Telling someone you have HIV
Living with HIV is not always easy. At difficult times, it may be a relief to talk to someone about it.
Telling people you have HIV can have positive effects. The people who know will understand you better and can give you better support.
When to talk about your HIV status
Talk about HIV when you are ready and you feel the need to talk about it. Many people feel the need to talk when:
- They just have been told they have HIV.
- They have to start taking medicines.
- They start a new relationship.
- The pressure of living with a secret becomes too much to handle.
Choose the moment that is best for you.
Be prepared when you tell someone as he/she will ask you questions.
- Try to discover what you are worried about and what makes you uncertain.
- Explain what you are going through as accurately as possible.
- Think about what you want to achieve by telling someone.
- Do not expect an immediate answer or reaction from the person you are telling.
Talk to people who you trust and who can help you.
Many people do not know much about HIV or have prejudices. They may react in a strange or negative way. This is not your fault. You can try to give them correct information about HIV.
Talking to other people with HIV
You can meet and chat with other people with HIV and ask questions and share experiences through the Sensoa online forum. The forum has a translation function.
Your HIV status and the law
You have the right to decide whether you want to tell someone in your daily life that you have HIV.
It can be important to tell health professionals that you have HIV. They will only be able to provide the best care for your health if they know about your infection. You can freely talk to a health professional. He/she cannot give any information about you to anybody else. He/she is obliged by law to respect your privacy. He/she will not judge you.
People are not allowed to discriminate against you because you have HIV.