Disclosure is much more than a statement about your health, it is a statement about how you see
yourself . The most difficult thing you may ever have to do is tell someone you have HIV. While
disclosure is not always easy, it may help to plan ahead so that you are able to disclose under the
best possible conditions.
Disclosure means telling someone that you are HIV positive. Deciding who to tell about your HIV
status and how to tell them is a personal decision that sometimes can be complex. If you disclose
your HIV status to someone, you're giving them three pieces of information at the same time.
1. You’re HIV positive.
2. You’re strong enough to deal with their reaction.
3. You trust them.
There is no book of rules for disclosure. Every disclosure is unique, with specific risks and benefits.
It can be a practical means of getting support and referrals. You’ll also reduce the risk of HIV
transmission to others. There is no one best way to tell someone, just as there is no sure way to
know their reaction to your news.
The following information will help with making your HIV disclosure as stress-free as possible.
A. Know why you want to tell the people you are telling. What do you want from them?
B. How much am I ready to share or are they ready to hear?
C. How much will disclosing affect me and the people around me?
D. Find someone that can support you through this difficult time. Talk it over and come up with a
plan with someone you can trust.
E. Learn as much as you can about HIV.
F. Have printed material to give to the person to help them understand.
G. Anticipate their reaction so that you can deal with them better.
H. Accept their reaction. You are powerless over the fears and feelings of others.
I . Be patient. It may take some time for those you tell to process the information.
Additional things to consider
- Consider where you want the disclosure to take place. A neutral place is recommended. The
important thing is that you choose a place that is comfortable for you.
- Consider when to tell. Although there is generally no one right time, you should tell when you
feel ready or when you are legally required to do so.
- Just like you, the people you tell will need support too. Don’t expect that just because you
love someone, they will be in a position to support you after your disclosure. You may need to
support them with this new info before they can be there for you. It is a good idea to have a
few numbers on hand of places they can go for support.
Take it slowly—you will be living with HIV for a long time, and your first responsibility is to yourself
and to finding the support you need.
Disclosure can be scary, embarrassing, or painful. But frank conversation usually leads to
knowledgeable decisions and better sexual relationships. There is great freedom about telling the
truth and letting people know who you really are.
||Think you've put someone at risk for HIV?
||FOLLOW THIS LINK NOW!
If you need to tell someone that you may have put them at
risk for HIV then we can help. You can send a free eCard
anonymously or from your email address to notify past
sexual partners about possible exposure to HIV or STDs.
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