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AIDS victims in many countries have several resources available to help them cope with the physical, mental, and emotional issues that accompany the disease. Government-funded health departments and other organizations provide information and care referrals for AIDS patients. Sexual health clinics, hospitals, doctors' offices, and disease specialists offer medication, testing, and other physical care needs. Many psychologists and psychiatrists work with AIDS patients and their families to help them combat depression and other mental health problems. Support groups offer a place for AIDS patients and their loved ones to come together to share their experiences and learn from and help others dealing with the disease.
Health organizations supported by local and federal governments are often one of the best resources for AIDS victims, particularly those who have been diagnosed recently. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information on AIDS medications, treatments, and clinical research. Other organizations, such as the World Health Organization, provide information and help finding treatment to AIDS patients in many different countries. These organizations provide up-to-date information on new drugs, treatments, tests, and other information related to the disease.
Sexual health clinics and other medical facilities often offer testing for HIV and AIDS for free or a low fee. Most of these facilities provide additional resources for patients who test positive for HIV. These resources often include information on the next steps the patient should take regarding additional tests and treatment. Not everyone diagnosed with HIV should begin medication immediately, and medical professionals working at these facilities are often trained to address AIDS patients' concerns and questions after a positive test. Testing facilities may also offer basic counseling for patients after an AIDS diagnosis is made.
After testing positive, AIDS patients should speak with the professionals at the testing facility for a referral to a medical doctor who can help them make a decision about treatment. Many different medications and tests are necessary for AIDS patients, but treatment methods vary depending on the individual's overall health and how far the disease has advanced. AIDS patients benefit greatly from regular doctors who know their medical histories and can see them on a regular basis to perform tests and provide information on preventing other illnesses that could lead to serious complications.
Many AIDS victims struggle with the emotional and mental aspects of the disease. The illness takes a great toll on the body, which can translate into depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Psychologists and psychiatrists who have experience working with AIDS victims can help patients through the emotional struggles tied to the disease and recommend group therapy sessions or local support groups, where victims and their friends and families can come together to talk about their struggles and successes as they fight the disease.