Guest Author - Barbara Sharpe
One of the great things about living in the 21st century is that the internet has made information about dog gone near anything available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of the bad things about the internet is that too often, the information is wrong.
In the case of HIV/AIDS, having good information can be of life and death importance. For some people, they are too afraid to ask their doctors, so they look for the information elsewhere. Some websites have the best of intentions but give incorrect or outdated information. There are plenty, though, who intend to defraud people with HIV by selling them a “cure” or “treatments” that just do not work.
Of course, this website is a good source of reliable information. I work in the HIV business and have access to good information, so I can share that with you. Another place is the website The Body. (See link below.)
The Body is recognized in the industry as being among the most accurate, most complete sites of HIV information. You can find information on HIV prevention, information for the newly diagnosed and prevention information. The “Ask the Experts” section is valuable as it allows people to ask potentially difficult questions of a real expert (such as a medical doctor or dietician) that they may be reluctant to bring up to their own HIV doctor.
AIDS Conferences, links to HIV/AIDS organizations in your area and world HIV news are other topic areas. Finding an HIV/AIDS organization where you live can be key to getting treatment that can help a person live well.
Among the most important, for a person who has HIV, is the “Living with HIV” section. There the reader can read various columnists on a variety of topics, there is discussion about nutrition, workplace concerns, legal rights, and religion. The Inspiring Stories are amazing, in the original sense of the word. I’m amazed by the stories I read there and I admire the writers.
TheBody doesn’t shy away from difficult issues, either. There are articles about death and dying, about financial problems and mental health. For any person a chronic or life threatening illness, but especially HIV, people in general tend to shy away from those topics. A person with HIV may need to talk about them or to find information about them. TheBody is a source of reliable, trustworthy information.
Of course, TheBody isn’t perfect. There is a lot of information available so it can be overwhelming to find what you’re looking for. If you have a dial up connection, it can take a while for all the links to download. Periodically, I’ll see an “Ask the Experts” answer that I think isn’t very sensitive. For example, one person asked Dr. Brian Boyle his thoughts on natural “push up” products. I felt his response was dismissive and reflected a biased view against alternative therapies. That is the exception, however, even for Dr. Boyle personally.
The positives far outweigh the negatives, though, and I recommend you stop by and check them out.