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Disclosing status to siblings and family
Jun 25, 2011

I was recently diagnosed and have told my parents/friends. I have extended family members and siblings, however, that live in RURAL towns and I am wondering what resources are best to help educate telling those other people. I am ok with what their reactions would be, however, my parents have said it would just be heart breaking if they saw them treat me different due to disclosing my status. Any suggestions would help.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Disclosing HIV+ status is a difficult issue that requires careful consideration. It sounds as if your immediate circle of friends and family have reacted well. I find that many people who are recently diagnosed may be too quick to reveal their status with too many people. When evaluating who to tell, you may want to consider if you trust those people and if they will be emotionally supportive. It is also important to ask yourself what you will gain by revealing your status to them. If you decide to share your diagnosis, this page at TheBody has good, basic information on AIDS, how it is acquired, and what it means to be HIV positive. You can also find good information on disclosure here.

-David



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