Choosing when, who and why to tell someone you are HIV positive can be both very difficult and stressful. However, people can find disclosure often brings a sense of relief and the possibility of support. When deciding who you would like to tell (such as a friend, family member or employer) it can be valuable for you to think about the possible reactions of both you and the person you’re telling. This may help you feel more prepared and confident.
Remember, deciding who you would like to disclose to is a personal choice and not a legal obligation.
There is no right or wrong way to decide when or where or even how, but if you do decide to tell somebody it may be helpful to reflect on the following:
- Who do I want to tell?
- Why do I want to tell them?
- Who can support me in disclosing?
- How knowledgeable and comfortable am I in answering questions about HIV?
- What supports might my partner, friends, family need?
- Would they require literature, organisational support, or counselling?
- Where would I be able to access this information?