Many online groups can inform you about HIV and help you connect with a community of others with the condition. An online search is a good place to start, but it’s a good idea to research an organization before you connect with them. Some questions you might ask include:
- Does the site sell anything? If so, you may want to investigate the research behind the product.
- Do the claims sound outlandish or too good to be true? It may be good idea to ask your doctor about them, especially of you plan to change your treatment plan or add to it.
- Is medical information on the site up to date and reviewed by scientists or doctors? It can help to look for a “reviewed by” stamp with the reviewer’s name, credentials, and a date.
Locator.aids.gov: A handy tool to help you locate the available services for HIV/AIDS that are closest to you.
UCSF HIV InSite: The University of California San Francisco AIDS website carries the latest AIDS news. It's also one of the best places on the web for AIDS information.
The AIDS InfoNet: The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, the University of New Mexico, and the National Library of Medicine support this site that has fact sheets on every possible AIDS topic.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis: Whether you're gay, bi, transgendered, or straight, the Gay Men's Health Crisis web site offers AIDS/HIV support, information, and advocacy.
The Harvard AIDS Institute: This site offers authoritative information on HIV and AIDS along with HIV-related news.
The International AIDS Society: This group puts together the World AIDS Conferences and keeps close tabs on world AIDS news.
CDC HIV Basics: The CDC website offers expert information on many aspects of HIV and AIDS, including HIV testing and HIV prevention.
Some people blog about life with HIV. These blogs can offer a sense of connection and community and in some cases, an opportunity to talk with others. Just keep in mind that personal experience is not the same as medical advice from an expert. Speak with your doctor about any information or advice that you may want to add to your treatment plan. Here’s a sampling of blogs about HIV:
- A Girl Like Me: Caters to women (cis and trans) who want to share their experiences.
- I'm Still Josh: News and personal perspective run by Josh Robbins, diagnosed in 2012.
- My Fabulous Disease: Mark S. King, a gay man with HIV in recovery from drug addiction, discusses sex, lifestyle, treatment, and more.
Other Online Communities
Reddit: Two reddit groups (known as “subreddits”) might help. One deals with news and resources (/r/hivaids/) and another deals with relationships, mental health, and family dynamics (r/beingpoz).
Facebook: Lots of groups on Facebook cater to people with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones. Look for groups with a longer track record and lots of members. Many top groups require you to request entry to become a member. Poz Place is one such group and describes itself as “A support place for those with HIV/AIDS and our allies.”
There are numerous places to connect with others online about your journey with HIV, from individual blogs to nonprofit websites and social media groups. Just take care to look for well-respected and well-travelled sites and check any medical information you get with your doctor.