Living with HIV
Living with HIV in Finland
In Finland, there are about 200 new HIV diagnoses annually. During the past 30 years, over 3,300 persons have been diagnosed with HIV. As treatments have developed, people living with HIV can live an almost entirely regular life.
A diagnosed HIV infection is always a turning point in the client’s life. The first stage always involves a lot of questions, uncertainty and learning to live with a chronic disease. All people with the infection experience their disease differently. For some, the first phase and learning about one’s illness can be hard to accept, whereas someone else might find it relieving to get an affirmation for their suspicions and to receive good care.
For the most part, a person who has been diagnosed with HIV can continue with their work or their studies normally. HIV is not transmitted in any everyday situations, so people living with HIV can continue to socialise and act with their families and friends and their hobbies just as before. People living with HIV can date and have families. Thanks to effective medical treatment, people living with HIV can live their lives without any symptoms. The advancement of the infection can usually be stopped with medical treatment.
However, uncertainty and outdated information on the contagiousness of HIV and the commonness of HIV risks prevail among the general public. Many people have faulty or insufficient information on HIV, which may lead to prejudice against people living with HIV.
Help and support in questions in the different stages of HIV is offered, among others, by Hivpoint, HIV Finland association and the doctors or nurses at your local infection disease or internal medicine outpatient clinic. You don’t have to stay alone and seek information by yourself after receiving the diagnosis – we are here to help.
How can we help?
Hivpoint offers support services for people living with HIV and their close ones.
The support services include individual support and crisis discussions in situations where a person living with HIV, their family member, or a close one feels they need support in treating or living with the disease. The form of support can vary from matters related to HIV, discrimination, couple and family relations and health or sexual counselling, depending on the situation.
Hivpoint offers the following services:
• health counselling
• adaptation training courses
• other forms of group and peer support activities
In addition to client appointments and peer support activities, guidance and support is offered through phone counselling. To get started, call our helpline +358 207 465 705 Mon-Thu between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
All services provided by Hivpoint are free of charge, anonymous and confidential. Services are currently offered in Finnish and English. If you feel more comfortable speaking another language, we can also arrange for an interpreter.
Counselling and Support Discussions
People living with HIV are offered the opportunity to discuss different matters related to living with HIV with the employees of Hivpoint.
In addition to the infection itself, being diagnosed with HIV can raise many sorts of questions: Whom should I tell about my infection, and how? How will HIV affect my relationship and sex life? Can I have children? Will HIV affect my career choices and do I have to tell my coworkers about my infection?
These and many other questions can be discussed confidentially with the employees of Hivpoint, either in person at our offices or on the phone.
Also family members and close ones of people living with HIV may receive counselling and support.
Contact the personnel of Hivpoint at the number +358 207 465 705 Mon–Thu from 10 am to 3.30 pm.