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Author Topic: Keeping HIV a secret from my family  (Read 21790 times)

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Offline Ac75088

  • Member
  • Posts: 228
Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« on: June 22, 2011, 10:22:50 PM »
I was diagnosed back in January 2008..I still can't bring myself to tell my family I have HIV..I even had to lie about a recent hospital stay...I just know how conservative they are and they have always thought highly of me..And I just know that they will link my HIV with "bad irresponsible behavior"..there is only so many ways you can get it.....Some days I forget about it and just live my life..Other days the guilt really weighs on me..I have one close friend and his wife that I told a few months after I tested poz and they have been so great...But my family I'm afraid will be a different story..I don't even wanna date anyone anymore and that is very sucky..My family also doesn't know that I'm gay, then again, neither do the friends I told my status to..I'm just one huge lie right now...guess I'm just lookin for someone who understands and can relate..
01-12-08 Tested poz cd4 700 vl 8,000
04-25-11 Lowest cd4 count of 415 vl high at 250,000
05-03-11 Started Atripla
05-16-11 Hospitalized and treated for 2 weeks (neurosyphilis)
07-05-11 CD4 count 585 VL 550
10-04-11 CD4 count 700 VL 75
02-03-12 CD4 count 799 VL UD
08-08-12 CD4 count 838 VL UD

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 10:32:46 PM »
Ac -
I'm sure you will find others who can relate.  I stayed in the "gay closet" with my family until I was about 33 or 34.   When I did come out - for the most part they were supportive.  There were ups and downs.  But, overall, while they didn't understand it - they accepted it.

I told them I was poz right after I confirmed my status.  It really isn't something that we discuss much - as they prefer to stay in denial about it in a strange kind of way -- it comes up every now and then - but not too often.

For me, them knowing has made my life so much easier --- I don't have to live a lie - I don't have to seek their approval.  And, in many ways, it has actually made us get along better.  While I'm sure my mom particularly would love for me to be straight and negative - oh well, it is just one of those things that she has to deal with.  I have learned that if someone has an issue with it, it is their issue, not mine. 

I have spent too much time in my life getting alright with me to have anyone take that away.

But, disclosing to family is very much an individual decision - very much.  How ever you decide to proceed, just know that you have support from your friends on these forums.

-Phil
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline surf18

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 10:36:25 PM »
yea i keep my gayness to myself and of course the dudes i do obviously know. yea so i know what your going through. oh yea im not gay but i hiv.  yea its nuts. closeted about two huge things sucks. the stigma from this thing is bullshit. i hate it so much. we dont get any of the sympathy other people get.

Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2011, 10:39:20 PM »
Well, it depends on many things. Do you want to tell them? Do you feel like you have to tell them? Is hiding this from them a burden for you?

I live away from my parents, so it's easy to hide things from them. Regardless, I don't plan to tell them. Ever. But I have my reasons. You should consider what is best for you.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2011, 10:58:31 PM »
I had sworn I wouldn't tell my family for a long time! They are also conservative. None of them even knew I about me being gay, leave alone HIV. Well it didn't work out so well, (without going into detail) my mom found out by accident that I am gay and poz!!! She told my sister. I live with my family so I knew I couldn't have hidden it forever.

 In the last couple of months that they've known they've been most supportive. Yeah, there was the initial shock and hysteria but that's expected.  My mom, also had a million questions about me being gay- which I guess is normal.  I do feel like a huge weight if off my shoulders now. The burden of secrecy can oftentimes be much worse than imagined disclosure consequences.

I still tend to think that I've let them down and do get angry that about the way they found out but what can I do. My feelings of having failed them- might be me projecting, but it does get to me. I can't really say they've treated me any differently since they found out. Not one bit. So can't complain much.  

Anyway, I totally agree that its entirely your call and only you will know if and when the time to disclose comes. Good luck.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 12:34:22 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Raf

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 11:05:21 PM »
I was diagnosed back in January 2008..I still can't bring myself to tell my family I have HIV..I even had to lie about a recent hospital stay...I just know how conservative they are and they have always thought highly of me..And I just know that they will link my HIV with "bad irresponsible behavior"..there is only so many ways you can get it.....Some days I forget about it and just live my life..Other days the guilt really weighs on me..I have one close friend and his wife that I told a few months after I tested poz and they have been so great...But my family I'm afraid will be a different story..I don't even wanna date anyone anymore and that is very sucky..My family also doesn't know that I'm gay, then again, neither do the friends I told my status to..I'm just one huge lie right now...guess I'm just lookin for someone who understands and can relate..

I can relate to you... My story is very similar to your except for the detail that everyone in my house (mom, dad, sister and one of my aunts) knows about my status, but it was because they were there with me at the moment of my diagnosis (I had a full blown aids diagnosis back in 2008. The wasting syndrome almost left me on my bones). After my Dx,I thought they would kick me out of the house, they are very conservative too. But for my surprise, they supported me all way over! I've had a failed suicide attempt and everything and they were the ones who kept me alive through those hard moments (I wish I knew about this site back in 2008, it would helped me a lot that time).

I'm also gay, and still in the closet, even for my family. It's a heavy burden, but I'm not ready to throw that bomb out ... I don't know how they react, and if they kick me out of the house...I'll have to abide their choice and It's not very attractive to me to be poz and homeless (Even though financially I pay most of the house bills and only me and my mom work in my house). And even if I get out of the closet, it would be useless...who would want to be with me? getting out of the frigging closet to be rejected everytime? no thanks, I prefer the closet.

Sometimes I hate myself so much..poz and gay, I feel like the freaky of my family. I really admire those who see thir status as an honor badge...for me, being HIV+ (with a nice Aids diagnosis attached) is a flaw of my  character, how I could not think right on two specific moments of my life (I know who gave me this damn virus) and being irrsponsible to myself...nothing to be proud of. If only I could go back in time...I would stayed as a frigging closeted gay virgin to this day.

Well, at least in my case, my family at least support me with my HIV burden. After my Dx, I totally isolated myself, nobody outside of my house knows about this, and I don't have any friends to share this burden, at least you have someone.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline Nicolas2

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 02:42:57 AM »
I'm just one huge lie right now...guess I'm just lookin for someone who understands and can relate..

+1.

But (for many reasons) this is the only option right now.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 05:35:00 AM »
Whether you tell them or not, one day they're gonna find out.

They always do.

So how do you want your kin to learn your disgusting secret? On your terms or on terms set by someone else?

MtD

Offline BJS2011

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 06:16:49 AM »
I was diagnosed back in January 2008..I still can't bring myself to tell my family I have HIV..I even had to lie about a recent hospital stay...I just know how conservative they are and they have always thought highly of me..And I just know that they will link my HIV with "bad irresponsible behavior"..there is only so many ways you can get it.....Some days I forget about it and just live my life..Other days the guilt really weighs on me..I have one close friend and his wife that I told a few months after I tested poz and they have been so great...But my family I'm afraid will be a different story..I don't even wanna date anyone anymore and that is very sucky..My family also doesn't know that I'm gay, then again, neither do the friends I told my status to..I'm just one huge lie right now...guess I'm just lookin for someone who understands and can relate..
You have to stop living all the lies. Its not healthy. I was terrified to tell my family. I told my Mom I was gay and living with a black man. 2 months later I tested poz and had to tell them that. They have been so supportive except my sister. She disowned me. Her loss. I couldn't live if I didn't have the support from my parents. If they can't accept you for who you are thats there problem. But give them a chance. Living a lie must be horrible. Just bite the bullet and tell them. I bet you feel so much better. They will be shocked but if they love you they will always love you no matter what. And if they can't accept you its there loss. But you having to lie and not be yourself around them is terrible and must be so uncomfortable. Good luck my friend!!

Offline spacebarsux

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  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 06:23:44 AM »
I told my Mom I was gay and living with a black man.

Wow. She must have been so depressed!!  ::)
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 09:27:15 AM »
as much as i love my family and i know that they love me,i will tell you without a doubt that i am treated differently because of my status and that makes me very sad.I was even told by my nephew that his mother told him that i deserved what i got because i am GAY!!MY nephew happens to be gay and is so afraid to come out to his BIBLE TOTING parents ,he is now 37 yrs old and still lives at home.HE  is very lonely and i try to help him but i am limited to what i can do because his parents frown on my association with him,they have often said that they thought that my GAYNESS would rub off on him....little do they know!!!!!ANYWAY MY advice to you would be not to tell your family about your status especially if you have not come out to them about your sexuality.THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION!!

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2011, 10:17:32 AM »
As a counterpoint, once I told my parents and my one brother/sister-in-law I actually became much closer to all of them, and received the most incredible amount of support. They're so comfy talking about teh AIDS that they want to hear my lab reports/numbers when I go to the doctor each time. It's not even so much a "worry" thing, just a genuine interest (my mother had breast cancer in the 90's so she's down with the health crisis thingie). Even extended family knows, cousins and stuff. And this is not a particularly liberal-filthy hippie family, they're once-a-week church types.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2011, 11:03:58 AM »
I certainly understand your fears about disclosing to your family.   I also know that lies and secrets can make you sick, perhaps in a different way, but just as 'real' as any other illness.

I agree with Matty, they usually find out anyway, and it would be better for them to find out on YOUR terms than them hearing it from a stranger as nasty gossip.....

Best of luck with this,

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline Buckmark

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 12:49:19 PM »
I agree with Alan, Philly, and Matty.  You can either disclose to your family at a time and place of your own choosing, or you can just wait and leave it up to chance.  Eventually they will find out.  So why not take the bull by the horns and disclose?  This applies both the being gay, and having.

The desire to keep these secrets comes from shame.  You need to identify the source of that shame, and conquer it.  Otherwise you will continue to spend much time and effort to keep secrets, and that drains you, mentally, emotionally and physically.   In other words, it makes you miserable, because you're not free to live your life, you are busy hiding it from others.

I'm not saying it will be easy.  I don't know how your family will react, but you know you can't control that.  So you need to decide what is best for you:  disclose and deal with the consequences, or continue to hide and be miserable.  If you need help with accepting being gay and HIV, you may want to work with a therapist or other mental health professional.  They are good at helping you sort these things out.

Regards,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline MarcoPoz

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 12:56:51 PM »
Henry offered some fantastic advice here: (can we get this printed on a flier, t-shirt, coffee mug etc.?)

"The desire to keep these secrets comes from shame.  You need to identify the source of that shame, and conquer it.  Otherwise you will continue to spend much time and effort to keep secrets, and that drains you, mentally, emotionally and physically.   In other words, it makes you miserable, because you're not free to live your life, you are busy hiding it from others."

Its not about the 'secret'...it's about the shame you've lumped on it.  But that being said, you are where you are with it--and that's ok.  I think disclosure is an art and not a science.  Take a breath.  Think about how'd you'd want to hear this information from someone you loved and start putting together a plan.

Remember though--the ONLY thing we can control in a disclosure--is when and how we do it.  We have never had any control about what people do with the information or how they take it.

Offline drewm

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2011, 01:02:29 PM »
As a counterpoint, once I told my parents and my one brother/sister-in-law I actually became much closer to all of them, and received the most incredible amount of support. They're so comfy talking about teh AIDS that they want to hear my lab reports/numbers when I go to the doctor each time. It's not even so much a "worry" thing, just a genuine interest (my mother had breast cancer in the 90's so she's down with the health crisis thingie). Even extended family knows, cousins and stuff. And this is not a particularly liberal-filthy hippie family, they're once-a-week church types.

Dear Lord, another similarity between myself and MissP! I have become much closer to my family as well and they also take a genuine interest in the labs. My brother is a 'health nut', an admin at a hospital and my mom works in a hospital so they have 'health crisis fascination' for lack of a better term. My sister, who has been my rock at times has an incredibly sarcastic sense of humor. When I had 8 T cells, she and I named them! Now that we're up over 300, she's given up LOL!  :)
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

ATRIPLA - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline smiteler

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2011, 01:18:24 PM »
the one thing i can say is the longer you do it
the harder it is to come clean.

i disagree calling it living a lie
 i do not consider it in anyway a lie at all.  ::)

i always told myself i would NEVER EVER lie about my hiv status
to ANYONE if i was ever asked ANYWHERE
and i have kept true to that word and always will.
last time was
at my dentist
 the question was on his form..check


if you never ever lie about it
how can it be called a lie or living one??? ???

i have had some very bad experiances with disclosure/stigma
and a few good ones,whatever the outcome is it
always complicates things and changes the game.
people are very ignorant in these parts to the
extreme at times even today...
i wish i had a camera the last time my path crossed with a hiv phobe
some of the funnest stuff i ever saw but
sad at the same time

i know that sooner or later i will get cornered and will have to
disclose my status to them.
for over 13 years so far i haven't been cornered yet.

for now it is a part of my life that hiv has not invaded,
i have the temporary control of that part of my life
 that still has a semblance of normalcy that keeps me somewhat sane.

good luck with your choice
 it is a hard
and very personal one to make and
there is probably no right or wrong one.
just make the one that feels the best inside of you
thats all that matters



« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 01:22:20 PM by smiteler »

Offline eric48

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2011, 02:37:58 PM »
Hi,

Lost of various strategies around.

Mine: I keep telling my family and friends about the meds I take I take and the fight against .... 'diabetes'

LOL

Helps explain the pill box, the doc visits, the worries and fatigue. Works for me; easier for them to swallow

Just some thoughts

Peace

Eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 2 months

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2011, 04:29:05 PM »
I have both told family members and not told. Telling is definitely easier but not always the smart thing to do. Some people assume that someone's biological family is their support system but unfortunately it doesn't always work that way. My advice is 1) it is your health and you are under no obligation to tell your relatives: tell them when it is right for YOU, 2) unless you are certain someone will be supportive don't tell until you are comfortable dealing with it yourself (having your father tell you you deserve HIV is much worse if you believe that already), 3) if you can't share your HIV status with your biological family share with another support system, 4) don't underestimate the energy it takes to maintain a deception.

Offline Betelgeuse

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2011, 05:26:43 PM »
Whether you tell someone is entirely up to you.  If someone you care for somehow or inadvertently finds out later, they have to accept your reason for keeping it a secret without question.  There are many many reasons why you would not disclose your status to your family.  It's not always black or white.  Not only that, dynamics in a family are different from household to household.

After my baby brother came out of the closet to the family a few years ago, I decided there would not be a need for me to.  As my mother is no longer alive, my dad is closely approaching 70.  I see no need to put my dad through giving him a double whammy, "yeah, dad, I'm gay - and and I have HIV too".  If he dies not knowing this, I am totally fine with that. 

I have two younger brothers.  I told my baby brother who is also gay.  I just have to find the right time to tell my middle one.
04/19/11 - Diagnosed positive
04/29/11 - CD4 188 @ 12.5% / VL 18k
05/03/11 - CD4 171 @ unk% / VL 7k
06/04/11 - Start Truvada/Isentress
07/11/11 - CD4 not tested / VL UD
09/07/11 - CD4 252 @ unk% / VL UD

Offline buginme2

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2011, 06:48:48 PM »
It must be incredibly lonely not to be able to share your life with your family.  I think may parents and my partner spend more time together than they do with me.  I told my parents I was gay when I was 15.  Actually my boyfriends father called them and told them "your son is sleeping with my son." but thats another topic alltogether.

Even if your parents or other family members dont approve that you got the hiv sometimes you need to be selfish and tell them you dont care your just asking for their support.  I they are your family they should be able to provide it.

Offline Betelgeuse

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2011, 06:54:22 PM »
It must be incredibly lonely not to be able to share your life with your family.  I think may parents and my partner spend more time together than they do with me.  I told my parents I was gay when I was 15.  Actually my boyfriends father called them and told them "your son is sleeping with my son." but thats another topic alltogether.

Even if your parents or other family members dont approve that you got the hiv sometimes you need to be selfish and tell them you dont care your just asking for their support.  I they are your family they should be able to provide it.

I envy you.  I envy anyone raised by progressive families.  My parents are not from this country.  They still have the old country mindset.  I know with absolute certainty that I will be disowned, especially being first born.

I find my peace, my comfort and my fulfillment from building lifelong friendships.  There isn't a thing my best friend wouldn't do for me and vice versa. 

I don't find that I would gain anything at all by telling my dad.  Given his age, I will probably outlive him.  I just want him to stay a happy man. 
04/19/11 - Diagnosed positive
04/29/11 - CD4 188 @ 12.5% / VL 18k
05/03/11 - CD4 171 @ unk% / VL 7k
06/04/11 - Start Truvada/Isentress
07/11/11 - CD4 not tested / VL UD
09/07/11 - CD4 252 @ unk% / VL UD

Offline buginme2

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2011, 06:57:35 PM »
I understand that.  Its good that you have built strong friendships that can also be your family.  I just think its important to have someone close you can seek support from. 

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2011, 07:09:11 PM »
I'll also add that my parents got really mad at me when I told them I was HIV+. Not because I had HIV, but because I waited a decade to tell them, suffering all by my lonesome.

By the way, the thought that your parents will be eternally saddened by this news is BS. They'll be sad for a week or so, but after that they positively live for the fact that they can help you in some sublime way. Parents like to be needed.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2011, 07:41:20 PM »
While I definitely respect each person's decision on whether to keep their sexual orientation and/or HIV status "secret." 

I will say from personal experience and gaining insight over the years a few things:
1) I had a friend who came out and his dad disowned him for about 4 years - but then came around and they are closer than ever
2) My disclosure to family (parents included) brought me closer to my family - were my parents happy about it?  No - but did they accept it?  Yes
3) I believe that coming out w/ sexual orientation and/or status can be one of the most liberating things one can do --- IMHO, not coming out is allowing others to have control over my life - something I didn't realize before I came out, but afterwards, when I came out, I realized that I had been letting others dictate how I proceed in life ---- not happening here, not anymore
4) Hiding two very major parts of one's life from those closest - IMHO - is not being loving, considerate, respectful --- it is, in fact, keeping people at a distance and depriving them of knowing the real me.
5) Now that I am out - with both the HIV and being gay - it really isn't an issue --- afterall, being gay and being poz is not exclusively who I am --- I still pay bills, I still like movies, I still like to talk about politics and a host of other subjects that have nothing to do with being gay or being poz.
6) Non disclosure - IMHO feeds and reinforces stigma.  Looking back over my closeted years, I can't believe I had the audacity to knock homophobes, criticize those who weren't tolerate, or have opinions whether expressed out loud or kept to myself that questioned how people could not give gays equality and not discriminate against those with HIV ------ when my act of nondisclosure to the people who were supposed to be closest to me in my life - was far worse than what I criticized  and/or judged others for doing.

I'm glad I got over the hump -- it has made me a better person --- and a secret that is no longer a secret can't hurt me.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2011, 08:41:58 PM »
All should bear in mind that each person has different relationships with their families. In my case, my father and I don't talk to each other for years anyway, and if I told him, which I would never do, he would only humilliate me. As for my mother, she's bipolar, depressive, and has tried to commit suicide three times. I constantly have to take care of her. If I told her, it would be easier to just stick a knife into her heart.

So all this speech of "disclosing to your family is good" is completely irresponsible if you don't know what's the person's context. It works for some, it doesn't work for others.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2011, 08:46:49 PM »
So all this speech of "disclosing to your family is good" is completely irresponsible if you don't know what's the person's context. It works for some, it doesn't work for others.
Actually, all this speech of disclosing to your family is good is not completely irresponsible --- well, it is if you have selective reading skills ----- I know in both my posts I have said that it is each person's individual decision and that I respect each persons right to make whatever decision they decide --- I just shared my experience, based on my life circumstances and experiences.   So, nothing irresponsible there.  Unless a person isn't capable of making their own decision on how to proceed based on their own individual circumstances.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2011, 08:51:01 PM »
Actually, all this speech of disclosing to your family is good is not completely irresponsible --- well, it is if you have selective reading skills ----- I know in both my posts I have said that it is each person's individual decision and that I respect each persons right to make whatever decision they decide --- I just shared my experience, based on my life circumstances and experiences.   So, nothing irresponsible there.  Unless a person isn't capable of making their own decision on how to proceed based on their own individual circumstances.

I didn't quote you, did I? I was talking in general.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2011, 08:54:29 PM »
I didn't quote you, did I? I was talking in general.
Well, you did say (to paraphrase) that talk of the benefits of disclosing was irresponsible without knowing someone else's situation ---- I don't think that anyone is saying that everyone needs to disclose - rather people are sharing their experiences --- reasons for disclosure, the feelings it brought on and reasons for nondisclosure.....

I respect both views - what works for me and worked for me, may not work for someone else....

September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Online Jeff G

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2011, 10:16:13 PM »
So all this speech of "disclosing to your family is good" is completely irresponsible if you don't know what's the person's context. It works for some, it doesn't work for others.

I don't see how you can think advice that was offered to a someone that asked for it to be irresponsible . I haven't read where anyone in this thread has tried to twist someones arm to make them do something they are not comfortable with .

Disclosing ones HIV status is a personal choice but I think its a stretch in most situations life throws at you to think of honesty as an irresponsible choice . I think its great that the OP is willing to discuss his options with us and consider others experiences .

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 10:18:42 PM »
All should bear in mind that each person has different relationships with their families. In my case, my father and I don't talk to each other for years anyway, and if I told him, which I would never do, he would only humilliate me. As for my mother, she's bipolar, depressive, and has tried to commit suicide three times. I constantly have to take care of her. If I told her, it would be easier to just stick a knife into her heart.

So all this speech of "disclosing to your family is good" is completely irresponsible if you don't know what's the person's context. It works for some, it doesn't work for others.

So how would it be if your parents found out from a source other than you?

Y'know because shit like, totally, happens.

MtD

Offline bocker3

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2011, 10:38:22 PM »
All should bear in mind that each person has different relationships with their families. In my case, my father and I don't talk to each other for years anyway, and if I told him, which I would never do, he would only humilliate me. As for my mother, she's bipolar, depressive, and has tried to commit suicide three times. I constantly have to take care of her. If I told her, it would be easier to just stick a knife into her heart.

So all this speech of "disclosing to your family is good" is completely irresponsible if you don't know what's the person's context. It works for some, it doesn't work for others.

Go back and reread what Henry wrote -- you need it.

Of course, everyone needs to determine for themselves.  However, one can always find an excuse to not tell -- fear is funny that way -- it finds a way to make it seem completely logical. 

I put off telling my family for a year or so -- then I told them -- one by one.  We aren't any closer because of it, but I don't have to be as distant as I was becoming.  They all took my coming out OK (in fact a number simply said -- I'm glad you finally figured it out -- we've been waiting).  They all took my HIV news well too - my daughter was a bit disappointed in me -- mainly because I got infected while with my partner -- he's negative -- she had higher expectations of me there -- but she has been fine with it all.  She's a bit on the religious side -- but is completely comfortable with me, my partner and our being part of her and my grandkid's lives.

So -- do what you must -- but know that honesty is very freeing.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
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May2013 691/31% <20

Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2011, 11:52:41 PM »
You see, this is what I'm talking about. Suddenly, it's a question of "honesty" telling your family. So I'm dishonest and make up excuses for not telling my family? Telling me what I need or what's good for me is completely our of place, highly judgemental and it proves my point. If I told my mom and she got worse, had to be sent (yet again) to a mental hospital or even committed suicide, I bet no one here would feel guilty about it.

And Matty, I don't think they would find out. I could always make up something and if not, tough luck. What I know is that it would do me and them no good.

Online Jeff G

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2011, 12:23:38 AM »
You see, this is what I'm talking about. Suddenly, it's a question of "honesty" telling your family. So I'm dishonest and make up excuses for not telling my family? Telling me what I need or what's good for me is completely our of place, highly judgemental and it proves my point. If I told my mom and she got worse, had to be sent (yet again) to a mental hospital or even committed suicide, I bet no one here would feel guilty about it.

And Matty, I don't think they would find out. I could always make up something and if not, tough luck. What I know is that it would do me and them no good.

I'm sorry you thought I was calling you dishonest , I wasn't . The next paragraph where you wrote you could make something up if the truth does ever come out  shows you have some strong feelings about the subject and are willing to keep your secret by any means , that's a lot of power to give up to a virus . A medical condition is nothing to be ashamed of , just saying . 

Offline Raf

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2011, 01:07:57 AM »
You see, this is what I'm talking about. Suddenly, it's a question of "honesty" telling your family. So I'm dishonest and make up excuses for not telling my family? Telling me what I need or what's good for me is completely our of place, highly judgemental and it proves my point. If I told my mom and she got worse, had to be sent (yet again) to a mental hospital or even committed suicide, I bet no one here would feel guilty about it.

And Matty, I don't think they would find out. I could always make up something and if not, tough luck. What I know is that it would do me and them no good.

I understand you perfectly...every family is distinct, even though I was lucky, I see clearly you aren't...and you have very valid resons to not disclose.

Do everything in your power to hide it, specially if your mom's life could be affected so bad.

Sometimes, I wonder how in hell my family don't know about me being gay, I mean, seriously, 32 years, and not a single girlfriend? come on! (I simply refuse to start a false relationship with a woman just to cover my sexuality...it's not fair for both of us, and I cannot do that to any woman out there, I respect them a lot). It's funny, I've had strong discussions in the past with my parents regarding this, the last one was one month before the aids begin kicking in with the wasting syndrome.

I'm getting tired of this...maybe if sometime the discussion rise again, and they ask me about this, maybe I could blurt it out..but of course, It won't be me who takes the first step, that's for sure.
Dx: 05/14/2008
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Offline Ac75088

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2011, 01:11:28 AM »
Thanks everyone for all your responses..Gives me a lot to think about..All of you have honest opinions and I respect that...The real reason for my dishonesty is my grandma and my mom..Grandma is 82 years old and I take care of her whenever I am at her house..She lives here in Dallas so I see her a lot..My mom has MS and has had cancer off and on..She lives out of town in NM..I figure anything that would weigh stress on them shouldn't be told to them...I already know this can't be kept inside forever..I just hope that they still see the same person when the time does come that's all...I just could not go on living if anyone in my family disowned me for this...for any amount of time
01-12-08 Tested poz cd4 700 vl 8,000
04-25-11 Lowest cd4 count of 415 vl high at 250,000
05-03-11 Started Atripla
05-16-11 Hospitalized and treated for 2 weeks (neurosyphilis)
07-05-11 CD4 count 585 VL 550
10-04-11 CD4 count 700 VL 75
02-03-12 CD4 count 799 VL UD
08-08-12 CD4 count 838 VL UD

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2011, 02:46:29 AM »
Just felt like making some bullet points based on most of the posts above  :)

-Keeping such a big secret takes up a lot of energy.

-Oftentimes, 'imagined' disclosure consequences are at complete variance from reality coz those who really love you will love you HIV or not.

-Every family is different and every person is different so there is no 'one rule for all'

-Families will eventually find out. It sucks big time if they hear it from someone other than you.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 02:53:03 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline bocker3

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2011, 07:41:27 AM »
You see, this is what I'm talking about. Suddenly, it's a question of "honesty" telling your family. So I'm dishonest and make up excuses for not telling my family? Telling me what I need or what's good for me is completely our of place, highly judgemental and it proves my point. If I told my mom and she got worse, had to be sent (yet again) to a mental hospital or even committed suicide, I bet no one here would feel guilty about it.

And Matty, I don't think they would find out. I could always make up something and if not, tough luck. What I know is that it would do me and them no good.

No -- there is no "Judgment".  People do what they do for reasons that are known to them.  However, keeping a secret is dishonest by definition. regardless of the reasoning -- it still might be the right thing to do in some situation, but it iis still be less than honest about you.  If you see judgment in that -- that's on you.  Quite honestly, your over the top reaction to others giving their experience in how being upfront about their diagnosis speaks volumes. 
Your particular decision to not tell may be the best approach for you, but your experience DOES NOT HOLD MORE WEIGHT THAN OTHERS. 
I'll repeat what I said earlier -- so maybe you won't focus on one word -- each person has to decide whether (and/or when) to tell their family.  However, there are a majority of folks right in this thread who show that IN MOST CASES, their initial fears were unfounded and that being honest was freeing.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2011, 09:07:32 AM »
jg1962 and Raf, thanks for understanding. Really, not telling my family is no problem at all. The point is: I don't want to tell them, I don't have to tell them and I don't feel it's a burden because of that. Others may keep saying "they will find out, they would rather know about it, they will accept you, everything will be alright" and whatever else, but not all families are the same and not all people have the same relationships with their families. And people always judge based on how their families are.

Sure, I wish things were different, but that doesn't mean I'll hide out from everyone. I have friends, and even my therapist, so adamant about me telling my friends about it so I can share the burden, was not keen on the idea of telling my family.

Regardless, jg1962, we all know HIV is not like other illnesses in the eyes of society. It's not like cancer, for example. But even if I had cancer, I don't think I would tell them, so my problem is not simply HIV.

No -- there is no "Judgment".  People do what they do for reasons that are known to them.  However, keeping a secret is dishonest by definition. regardless of the reasoning -- it still might be the right thing to do in some situation, but it iis still be less than honest about you.  If you see judgment in that -- that's on you.  Quite honestly, your over the top reaction to others giving their experience in how being upfront about their diagnosis speaks volumes. 
Your particular decision to not tell may be the best approach for you, but your experience DOES NOT HOLD MORE WEIGHT THAN OTHERS. 
I'll repeat what I said earlier -- so maybe you won't focus on one word -- each person has to decide whether (and/or when) to tell their family.  However, there are a majority of folks right in this thread who show that IN MOST CASES, their initial fears were unfounded and that being honest was freeing.

Mike

Really, you should keep your own definitions to yourself instead of treating it as a general rule. My "over the top reaction" is because not all families are places of understanding, love and compassion. If yours is, good for you. Mine isn't. If you think I'm dishonest for that, well, good for you, if it makes you feel special about it. And if you can't see any judgement in that, it's clear your definitions are out of order.

And my case holds no more weight than others, I have never said that. But neither does yours. Nor everyone else's. My point is that each case is different, and there is no absolute right or "honest" thing to do, like you are preaching. Quite frankly, you were simply disrespectful, to say the least.

Offline buca45

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2011, 11:16:51 AM »
You are NOT...repeat NOT living a lie by not disclosing your orientation or status. Nor do I think you are in any sort of denial.
What I think you are doing is very generous to your family as you are putting their feelings and concerns above your own, By considering how knowing these facts about your life might cause them some grief or worse, worsening THEIR own health problems shows what a wonderful and compassionate person you are. For that you should be commended  and NOT judged...by anyone.
I have seen it go both ways not only with my own story, but with friends or with those whose stories I have read in various HIV related publications. Sometimes you come out of it with a ton of support and other  times you could be disowned by those you consider close to you. You can never tell until it happens until after you disclose. Should it turn ugly, the only one who would feel horrible about it would be you as they would think their thoughts first about your orientation, then your HIV status are the  only 'right and moral way' to feel about it. Remember, it is you who has to live this life and no matter how they might feel about both/either issue, it is you who will have to face and deal with the fallout negative or positive. Is it really worth it to disclose?
I think you already have the answer on how to deal with this very personal issue in your mind and that you are only setting up a base of support should it turn ugly. Know that this support will still be there regardless of the outcome. ONLY you know what is best for you. Believe me when I say we can ALL relate to what you are experiencing now as each of us has had these inner conversations when attempting to come to what would be the BEST way to live YOUR life.
Personally I have only told my mother and not the rest of my family. She has known for six or seven years and has yet to be able to bring up the subject on her own. The only time she is willing/able to discuss it is when I mention it during our conversations and even then it is a strained conversation with no real input from her. After I tell her of what issues I am dealing with, the line goes silent until I change the subject. I know she is extremely uncomfortable with the health issues and to a lesser extent the gay issue. While my two brothers know Im gay, they have in no way been supportive or understanding...I cannot imagine how they would react if/when they do find out about the HIV issue. I don't plan on disclosing to them...ever and that is a decision I was able to make easily as I know what their reaction will be. I am not close to them and this will only be the final nail in the coffin which is our relationship.
Regardless of which way you decide to go, you will always have the support and understanding of your fellow posters here on aidsmeds.com. We are in this together and know that nothing is too overwhelming to come to terms with...you have and always will have us to talk to when it gets rough.
Good luck and nothing but the best for you in deciding how you want to handle this very private and personal issue.
"Love and Laughter and Happiness Ever After"

Online Jeff G

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2011, 11:47:37 AM »
I wouldn't want a relationship with anyone my parents included if I had to lie about things just to maintain it but that's just me .

I'm not trying to persuade anyone to come out or disclose to anyone . Its seems that the people that are most horrified by coming out or disclosing are the ones who have not fully come to terms with there own sexuality or HIV infection , its not like most of us didn't struggle with these things at one time and it wasn't any easier for most to stand up to family and the world and say this is who I am .

Its kind of sad to see people so afraid of the truth and scared of losing something in life they think is more important than self respect .   

Offline Assurbanipal

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AHIV a secret from my family
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2011, 11:50:20 AM »
I was diagnosed back in January 2008..I still can't bring myself to tell my family I have HIV..I even had to lie about a recent hospital stay...I just know how conservative they are and they have always thought highly of me..And I just know that they will link my HIV with "bad irresponsible behavior"..there is only so many ways you can get it.....Some days I forget about it and just live my life..Other days the guilt really weighs on me..I have one close friend and his wife that I told a few months after I tested poz and they have been so great...But my family I'm afraid will be a different story..I don't even wanna date anyone anymore and that is very sucky..My family also doesn't know that I'm gay, then again, neither do the friends I told my status to..I'm just one huge lie right now...guess I'm just lookin for someone who understands and can relate..

AC

Do you have any way to access a therapist, perhaps through an EAP at your job?  There are a lot of therapists who help people think through these issues all the time and I think you would really benefit by being able to sit down face to face, tell your story, and sort through what is most important to you. 

If you feel you are "one huge lie right now" it would really help if you had someone who you can bare your soul to, who is required to keep your story confidential, but who has helped other people going through this.

Sincerely
 A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2011, 12:18:09 PM »
I wouldn't want a relationship with anyone my parents included if I had to lie about things just to maintain it but that's just me .

I'm not trying to persuade anyone to come out or disclose to anyone . Its seems that the people that are most horrified by coming out or disclosing are the ones who have not fully come to terms with there own sexuality or HIV infection , its not like most of us didn't struggle with these things at one time and it wasn't any easier for most to stand up to family and the world and say this is who I am .

Its kind of sad to see people so afraid of the truth and scared of losing something in life they think is more important than self respect .   

Well, I do not have a relationship with my father, and as much as I would like to run away from my mother's problems sometimes, I can't, I have to care for her. Some relationships we don't simply choose.

Now, you say you're not trying to persuade anyone to disclose, but you are clearly offending those who don't. It's easy to say you are not forcing your idea while patronizing those who don't follow it. Do you think you are better than others because of that? It's not a question of self-respect; if it is for you, good, but stop imposing your values on others. Stop assuming how others feel and stop thinking people feel the same way you do in the same situation. I don't feel bound by not telling my family, so why telling them would make me "free"?

I keep reading here that HIV does not define who you are, but suddenly, in the arrogant view of some, you are dishonest and lacking self-respect if you don't shout it out to the world. How absurd is that?

Offline Joe K

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2011, 01:36:28 PM »
I don't think anyone is judging others in whether they choose to disclose, as each member is relating their own experiences and thoughts.  I also don't have anything to add in relation to disclosing to family that has not already been mentioned.  I am a parent however and I can tell you, that for most parents, the idea that their own children could not or would not come to them in times of great crisis, would break their heart.  Parents are much stronger than you could ever imagine and while I may not like to hear the news of my child being infected, it would not change how I felt about them, because I love them as my child and in such a situation there are no deal breakers in that love.

I am not saying that all parents would react favorably, as some may not, but try and see the difference as disappointment in what has happened, as opposed to diminishing the love you share.  One of the hardest thing a parent has to do is to let their kids leave the nest and hopefully stand on their own.  We do our best to prepare you to meet life head on and if we are lucky, we leave you knowing that no matter what happens, we will always be there for you.  As I said, we are incredibly strong and resilient and a major impetus for almost all parents is our children always come first.

Therefore, I ask you to consider just how powerful your parents really are, in their ability to love and cherish you. Yes there will be disappointment, frustration and maybe even anger over an issue, but the vast majority of parents will find the ability to rise to any occasion... if only you would give us a chance.

Online mecch

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2011, 02:30:38 PM »
I think I'm mostly in the Miss P camp and believe most parents deal well enough with news about their children that startles or disturbs.  Such as being gay, having the scourge dirty HIV, flunking out of school, wanting to change sex, being a Republican, changing religions. whatever.  

But that is with the caveat that I've heard other reactions, real sad stories.  And also this is America and Americans believe it or not are multicultural and open-minded, and even if they aren't politically open-minded, they sort of know they are supposed to be.  And anyway, parents love their children no matter what.

Supposedly Casey Anthony's parents don't think she is innocent, but they still love her and don't want her to get the death penalty.  

HIV is hardly a crime.  Just has a lot of stigma.  And the stigma is pretty heavy if you're also coming out as gay AND having HIV at the same time.  

But there are all sorts of reasons one might not want to tell parents.  I didn't tell my dad because when I was diagnosed, he was terminally ill.  What would have been the point.  He saw me suffer and helped me a lot when some of my friends and lovers were dying in the 80's and 90's.   In 2008 when I got HIV, even I didn't know a lot of the most recent, mostly good news about living with HIV, so it would have been a lot of education to explain to him.

Now the country I live in, Switzerland, its getting pretty multicultural as well. I'm pretty sure most Swiss parents could take any news about their children in stride.

I'm not sure I see what country context it would be automatically impossible to be HIV.

For instance, everyone knows about how repressive some countries are about homosexuality, but I know for example Egyptians who are out in their families, and it works, and Saudis who are known by their families to prefer men.   If you are not a Saudi citizen, you're treated like crap generally.  If you are HIV+ and foreign, prison and deported.  But in the last years, if you are Saudi and are HIV+, you get good treatment.

So isn't it often an individual family context, and private sphere versus public dogma, about HIV and acceptance.  

I'm sure some families just can't deal, but probably not as many as people might think or say publicly.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 02:32:48 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2011, 03:34:30 PM »
AIDSMEDS has a good article/lesson that covers disclosure:
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Disclosure_4948.shtml

Oh, and well everyone's situation is different and each person needs to make their own decision regarding disclosure based on their individual circumstances, here is what at least one research study found:

The disclosure of one’s HIV status to ‘close family’ opens up the opportunity to receive social support.
Research has shown that people with HIV infection who are integrated into social networks have higher levels of psychological wellbeing than those who are not (Kelly et al., 1993). There is evidence
that one’s mood, for example, depression, correlates with satisfaction with, or perceived availability of, social support (Murphy et al.,1991), and that those satisfied with social support have a greater ability to cope.


In regards to gay men disclosing their HIV status to family members:

Our research shows that there may be secrets within the biological family regarding awareness of HIV diagnosis. This has implications for the interactions within the families, regarding ‘who knows’ and the social support offered by the family...positive changes in their ‘close family’ relationships since disclosure of
HIV infection, which is consistent with the current literature that relationships seem to endure the crisis of disclosure (Bor et al.,1993b; Cowles and Rodgers, 1994; Rolland, 1994). The changes experienced in the famly of origin and family of choice relationships were mainly positive.

Caution is required in generalizing our findings due to the small numbers in the study and the pilot nature of the research.


Link to article:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-6427.00038/pdf

There are numerous other studies which show that overall positive results have resulted from disclosure to family members, I could post each link and/or excerpt from the article - but figured that this would at least provide some beginning level of research citation to accompany the personal experiences that have been shared.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline David_CA

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2011, 05:12:16 PM »
Whether you tell them or not, one day they're gonna find out.

They always do.

So how do you want your kin to learn your disgusting secret? On your terms or on terms set by someone else?

MtD
How true.  My family got to find out about my status when I was very sick in the hospital... not at all how I had 'planned' disclosing.  My 'plan' was really an excuse to NOT tell them by putting it off indefinitely.  Believe me, it would have been much easier to tell them on MY terms when I was doing well instead of when I was on my death bed.

I'll also add that my parents got really mad at me when I told them I was HIV+. Not because I had HIV, but because I waited a decade to tell them, suffering all by my lonesome.

By the way, the thought that your parents will be eternally saddened by this news is BS. They'll be sad for a week or so, but after that they positively live for the fact that they can help you in some sublime way. Parents like to be needed.

My mom was also upset that I waited 9 months to tell her that I was HIV+.  After all, we don't do secrets in my family.  Sure, I may not talk about who I hooked up with, etc, but serious things like health issues concern all in my immediate and somewhat extended family.  

I guess that if I wasn't close to my family, I wouldn't disclose any more than I'd tell them about other things in my life.  After all, HIV really is just another 'thing in my life'.  

« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 05:31:26 PM by David_NC »
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
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Offline bocker3

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2011, 05:16:35 PM »
Well, I do not have a relationship with my father, and as much as I would like to run away from my mother's problems sometimes, I can't, I have to care for her. Some relationships we don't simply choose.

Now, you say you're not trying to persuade anyone to disclose, but you are clearly offending those who don't. It's easy to say you are not forcing your idea while patronizing those who don't follow it. Do you think you are better than others because of that? It's not a question of self-respect; if it is for you, good, but stop imposing your values on others. Stop assuming how others feel and stop thinking people feel the same way you do in the same situation. I don't feel bound by not telling my family, so why telling them would make me "free"?

I keep reading here that HIV does not define who you are, but suddenly, in the arrogant view of some, you are dishonest and lacking self-respect if you don't shout it out to the world. How absurd is that?

Get over yourself already.  We all make choices -- they aren't necessarily right or wrong, but they all carry consequences.  Clearly your choices are eating you up -- for whatever reason.  I hope you get some peace.

I like what Joe had to say -- I'm a parent also -- there is NOTHING that my daughter could tell me that would make me not love her.  Although she sometimes takes a long time to tell me something out of fear of my reaction.  Each time we talk about why she thought I would react the way her mind was playing -- we always end up agreeing that it was because she was responding for me in her head -- not based on any past history.  I would hate having her feel the need to keep a part of her from me.

I will say again (although I'm sure you will still get all offended from this post) -- everyone must make their own decisions here.  The only arrogance I'm reading is from you.....  it's clearly a touchy subject for you -- perhaps you should self-reflect on the reasons for that.

Mike

Edited to add:
My brother is also HIV+ but refuses to tell the family -- even though he's seen them all deal with my disclosure very well.  He can't push through his fear -- now he avoids my parents (and he was the closest to them of all my brothers).  He went through this with coming out too -- again, he had me to judge reactions, but fear stopped him for years.  Once he came out, he closeness resumed.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 05:19:28 PM by bocker3 »
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Offline LM

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2011, 05:53:22 PM »
Get over yourself already.  We all make choices -- they aren't necessarily right or wrong, but they all carry consequences.  Clearly your choices are eating you up -- for whatever reason.  I hope you get some peace.

Really, what's wrong with you? You say I'm dishonest for not disclosing to my family and now you talk about choices eating me up, and there is no right or wrong? Get a hold of yourself.

Besides, you don't get it, do you? Not telling my family doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is someone who doesn't know me nor my family and all its history saying I'm the bad guy just because I don't want to disclose it to them while I'm thinking of their well-being. I can't count on them, and I can handle that, it has always been like that and it can't be fixed. But I can't accept that someone judges me because of that.

Sorry if my family is not the jolly and loving family yours is. But I'm an asshole because I don't give it a try, when I don't need or want to, just to see if my mom doesn't try suicide a 4th time, right? Yeah, nice going, man.

Offline eric48

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Re: Keeping HIV a secret from my family
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2011, 05:59:26 PM »
By considering how knowing these facts about your life might cause them some grief or worse, worsening THEIR own health problems ...

There are as many strategies as personal situations and lifestyles...

While a lot of people adhere to the 'disclose' group, I belong to the tiny minority of the strict nondisclosure group. I have my own reasons... I am not the only one not willing/at liberty to disclose health issues (think of Steve Jobs...).

99,999 % of married couples wear a ring (in this side of the world). We don't (neither did any of our ancestors)

If I were to even dare whine to my family about this, my wife would just hand my the sword to put an end to that disgrace.

The very one that is on the family altar and was used by her own father. (a wonderful piece of fine metallurgy, BTW)

And I am not saying that I have not been contemplating that option myself...

But, that, of course, is a bit on the extreme for lay people.

See, there is plenty of room to move the cursor, one side or the other

Eric







NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 2 months

 


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