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Living With HIV

Be sure your legal affairs are in order, including Advance Care Directives. HIV only makes this need more urgent. It will help you feel in control.

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Everyone should have a Will. Yes – everyone with or without HIV. Wills are not expensive. You can even write one yourself.

Everyone should consider executing documents known as Advance Care Directives (or Advance Directives). These documents describe what medical treatments you do or do not want if you become unable to speak for yourself. The two most important documents to consider are:

  • A Living Will which states what you do or do not want in a general manner.
  • A Health Care Power Of Attorney which appoints someone to make decisions for you in the gray areas not covered under a Living Will. It also gives that person power to enforce your health care wishes.

Ask other family members about their wishes. You’ll learn what they desire for themselves. Talking about this subject as a family also makes the discussion about proper planning instead of about HIV.

Once everyone states their view, make sure that people execute the appropriate documents. Follow the requirements of state law when writing and executing such documents.

While you are thinking about this subject, consider:

  • Writing an Ethical Will which passes on what you learned during your lifetime to the next generation.
  • Pre-planning your funeral arrangements. We are not suggesting that you pre-pay. Pre-planning can save a great deal of money and unnecessary stress at a very stressful time.

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