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Reged: 01/15/09
Posts: 14
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday
      06/27/13 08:17 PM

I will second all of the things that adnoctom said. Your wife is a big part of your own support system, and I think you have the right to confide in her, so long as you are confident that she will respect your brother's privacy and will not disclose it further.

But I cannot be more clear that, speaking as a person living with HIV, the decision to disclose further does not belong to either you or your wife. Not now, not ever. That decision belongs to your brother. If someone in whom I had confided my HIV status decided to reveal it to others without my consent, I'd consider that absolutely unforgivable. Your brother may or may not view this as seriously as I do, but again, that's his decision.

Your brother is young and, like many people his age, has made mistakes he may regret some day, but he can't change what has happened. You should encourage him to be more responsible than whoever might have infected him — encourage him to practice safe sex or, at a minimum, disclose his status before any less safe encounters so that future partners will be able to make informed choices about their behavior. And the most important thing your brother can do is to find a good HIV doctor and start on an HIV treatment regimen, both to preserve the state of his own immune system (it's pretty clear now that waiting to start treatment is not a good idea) and to minimize the chance of infecting others. The most dangerous people out there, in terms of spreading HIV, are those HIV+ people who are not being treated, because the amount of virus in their blood will be thousands of times higher than someone I n effective treatment.). Someone on effective therapy is very unlikely to transmit the virus, though it's not impossible.

I wish you and your brother good luck. Since you can't put the genie back in the bottle, try to use this opportunity to bring yourselves closer together rather than pushing him away. I know you're disappointed in some of his choices, with good reason, but he needs you in his life, and I imagine you provide a perspective that he doesn't have and needs to hear.

Becoming HIV positive is not the end of the world these days, and sometimes it can become a catalyst for positive changes (no pun intended) in someone's life. I hope this will ultimately become the case with your brother.

By the way, I think your brother will eventually come around on sharing his status with other family members. He is still coming to terms with things too. Give him some time, it's his choice. Once he is being treated and his virus is being controlled, he may be more willing to let other family members know. I know in my case, I didn't want to tell daily until I could honestly tell them that they didn't need to worry about my health.

Edited by DaveSF (06/27/13 08:22 PM)

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Subject Posted by Posted on
* My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday adnoctum 06/21/13 12:27 PM
. * Re: My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday DaveSF   06/27/13 08:17 PM
. * Re: My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday anotherday   06/21/13 02:45 PM

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