Say No to AIDS

“Because I have HIV, the sky is the limit”
- Yolanda Simon, Vice Chair of the National AIDS Coordinating Committee and Founder, The Positive Women’s Network of Trinidad and Tobago



What do you understand by the term “self esteem”? Self esteem refers to the way that you think and feel about yourself.

If you have healthy self esteem, it means that you value yourself and have positive feelings toward and about yourself. Sometimes, we can have forms of self esteem that may not be in our best interest. They are as follows:

  1. Performance-based esteem -
    This is self-esteem that depends on things we do.
  2. Other-based esteem -
    This is self-esteem that depends on the opinion of other people.
  3. Attribute-based esteem -
    This is self-esteem that depends on things that I have.


Healthy Self-Esteem

It means valuing ourselves because we are human. It does not matter what we have, what we do or what others think. We believe in ourselves, no matter what. This can be a difficult process. Here are some tips for developing healthy self-esteem.

  • Forgive yourself daily. You are human and you are allowed to make mistakes. A critical part of being human is being able to make mistakes. We all make mistakes.
  • Speak to yourself positively daily. Tell yourself positive things about yourself every day. For example, you can say to yourself: “I am worthy of love because I am human” of “I am worthy of love because I exist.”
  • Do things that you enjoy. When you fill your body with good feelings while doing things that you enjoy, you can feel a deep sense of purpose and joy.

As a PLHIV, it is very important to maintain healthy self esteem. If you do not do so, you are at risk for making decisions that may not be in your best interest. For example, when you struggle with a sense of worth, you may not work hard at preserving your health and wellbeing. You may not exercise or eat well if you struggle with self esteem. Low self-worth or depression can also negatively affect your adherence to your ART regimen. You have rights and you deserve to feel worthy in the world.

If you are struggling with self esteem, please feel free to reach out to one of the NGOs or the social worker at a treatment site in order to gain support. If you think you may be depressed, having thoughts of self-harm, or have another serious mental health concern you can get immediate support from Lifeline Trinidad and Tobago. You can call the following numbers: 800-5588 | 866-5433 | 220-3636

You can take a look at the website at

To get referrals for more mental health concerns or to speak with someone on the National HIV Helpline call 800-4HIV or 800-4448. (This is a toll-free number)

You are not alone. #youarenotalonett