While things have gotten better in recent years, there is still an unnecessary stigma around living with HIV or AIDS. This stigma means that people may be reluctant to disclose their HIV positive status to others around them, for fear that people will not understand. As HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is not spread through casual contact, people may feel that it is not important for others to know that they are HIV positive.
Why Wear Medical ID If You Are HIV Positive?
Medical ID, such as a medial alert bracelet or medical ID necklace, can discretely tell those who need to know about a medical condition, such as HIV/AIDS, or another condition that you may have developed secondary to HIV or AIDS, such as certain cancers common to people with AIDS, or related dementias. This information, including medicines you take like chemotherapy, in addition to antiretroviral drugs, can be critical for a first responder in an emergency, to understand your health history.
As well, while first responders should always wear gloves when responding to an emergency situation, in the heat of an emergency or accident, mistakes happen—if responders see a medical ID, they will not treat you any differently, but they may take extra precautions.
For your own health, if you are unable to speak for yourself, an HIV/AIDS medical ID bracelet or necklace will ensure that your proper treatment is continued while you are treated or hospitalized. Keeping a wallet card with dosing schedules for any medications, such as antiretroviral medicines, can be helpful if you are unconscious or unresponsive, especially if this continues for a number of days. You know that keeping your medicine on schedule is important to staying healthy, and it’s important that your care team in a hospital be aware of this and continue giving your medication as directed.
Wearing HIV/AIDS medical ID jewelry is not just a way for you to communicate in an emergency if you need to, it is also a smart step to protect both your own health and others as well.
Speak out: Share your story.
The reality is, the way that we can decrease stigma is if people share their own personal stories of living with HIV/AIDS. People live long healthy lives with HIV-positive status, and if people around you know that you, too, have HIV, and learn about the realities of the virus, they will hopefully reframe how they see HIV in their minds. Sharing your story, if you are comfortable, can help not just you feel more at ease, but your community! Sharing a fact sheet, blog post, or other reputable information about HIV/AIDS with your friends, coworkers, or others in your community may be a good way to start helping people better understand.
Wearing HIV-positive medical jewelry is a tough choice, but a good one. Check out our selection here.