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How can we tell when it's "denial"?

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I'm not a therapist or anything like that. But I'd say that if you were in denial you'd be out partying, putting your body through a lot of stress, sleeping around, etc.   Maybe you just don't want to think about HIV for awhile?  When first diagnosed I read every website, book, journal article I could get my hands on. Later I went through a period of time where I did not visit any hiv-related website for probably a year. I think you'll find a balance at some point.  Sometimes I feel that I need an "information-vacation."



My doctor diagnosed me with a VL of 6,000. Enough for a diagnosis but pretty low for primary infection. There was definitely a part of me that thought, 'Maybe it reacted with something else I have. Maybe I won't test positive on an antibody.' I think that's what you would call denial.

My situation isn't exactly like yours. But I came out of a relationship that went badly and then 6 weeks later I had HIV. These feelings are so raw and powerful. I think it can be hard to differentiate, and it's alot to deal with all at once.

Just give yourself some space and time and I believe what you're feeling and why will become more clear. There's no need to solve the puzzle tonight.


Andrew, I think denial works both ways. Some poz people immerse themselves in all things HIV/AIDS ("dwell" on it) as a way to deny themselves of more sensible & practical, "no-cost" actions for improving their lives.  :-\ That's denial IMHO. For example, a friend of mine who has HIV says his life was already complex before HIV. His life complexities more or less explain his bad luck in love and other drama, according to him. Now he's got HIV to add to his cake batter.

I don't know you nor your therapist, but I don't agree with what your therapist said. well at least they were words to ponder. good luck to you in july and september!  :)


Thanks all for the feedback, and yes, I think it's not denial but simply a need for breathing space. I've got enough to deal with, and since there is no impeding doom and since this virus isn't leaving me anytime soon (!), there is no need to rush rush rush into being Mr HIV Facts (if ever).

Many thanks,


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