produces the most acceptable responses
- Soaking in a scented Epsom salt bath to ease pain and relax
- Consulting with a hair stylist about better styles for thinning hair
- Using gentle, non-drying facial cleansers and lotions
- Switching to an electric razor to improve ease and safety
- Donating your hair to Locks of Love to put a feel-good spin on it
Have you discovered other tricks to help you deal with a changing appearance? Join this ongoing discussion in our forum or share your experiences in the comments section.
- Filed Under: ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Conditions, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Multiple Sclerosis, Organ Transplants, Parkinson's Disease, Patient Experiences, Rare Diseases
- Tags: baldness, beauty tips for patients, blotchy skin, changes in physical appearance, facial swelling, feeling beautiful, hair loss, leg brace, patient tips, thinning hair, walker, weight gain, wheelchair