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How to talk to a teacher with HIV?
Nov 18, 2004

Hi, I am a student and I recently found out that one of my professor's is HIV positive and I cannot get it off my mind. I am fully accepting of it but I want to talk to him about it in some way but I don't want to come across as threatening or nosey. I feel sorry for him and it is now causing me my own stress because I wish I could help him in some way(even though he never openly discusses he has HIV or even that he is gay). Please Help! What can I do or say?

Response from Ms. Breuer

The best thing you can do is treat him normally, as if he were HIV-negative or you didn't know he was HIV positive. I understand the impulse to talk with him about it, but I urge you not to follow that impulse. Unless he told you directly, he was not inviting conversation about it. I do encourage you to talk out your feelings with someone who is HIV-positive, but not the prof. You're his student, not his friend. Be his ally by being a decent human being to him and in conversations about him among other students. That would be a huge contribution.

Lots of scary HIV questions on a group plan enrollment form!
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