For those of you who have disclosed your status to your family, how did you do it and how did they take it?
For those of you who have not, why not?
I was going through a lot of stuff when I found out I was positive. At the time I had mental health illnesses that I didn't treat and was a heroin addict. I went straight from where I was tested to my drug dealers and spent the next week in a doped up haze. It was just too much to deal with considering everything else going on in my life. I did end up telling everyone soon after with a "I don't give a F attitude". I didn't even start meds for about 5yrs and only started those after a month in the ICU.
Now tho, I'm proud to say I'm almost 4yrs sober, in good health and I'm a spokes model for HIV Stops With Me Campaign through the NYS Department of Health. I go to schools and events, even have videos online telling people my status and what I've been through hopefully helping other POZ people feel less ashamed of having HIV. I also spread HIV/AIDS education every chance I get. I even spoke at NYS World AIDS day.
I'm saying all of this because I want you to know that you are not alone. That there is no shame in being POZ. You're not 'dirty' or deserved to get HIV or whatever else people might say to you. Those people are ignorant, misinformed, and pig headed. Don't waste your time with those people.
But also don't close yourself off from people because your afraid of getting hurt. Getting hurt is a part of life (a small part) and you will miss out on some of the wonderful things life has to offer by living this way.
So disclose your status, go out on dates, make friends and have sex if you want to (always use protection and disclose first).
You will run into people who insult you, treat you different and judge you, it's gonna happen. But you will also find so many accepting and loving people in this world, people who love you for you.
You have a disease, that disease is not who you are. Own it, don't let it own you. And find other positive people in your community that you can talk to and connect with. Even in the smallest communities I guarantee you'll find someone.
I hope this was helpful.
I've disclosed to some. I never really felt the need to share that. I got extremely sick for an extended period of time, and couldn't stay hidden for much longer. I was also having some liver issues due to the fluconazole I was prescribed for thrush. So I just told my family I was in the hospital for liver issues. When I finally told my youngest brother, who is Lgbt, 2-3 months later. We was afraid but very supportive as was my other brother. My father took it as well as to be expected. I knew it was going to be hard for him to hear it. We have managed to maintain a rather open relationship. It was hard to hear him, say "I always knew this day was going to come." Because I felt as if I had let him down or something. I was 39 or 40ish when I was diagnosed and I felt like I had been terribly irresponsible, and gullible. I knew my father did not like my ex for all of the right reasons. But he's been as supportive as he knows how and I appreciate it. Now my mother is a horse of a different color. We haven't had a relationship in over 20 years over my sexuality. So although I'm sure she's heard, We haven't had any conversation about it. I found advice on line that said to wait until you are ok with your diagnosis, before you try to make someone else ok with it.
When I was diagnosed I took the straight forward approach to telling my family and friends but I also used the disclosure as a teaching moment so that the fear of hearing the diagnosis doesn't freak them out.
I had the right of telling my family taken away from me, as some loud mouth vile person thought they could do it for me.. it absolutely floored my father... but the rest of my family and friends handled it very well, it only comes up in conversation if i bring it up and I'm never treated any different.
I am a very confident person and I own my status... it doesn't own me...👍
Take things as they come... 🤗
I just spit it out, there's really no way to sugar coat it.
I did get a surprise when I went to tell my oldest nephew and found out my brother had already told him.
I've never discussed it with my brother but I need to, I would like to know who else knows that I don't know about.