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Another name for the [HIV] symptoms
Oct 6, 2011

Three days ago I discovered that I am HIV+. I was feeling sick with fatigue and water in my lungs. My family found out that I had to go to the hospital and find out what is wrong with me. Now everyone is asking me and about my sickness and want to know what is going on. I am planning to visit another country to get treatment due to the lack of care where I live. I don't feel comfortable telling anyone that I have HIV and I was wondering if there is another sickness, illness or virus name with similar symptoms that I can tell them so they would leave me alone.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

Disclosure of HIV status can be a difficult thing. While it's important that someone in your immediate circle of friends or family know about your diagnosis, it's less so for others (if at all). Indeed, I want you to know that HIV doesn't define who you are, but in this context is simply a medical diagnosis that you have.

That said, your questions are good ones. Synonymous terms (or alternative explanations) that I've heard used are "immune problems", "anemia", "blood disorder", "pneumonia"; it sometimes is helpful to let others know (if relevant and true) that you're under good medical care and/or that you're uncomfortable discussing any of the details (:really, it's not any of their business).

I hope that helps, BY



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