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Birthday or Funeral?
Mar 24, 2006

I was diagnosed with HIV last year and went through all the necessary steps to take care of the people in my past that may have been affected, and tell my family members.

The problem is with my family. We had a strained relationship at best, and never got together for birthdays, but did our best to suffer through some holidays together.

A few weeks ago, I had a birthday, and everyone got together and brought gifts and my mother made a scrapbook of pictures from my childhood.

I realize that it was just a birthday party, but I really felt like I was witnessing my own funeral, because they think I'm dying (I'm not. I am on meds and VL undetectable).

So please tell me what to do. I feel like screaming at them all and telling them that I am not dying, but maybe they were just being nice.

Response from Dr. Horwath

It sounds like they were trying to be nice and form a new relationship with you. If you think that they don't understand your health status, then try to better inform them. Remember, most people don't know very much about HIV or its treatment. They are unlikely to learn unless you or someone else educates them.



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