During counseling, a qualified counselor
helps you cope with or change your thoughts, feelings, or behaviors regarding
HIV infection. Your family and caregivers may also
benefit from counseling.
Sessions may be individual or as part of a group.
There are several types of counseling:
The choice of counseling is based on your individual needs,
background, and symptoms.
The effectiveness of counseling
varies. Some people respond very well. Others find minimal relief. Studies
suggest that counseling can effectively treat people who have HIV and who also have
problems with depression.
Counseling sometimes includes becoming a
member of a support group. Support groups are often good places to share
information, problem-solving tips, and emotions related to HIV infection. The
organizations listed in the Other Places to Get Help section of the topic Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection often sponsor support groups for people
who test positive for HIV as well as for their caregivers and friends. Contact
one of these organizations to find the support group nearest you.
There are no known risks.
Select a therapist who is trained
and experienced in treating people who have HIV infection.
Counseling may be expensive, depending on the type of therapy and the
provider. Check with your health plan to determine whether coverage for
counseling is provided.
For more information, see the topic
Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.
April 5, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
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