Psychological Care Program


Receiving an HIV diagnosis is a moment of great turmoil and change in a person’s life. Their expectations, their outlook on life, fears of illness or death, infecting family members, among other worries, change everything for a person.

Since HIV diagnosis is still linked to many myths and fears, the answers are not easy. For too many people, HIV is still associated with sickness and death, as well as the disapproval of sexual behaviors, and other value judgments made against those affected. These prejudices can weigh heavily on a patient in the moment of diagnosis, and helping a person to reconstruct their selves adapting themselves to their health condition requires a strong social and psychological intervention.


Fundación VIHDA accomplishes these interventions with our highly trained professionals in Clinical Psychology, who are also sensitized in the reality of life with HIV, so that we can provide quality care to our beneficiaries within a framework of respect and openness. Patient interventions include updating them on the scientific and medical reality of an HIV diagnosis, and letting them know that with early detection and access to treatment, people with HIV can live a normal and healthy life.

Psychological care is one of the pillars of Fundación VIHDA’s work in our community and has become one of our flagship services for people living with HIV and their families. In their sessions, patients will find a safe space in which to work on emotional responses, receive answers to questions, explore issues of revealing diagnosis to others, and generally walk hand in hand with professionals who are sensitive to their needs and care.

Precisely for this reason, the name of our organization is Fundación VIHDA (pronounced “vee-da”) which is a play on words that mixes “vida”, meaning “life”, with “VIH”, which means HIV in Spanish, emphasizing our belief that people living with HIV can take care of themselves and can lead healthy and productive lives into the future, leaving behind the stigma, myths and fears of the past.

Among other tools we use in counseling and psychological care, are:

Narrative Therapy Techniques

No matter how different our stories are, they are always valuable and unique. This is what our work in Narrative Therapy seeks to uncover: that we are all unique and that the events in our life our unrepeatable, hence all that we have lived and learned can be a resource used to our advantage in the present.


Hero Book

The Hero Book is a tool that allows people of all ages to approach the story of their life from a different perspective, empowering them to see the events that have shaped their lives and seeking to improve their life outlook.


Body Map

The Body Map tool allows us to see our body as the transportation vessel through which our story unfolds, reconciling us with intimate and personal aspects that we wish to work on. The technique of Body Mapping helps people to view themselves in a new, free and open perspective, while artistically expressing their emotions and their inner wealth.


Translated by Rachel Mestnik, Peace Corps 2014. Edited by Fundación VIHDA.