The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Mental Health and HIVMental Health and HIV
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Disclosure concerns...

Jan 29, 2004

Hi, Dr. Horwath... I'm writing with a question about disclosure. I'm ten weeks out from my HIV diagnosis, and 2.5 weeks into my first HAART regimen.

From the start, I made the decision not to involve any of my friends or family in this situation. Instead, I've turned to various AIDS & LGBT service organzations for short-term one-on-one counseling, and have recently attended my first support group (a big step, as I'm very concerned that word not get back to my loved ones).

My goal is to spare them this reality as long as possible, and to spare myself the pressure of living with their weight of their worry. Although this decision is not always an easy one to live with, I still believe it's the best one -- both for myself and for the people I care about. I hope to continue this way for many years...

I'm curious, though, about your thoughts on this subject.

Thanks, D

P.S. BTW, and apropos of nothing in particular, I have a master's degree from Columbia. Hope things are well at my alma mater...

Response from Dr. Horwath

Of course, the decision to disclose your status or not is totally up to you. You are the person who best knows your friends and family.

You may want to discuss your decision in your support group. Other people in the group may have disclosed their HIV status to their families and friends, and you might benefit from hearing about their experiences. The decision not to disclose places a big burden on you. The burden consists of the need for constant vigilance and secretiveness. You also deprive yourself of any of the potential benefits of sharing your status with those who love you. You mentioned that you would like to be spared the pressure of living with their worry, but you also close yourself off from the possiblity of their help and support.

As I said earlier, you know your family best, and you are the best judge of whether you should disclose your status. Good luck.

Very bad dreams and antibiotics as a cure
What are the chances?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint