Telling someone you have HIV

    • Brief

    • Living with HIV is not always easy. It may be a relief to talk to someone about it at difficult times. Telling people you trust can have positive effects. The people who know will understand you better and 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 speak when:

      • They just have been told they have HIV.
      • They have to start taking medications.
      • They start a new relationship and are thinking about safe sex.
      • The pressure of living with a secret becomes too much to handle.

      Choose the moment that is best for you.

    • Be prepared

    • Be prepared when you tell someone as they will ask you questions:

      • Think about what you want to achieve by telling someone.
      • Try to discover what you are worried about and what makes you uncertain.
      • Explain what you are going through as accurately as possible.
      • Do not expect an immediate answer or reaction from the person you are telling about your HIV infection.

      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 strangely or negatively. 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 online platforms or at hospitals.

    • 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 is important to tell your healthcare provider 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. They cannot give any information about you to anybody else. They are obliged by law to respect your privacy. They will not judge you.

      People are not allowed to discriminate against you because you have HIV.