Helping Someone with HIV
Helping Someone with HIV



Getting support from people like you—family, friends, and partners—can make a big difference for someone living with HIV.


Check in with an ASO in your area to see if they have a support group for caregivers. They’ll also help you find emotional support and counseling, and programs that can connect you to other important resources. Look for support closer to home, too. Maybe there’s a relative or friend who’d like to help out.


Helping someone with HIV can be rewarding, but very stressful, too. Aside from giving emotional support, you may be helping them figure out how to work through the medical system. Know your own limits and when to take time for yourself.


It’s really important for you and your loved one or friend to know as much as you can about HIV/AIDS—like what HIV is and how treatment can help stop it from getting worse. It’s a big responsibility, but you’ll see the difference you make. Learn the basics of HIV here.


1. Motivation

Help motivate your loved one/friend with HIV by reminding them that they can live a healthy life by taking care of themselves.

2. Treatment

To help make sure your loved one/friend lives a healthy life, one of the best things you can do is to help them start and stay on treatment. Treatment is now recommended for anyone with HIV, even if their CD4+ T-cell count is healthy.

3. Stability

If you see that your loved one/friend has an unstable lifestyle, talk to an ASO Professional. Having stability helps with keeping appointments and staying on medication.

4. Set up a special folder or envelope

Help your loved one/friend put all their medical information in one place and keep it safe. (Make a copy of everything if you can in case it gets lost.) If they can put the information on a computer and print it out for appointments, that's even better.

5. Appointment schedule

Make sure your loved one/friend has a calendar to mark down any appointments with healthcare providers and ASO Professionals. It’s especially important for them to go for their lab tests, usually every 3 to 6 months.

6. Medication schedule

When a loved one/friend is on HIV treatment, they have to take that medication exactly as the healthcare provider instructed. Help them set up reminders for themselves. Have them talk to their doctor/pharmacist about using a pill holder with days of the week, so they can see right away if they took their meds for the day. And if they’re having a hard time staying on their medication, encourage them to tell their healthcare provider right away.


Finding out that someone you care about has HIV can be very hard for you both. That’s why you need to find expert support as early as possible. Use our ASO locator below to find resources in your area.

Find HIV resources in your area.