Disclosing to my Family, please give me advice
May 9, 2008
Hi Doctor, Since I was diagnosed, I have kept my status to myself, my negative partner, and 1 close friend of mine. My partner and I are together 4 years now, and we want to go to the next level. The next level being, liberation of this secret, obtaining a domestic partnership certificate, etc. I am unsure on whom to disclose to. My choices are, my brother and his wife or my uncle. I also have been reading extensively on as many sites that I can find on proper ways of doing this,the right words, etc. I feel so bad that I will forever change my loved ones lives by disclosing. I would be devistated if I cause them to get sick over this. My health is great ( thank God),undetectable for 4 years, 369 tcells, 19%, and I am not disclosing for that reason. But, it is important to disclose for both myself and my partner. Please give me all your feedback, your experience, support groups in NYC, books you may know of, etc.
Thank you in advance for reading this and for your responses.
Response from Dr. Horwath
I think that your decision to be more open with your family is the correct one. You obviously know your family well enough to know that they have the ability to understand and cope with the news. There is no reason to think that this will cause them to get sick. If your family cares about you and is able to be empathic, then this could bring you closer together. It removes a barrier of secrecy and allows your relationship with them to be more open and honest.
There is no real formula for how to do it. I advise speaking to them, being prepared for questions and being able to reassure them that your health is good and that you hope it will stay that way for a long time. Good luck!
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