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HIV Discloser
Jul 13, 2005

When first diagnosised as person that was HIV+ and had reached the point of an AIDS diagnosis, I was a basket case. I was afraid of how people would react to my condition and worse off that I would be physically abused by my partner of 18 years. I am sure that I contracted the disease prior to our relationship and am sure that he is infected from our relationship. But my mental health care professional and I choose not to disclose my status to anyone for my own mental health. Until I could handle it myself, I couldn't tell others about it.

Well now it is going on three years since I was diagnosised. I have keep this secret from everyone, family, friends, partner all of this time. By disclosing it now it will be worse because of the fact that I have keep it from them for so long. How do you start this discussion with your partner/family?

Response from Dr. Horwath

If you have good reason to believe that your partner would abuse you on hearing about your HIV status, then you need to get away from him. You are being held hostage by your fear of his violence.

As for your family and friends, you have nothing to gain from further putting off informing them. Bite the bullet and speak to them. Start with the ones who are closest and most likely to be understanding and supportive.

You may also want to reconsider your choice of mental health professional. I don't think you were well served by the advice to postpone speaking to those who are close to you for such a long period of time.



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