Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed or have known for a while, it can be difficult to tell people that you have HIV. You may worry about other people’s reaction or if they will treat you differently.
But share files human immunodeficiency virus The situation is important. Your friends and family members provide the support you need, says Margarita Lightfoot, Ph.D., director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. They ease the burden of keeping the secret and give you shoulder lean on. Or they can help with physical tasks, such as getting you to the doctor’s office.
Most of the time, Lightfoot says, choosing who to tell is a personal decision. You can control how and when the news is shared.
Who should I tell?
In many states, you are legally required to tell those with whom you can exchange bodily fluids, such as sexual partners. Rules vary by state, and in some cases, there is a federal regulation (such as whether you want to donate blood). So you may want to see your doctor or social worker.
- sexual partners. You should tell any sexual partner before you have an oral, vaginal, or… anal sex. You should also inform former partners within a reasonable time of fame, says Jeffrey T. Kirshner, chief medical officer of the American Academy of HIV Medicine. “Your doctor can roughly guess how long you’ve been infected with HIV.”
- Needle-sharing partners. If you are a drug user, you should disclose it to anyone with whom you share needles.
- the bloodtissue, organ, or semen Donation staff. You must share your HIV status before donating. In some cases, this may not be allowed. For example, a person who has tested positive for HIV cannot donate blood.
- Doctors and dentists. Report Health Care Care providers allow them to give you the best care. For example, they will not describe pharmaceutical that can interact with your HIV medications. Healthcare professionals are bound by privacy rules. They are only allowed to share your HIV status if not doing so would cause harm to another person. Some states require you to tell a doctor or dentist before they treat you, so you should find out what laws apply in your case before you get any Health Care Services.
You don’t have to tell your boss or co-workers, Kirchner says. The exception is if you have a job that may expose others to the virus, such as a surgeon.
Along with your doctor, you should also tell your mental health care providers, such as a therapist, says Lightfoot. They can help you deal with the emotional impact of Diagnosis of HIV.
Who should I consider telling?
The next step is to decide who you want to share your HIV status with, such as trusted family members and friends. Write a list of the people you’re thinking of telling, says Lightfoot. “Everyone has their own set of circumstances,” she says.
Ask yourself these questions for each person:
- Why do I want to tell this person? You may not want to hide a secret from someone. Or you may worry that they will find out your HIV status from someone else.
- What do I hope to get from this person? Think about what you might want from them, whether it be emotional support or help palm.
- What do I want to share about my HIV status? Decide what details you want to disclose and how you will answer potential questions.
- How do I expect this person to react? Some people won’t respond the way you think, but it’s a good idea to prepare yourself.
What resources do I have?
You may decide to tell people on your own. But there are also resources that can help.
State and local health departments provide partner services free of charge. They will tell your sexual partners or needle partners that they have been screened and need to get tested. Your doctor or social worker can put you in touch with a partner services health advisor.
Usually, you will decide how you want to disclose the information.
- Anonymous notice from a third party. A health advisor who communicates with your partners. Your name and identity are not shared with them.
- Double disclosure. You will talk to partners with a counselor.
- Self disclosure. The counselor helps you prepare and practice, but you will tell the partners yourself. The health department is following up until they are examined.
You can also work with your doctor. “I’ve had patients bring their loved ones into my office to have their condition checked,” Kirchner says. “It’s useful because I can share medical information face-to-face and answer any questions.”
What is the best way to share news?
It is often difficult to tell people your HIV status. But there are some steps you can take to make the conversation go smoother.
- Find a safe place. Plan to speak in a quiet area where you can have a private conversation. If there is a chance of a bad reaction, speak up in a place where there is space but other people are around, such as a park.
- Be clear and specific. Tell the person you have HIV rather than saying you have a chronic disease or virus, says Lightfoot. Then state what you want from this person, such as, “I need someone I can talk to and love me no matter what, and I hope that person is you. I need your support now.”
- Learn the facts and get the information ready. Sometimes people’s reactions to HIV are driven by fear and misconceptions. “Some people think HIV is a killer disease, when we know it isn’t,” Kirchner says. “Most patients are doing well with treatment. It can be controlled.” You should be able to explain the basics about HIV and provide resources where they can get more information.
- Be prepared for any reaction. You never know for sure how someone will respond. “It will hurt you emotionally if you are someone the love He reacts poorly,” says Lightfoot. Think about how you’re going to deal with these feelings. “Know who you’re going to talk to about it, whether it’s a therapist, counselor, or other friend,” she says.
- Consider taking a step back. You may have to give the other person time to process the news. “You can recheck with them,” says Lightfoot. “Or they can come to you when they’re ready.” In some cases, she says, you may need to reconsider your relationship. “Think about what you want to get from that person, and if it’s worth it.”
Discussion about this post