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Will everyone know?
Jun 6, 2003

Hey Bob,

I was wondering if it is a realistic desire to hide being HIV positive from my non-nuclear family, friends, etc, if infected very recently. If I choose to wait to treat until symptoms appear, I could keep it from everyone, but if on treatment, how realistic is this idea? I guess I'm asking from the physical appearance, energy standpoint. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Is it a "realistic desire to hide being HIV-positive?" Yes, its certainly a "realistic desire." I dont know anyone who was looking forward to sharing this kind of information. However, Im sure what you meant was: is it possible to conceal your HIV status. That, of course, would depend on many factors severity of your disease, etc. In many cases, significant HIV-related symptoms may not become apparent or even develop for up to 10 years after becoming infected. So could you hide a recent infection? Most likely yes. The real thing to consider here is your circle of support. Going through this illness isolated is not recommended. I strongly encourage you to confide in your close friends and family to develop a very strong support system. That plus working closely with a competent and compassionate HIV specialist I feel are essential in learning how to cope successfully with HIV. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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