Self-esteem is an important part
of staying healthy! This may sound
kind of "out there", but
its true! Lots of HIV-positive
youth have problems with self-esteem.
After finding out youre HIV-positive
doesn't do much to boost your self-image.
Actually, finding out often does the
opposite. The real challenge is often
to believe you are valuable and worth
I dont think about the
future. I feel stuck in a rut, I dont
know what will happen tomorrow and,
to be honest, I dont care. I
dont feel like Im worth
Finding out I had HIV made me
really doubt myself and I lost my
pride as a gay man.
"When I found out, I just wanted
to stay in my house and never have
sex again. I have now been working
through these feelings with a therapist,
and I've come to the conclusion that
even though I have HIV, I deserve
the same life as my friends. I wont
let my spirit die. For all my flaws,
brokenness, and mistakes, I dont
want to miss out on life."
Guilt is usually the reason people
start to feel worthless. But guilt
does not lead to a quality lifegood
self-esteem does. Somehow you need
to learn to work through the guilt,
forgive yourself (if there is indeed
something to feel guilty about), and
move on to feeling good enough about
yourself that you make and want to
keep yourself healthy and enjoying
Low self-esteem can stop people from
taking the most basic care of themselves.
Low self-esteem can shorten life,
because if you don't believe in yourself
or love yourself you are not going
to do the things you need to do to
stay alive and well.
It doesn't matter how you got HIV.
Everyone has to face the same challenge
of learning to live with it and doing
everything possible to stay healthy
or get healthy. Your life is worth
fighting for! You are important and
need to believe in yourself, in your
worth, and in your right to have full,
long lifein spite of all the
hard things you may be dealing with.
If you are struggling with self-esteem
issues, get help! Find a therapist,
a pastoral counselor, a doctor, or
even a good, loving friend, and get
the help you need to lift your self-esteem.
[Check out the Getting
Help section for more information
about places you can go in your area