There are only two things that truly matter in this world – your family and your health. Although it may sound trivial at first, but combined, these two are essential things to make life worth living, even in the light of having a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV/AIDS. Being surrounded by family and possessing optimal health brings happiness and a certain level of fulfillment to any individual. In fact, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, to be able to achieve the highest level of fulfillment, one has to have met all of the physiological needs before proceeding to the next higher stage. Optimal health can easily be achieved by intake of proper diet and nutrition, a minimum amount of water daily, right quantity of sleep, adequate exercise, sex, amongst many others. These physiological needs are desirable for optimal health and coincidentally are also the ones mentioned in the first level of the hierarchy of needs. Once these are fulfilled, you can then achieve the higher stages. In the second stage, safety and security would need to be ticked off. How does one feel safe and secure? Does having a home that is safe from offenders considered for this category? Or being surrounded by conviction-free individuals? Or knowing that wherever you go, you are never going to be in harm’s way? Having a roof above one’s head, ample sleeping place and a lifestyle that stays away from the dangerous areas will help fulfill this. And on the third level of the hierarchy you have love and belongingness which can be reached by being surrounded by friends, having a family, and sexual intimacy.  Most people amazingly find life fulfillment just by reaching these three levels in the hierarchy of needs. Family and health, which are the keys in reaching this level of fulfillment in spite of having a sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS, can be obtained in several ways.

 

As part of the physiologic need of a human being, the role of family health takes part by being the first providers of food, the first intake, and the succeeding food and beverage items that will be influential to the individual as he or she grows up. Imagine having been raised by parents who are knowledgeable about healthy eating and drinking. They would definitely start providing a complete and proper diet and make certain that their children avoid junk foods, chips, sodas, fast foods, and other food items that are not deemed healthy to be fed to their children. Aside from regulating the diet, it is also the family, who establishes the sleeping routine, teaches the importance of education, what extracurricular activities you involve  yourself in, your morals, beliefs, and traditions, and how they respect others outside of their family, and serves as the foundation of the individual in establishing their future lifestyle. The items that they will be buying, what their preferences are for the television shows, movies that they will be watching and the songs that they will be listening to will be heavily influenced by their family. What you eat, how you perceive the activities that you do, where you spend your money – these are what defines your lifestyle and is heavily influenced by family health.

 

Aside from the physiological needs, family health also includes tackling sex, sexual health, and dating. Being able to express yourself sexually starts with the gender orientation in the family, and how you were treated by your family. Some families tend to exaggerate on the color coding of girls to pink, and boys to blue. While some families tend to be neutral, even in the activities that they let their children participate in. Girls can actively play football and basketball, as boys are taught how to be crafty, artistic, and how to cook. The sexual nature of the parent’s relationship and their openness to their children to discuss sexual matters also get to have a huge influence on the individual’s sexual awareness. It is in the hopes of having you own family that you procreate and strive to possess a family, which coincidentally is also found in the third level of the hierarchy of needs. To be able to have sexual relations, individuals should be able to date or at least have connections and feelings toward someone, whether it is of the opposite or the same sex. Dating, is the end result of this part of the influence of family health on sex and sexual health.

 

Taking all of these family health topics into consideration and seeing how it can and will affect the individual’s preferences and attitude towards healthy eating, sex, sexual health, lifestyle and dating will show us how important these are when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. Healthy eating and having a healthy lifestyle will vastly improve life even if you are HIV positive or have a sexually transmitted disease, especially if you have been living this healthy lifestyle for as long as you can remember.  Sex, sexual health, and dating have everything to do with acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, albeit already positive with HIV/AIDS or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), continuing to possess healthy eating and a positive lifestyle will greatly affect the individual’s outlook in life. It also does not mean that just because one is already HIV positive or has an STD, one has to stop dating and experience the physiologic need to have sex and sexual intimacy. Continuing these aspects of family health will help the individual continue and achieve a higher sense of fulfillment. Nothing has to stop when one has AIDS. Everything continues with the addition of other precautions. Thus, it would help the individual with AIDS if he or she can meet and be surrounded by a new family, a family that understands and feels the same emotions as a person with AIDS does. Who else will be better to continue a familial support and health practice than someone who is also HIV positive or has an STD? With open-mindedness and an innate kindness to support and become a part of the STD laden individual’s journey, adept knowledge in family health and at the same time also having an STD as well is a going to go a long way for both of these individuals.

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