Get Informed Topics HIV Living with HIV Telling others your HIV-positive status

Telling others your HIV-positive status

When you test positive for HIV, it can be difficult telling others, you are HIV positive.

You might be shocked, scared, angry, sad, confused and find it difficult deciding who tell about it and how to tell them

However, you are not alone. Many people struggle sharing their HIV positive status. 

It’s up to you to decide who you tell. You may decide you want to be completely open about your HIV status, or you may decide to only tell a small number of people close to you. It is your choice.

Take your time to decide who to tell and how you will approach them. Be sure you’re ready. Remember, once you tell someone, they won’t forget you are HIV-positive.

It is important to educate yourself about HIV before disclosing to someone so that you can have an easy time explaining about HIV to them and make them less likely to react negatively.

It’s a good idea to find a time when you are unlikely to be interrupted, and you can take your time, and to talk in a setting where it’s quiet and you can sit comfortably together. 

Give them time to process what you’re saying, and check they understand.

Here are some things to think about when you are considering telling someone that you are HIV-positive:

  1. Know why you want to tell them. What do you want from them?
  2. Expect their reaction to be either positive or negative
  3. Inform yourself about HIV. Do your research well about HIV so that you can enlighten them about HIV.
  4. Get support by talking it over with someone you trust, and come up with a plan.
  5. Accept the reaction. You can’t control how others will deal with your news.

Who should I tell

It’s your choice to decide who to share your status with but it is important to share your status with;

  • Your sexual and drug injecting partner(s)
  • Your healthcare provider 
  • Trusted family and friends
  • Trusted adult like your teacher or coach. 

Telling others can be good because:

  • You can get love and support to help you deal with your health.
  • You can keep your close friends and loved ones informed about issues that are important to you.
  • You don’t have to hide your HIV status.
  • You can get the most appropriate health care.
  • You can reduce the chances of transmitting the disease to others.
Did you learn something?

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