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Real members of myHIVteam have posted questions and answers that support our community guidelines, and should not be taken as medical advice. Looking for the latest medically reviewed content by doctors and experts? Visit our resource section.
Disclosing Status To Family
A myHIVteam Member asked a question 💭

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?

posted February 17, 2017
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A myHIVteam Member

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.

posted May 20, 2018
A myHIVteam Member

After being told and wanting to die and seeing my older sister die from Aids which i couldn't deal with 😪
I told my mom and dad they where supportive about it they said we are here for you as we where for your sister which my boyfriend at the time was doing drugs with her and i didn't know at the time but on her death bed she told me and for me to go get tested and sure enough i was positive. But then i had to tell my 2 kids they didn't want to ever talk about it until now..
so then i told family and every time we got into an argument my Hiv got thrown in my face I have 1 niece and 1 cousin that is supportive but we don't talk about it.. I have told two boyfriends that i had and left it all like that and yes i am Single now i won't date no one that does not have Hiv in some states especially Florida they will prosecute
(Jail) one for not Disclosing your Status..
A man out here just went to Jail for Hiv so beware of the guidelines for one State for Hiv.. But I'm sorry we all have to deal with stigma about our Hiv so many ignorant ppl out here in this so called world it pisses me off
Blessings 😇

posted July 27, 2021
A myHIVteam Member

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.

posted February 18, 2017
A myHIVteam Member

I disclose on an as needed basis. I mean, HIV isn't a death sentence anymore so there's no need to hurry and let the family know unless they are your support system and you trust them like that. My family took it ok. However I don't live in the same city with them so they don't really know any more than I tell them. It may have been a little different if I let them be around me when I was sick. What I do know, is you shouldn't tell them unless you are able to handle there reaction. Good or bad. That could take some time depending on where you are with accepting your status. Not to mention they have friends that they confide in. It's hard to unring a bell.

posted November 4, 2022
A myHIVteam Member

When I told my mom she really freaked out 20 years ago so I sent her everything I could find on HIV and she was ok then but some family members cut me out there lives and some of them still don't know I grew up in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia very close minded people not everyone is but where I grew up most of them are.

posted August 2, 2022

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