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My Pretend Life Without HIV

May 11, 2010

My mother-in-law is visiting us this week. She's still active at 84, engaged in life, and accepts me completely as her son's longtime partner and a member of the family. So it's a shame she doesn't know the first thing about me.

That first thing is the fact that I am living with HIV. And she has no idea.

After some debate in the family it was decided that she not be told. The revelation would likely produce more questions than anyone could comfortably answer, and her own son's safety and health would almost certainly become a concern for her. I have enough to shoulder without her fears that I might harm her boy.

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See Also's Just Diagnosed Resource Center
Telling Others You're HIV Positive
More Personal Accounts of HIV Disclosure

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Henry (NYC) Sun., Jun. 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm EDT
Every situation is different in terms of disclosure. My mother is 86 and I know she would absolutely not understand. It would cause her unnecessary and nonstop worry which would, in turn, adversely affect my own well-being. It sounds as if it would be a similar situation with your partner's mother. She does not need to know. It's really not that big a deal.
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Comment by: Jeffrey (Tallahassee) Thu., Jun. 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm EDT
First you marginalize AIDS in your last article sounding like the AIDS crisis is over, then you dither about disclosing your disease?
Mark, snap out of it.
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Comment by: paulm63 (Tucson, AZ) Thu., Jun. 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm EDT
I battle with this same thing regarding my HIV infection, my history of addiction, and my homosexuality... when is it appropriate NOT to disclose. I tell myself that I have learned to keep my private life private, after years of being Out about everything. But I still sometimes wonder if I have returned to the closet(?)
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Comment by: Brooklyn (Seattle, WA) Thu., Jun. 10, 2010 at 2:02 pm EDT
I can relate to that for sure. I've only known that I am positive since Jan 2010, I was just in CA for my fathers funeral where all my siblings and I stayed in his now empty house. My meds lived on the kitchen counter in a basket until the not so close family and friends came over. I also hid my pills.

I'm 8 months pregnant, and also have a blog on the body. I also have not told everyone in my life, if they find out from googeling me I'm okay with that. I'm just not sending out a family and friends wide email to give everyone the heads up.
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Comment by: brian (Newport Beach, Ca.) Thu., Jun. 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm EDT
Thanks Mark, I think you should be who you are..
A Great Guy... that helps a whole lot of people.
As for me I am going through transistion.. Broke up with my partner of 2+ years
He loved the Meth more then me... So moved to Bayfront..went back to meetings reconnected to my AA support and I am still Sober.Amen.
God bless & keep. Alawys.
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