Do I tell others?
Deciding on who else to tell is an important decision to make and one that should be discussed and agreed with the person living with HIV. Because of the stigma which still surrounds HIV and even though attitudes are changing, it can be a difficult decision to make about who to tell, what and when. Having to keep your loved one’s HIV diagnosis a secret can be a burden.
Positive Life can help in this respect, both in providing confidential help and support, but also in assisting with decision making on who and who not to tell.
We can also provide family members with an opportunity to meet and talk with others in a similar situation. However isolated you may feel, you are not alone. Many other people have been through and are going through similar experiences.
For Family and friends of someone living with HIV
How can I best help and support my loved one?
Your family member will need time to adjust to the diagnosis in the days, months and years to come, as do you. There is no right or wrong way to cope with the news. Some people may want to find out everything they can about HIV, while others may want to push it to the back of their back of their mind. These reactions are natural and normal – the most important thing is to give yourself time to adjust.
As a family member of someone living with HIV, you may want to give support to them. Such support may be in providing a listening ear, talking things over or simply letting the person know you are there for them. If they have a period of illness, it may also involve giving practical help. While providing support can be valuable both for you and your loved one it can make demands on your own well being. While your loved one’s needs may often seem more important than your own, it is vital that you do not forget about your own needs.