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what can we do for family member that is HIV and is in denial

Oct 6, 2000

My uncle is HIV positive right now he is in the hospital for a stomach problem. He tries to keep it all secret. He has a problem with people thinking he is gay and that is why he has HIV but he is not gay and now has many girlfriends -- too many I think. I feel he is doing this to try to prove something. We are at a loss as to what to do to help me and get him help. he needs to understand it doesn't matter how you get it gay, straight or blood transfusions. Please help with some insight on this. thanks rachel

Response from Mr. Shernoff

If he wishes to keep his HIV status secret how did you come to find out about it? If he has honestly talked about having HIV with people in the family then all you can do is tell him that it does not matter to you or anyone else in the family how he got it. What is important is that he knows everyone loves and cares about him. It is not really anyone else's business if he tells other people or not. It is his disease and he is entitled to deal with it however he wishes, even if it may not be the best way. As an adult he gets to choose who knows what details about his life, even if anyone else clearly sees that the choices he makes are preventing him from getting support.

Michael Shernoff, MSW

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