Quantcast

Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 16, 2014, 09:38:00 PM

Login with username, password and session length


Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 619909
  • Total Topics: 46702
  • Online Today: 258
  • Online Ever: 585
  • (January 07, 2014, 02:31:47 PM)
Users Online

Welcome


Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ/AIDSmeds community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: How do I tell friends & family?  (Read 2698 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ocean_Lover

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
How do I tell friends & family?
« on: July 16, 2011, 12:26:39 PM »
I was diagnosed May 2011 so it is still pretty new to me. I was told I need to start Atripla based on my numbers.

How have you told your friends or family?

How do I tell my family?

I have lived away from family for the last 20 years.

I am totally lost and need some help.

Thank you in advance.

Offline dpb

  • Member
  • Posts: 89
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 10:36:43 PM »
How have you told your friends or family?

Yes.  I informed my immediate family members shortly after my diagnosis.  It was a difficult time, but I needed the support.  I told those that I felt closest with and who I thought had an obligation to know.  In retrospect, there are several family members I wish I did not disclose too.  

How do I tell my family?

You don't have to tell anyone (other than your doctors/physicians or sexual partners).  Those are the only people you are obligated to inform.  If you don't feel comfortable disclosing your diagnosis to your family members, then I would recommend taking some time to think about it.  Maybe consider speaking to a mental health professional, a close friend, or support group.  

If you are determined to inform your family members right away, then I would be direct and honest.

I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but as everyone will tell you here: it gets much easier with time.  I fell into a long depression and had suicidal thoughts, but I've improved dramatically since then.  It took a long time for me to fully comprehend the enormity of the diagnosis and accept my situation.  I got to a point where I decided I can't live the rest of my life in regret and shame.  Life can and does go on.  The treatment available today is very effective at controlling HIV, and there is no reason to believe you will not live a full, healthy life.  Give yourself time to adjust.  Utilize the forums here.  They're really a great source of information and support.  You can PM me anytime if you ever need somebody to talk to.  Hope I could be of some help.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 10:38:56 PM by dpb »
Date        CD4    %    VL
1/15/11    Diagnosed
3/1/11    525    18    168,518
5/12/11    558    16    331,791
5/16/11    Started Atripla
5/31/11    NA    NA    1,200
6/15/11    721    21    330
7/15/11    649    23    231
8/15/11    569    25    UD
11/17/11  752    26    UD
3/1/12    634    27    UD
7/2/12    594    26    UD
2/13       676    30    UD
9/13       662    31    UD

Offline antibody

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
  • "every man thinks his burden is the heaviest"
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 11:58:46 AM »
I did not inform my immediate family. I'm not dying so why involve them or give them something to needlessly worry about. Of course if my good health were to change direction I would inform them when the time comes.
A few of my close friends know and I rely on them for advice but all these people are negative and cant really understand what it is to be HIV positive. But my point is not everyone needs to know.
Timbuk      <50/ 794  CD4 10/06 
                 <50/ 1096 CD4 3/07
                 <40/ 1854 CD4 4/09

Started Atripla  7/14/06
Switched to boosted Reyataz Truvada 3/28/07

*Ask me about Medical Marijuana and how it can help you!*

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,710
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 12:24:46 PM »
I'm sorry that you hot this diagnosis.

About disclosure - if you want to read a lot of different threads about this on this forum,
search for that word "disclosure" at the bottom on the left bar in the window.

It's a very popular topic and we all wonder how to do it well.

When you say you are lost - what do you mean - you don't have any idea of how to tell your family. Or you need to tell them because you are feeling lost because of the diagnosis.  Quite different!

Also, what do you mean - you have lived away from your family for 20 years.  Do you have good and lonstanding communication, good relationships - or have you been really out of touch for 20 years.  Again, very different situations.

If you give some specifics maybe we can give you more specific advice for your situation.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 27,947
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 12:30:44 PM »
Ocean, I've moved your thread into the Living forum where it will get more attention. Your topic is more a Living With issue anyway, rather than a Mental Health issue. Disclosure is just one of the parts of living with this virus.

I'm very open about my status and all my friends know and most of my acquaintances too. My brother and sister know, but I never told my (recently deceased) mother because we've lived hundreds - and thousands - of miles apart for nearly thirty years. The distance in our emotional relationship was similarly distant.

My daughter knows too, and has done since she was thirteen, not long after my diagnosis. She's now 24 and a very well-adjusted young woman. My disclosure to her did her no harm and in fact made her a stronger, more compassionate person. It brought us closer too - honesty will do that in human relationships.

You have to decide what is right for you and your family, but if you are at all close to them, I would recommending telling them. You don't have to tell them all at once. You could start with a trusted brother or sister, aunt, uncle or cousin first and ease into it that way.

As someone else said, the only people who MUST know are your health care providers (including dentists and eye specialists). It's also wise to disclose to your sexual partners and in some places in the world it is illegal to not disclose to sexual partners. This could lead to trouble down the line if you do not disclose and that person finds out at a later date.

It's early days for you yet, so give yourself some time. Once you tell someone, you can't un-tell, so think carefully first. I find being open is the easiest way to go (keeping secrets is difficult and VERY stressful) and I've never had a serious problem due to my openness.

Hang in there, it does get better in time.

Ann
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 12:32:56 PM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline surf18

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 02:03:49 PM »
i told my bf immediatly after diagnosis. and i told my parents an hour or so later. it was very hard. i opted not to tell my sister and close friends. i just felt it was better that way. in my opinion i feel less is better. i dont want the judging , the pity looks, the shame etc. real or imagined. i dont want to go there. let them think i lead this charmed life ,which obviously couldnt be further from the truth. i dont even tell my dentist. i didnt tell the anstelogist at my butt wart surgery the other day. thats my choice. i dont even know if sexual tricks need to know as long as you practice safe sex. i did tell one trick as he was constantly trying to stick it in me , finally i said yo dude what if im positive and you keep trying to stick that thing in me raw. and he was like i dont care.i finally told him i was.well thats another story. but anyways i did tell him just before it got out of control.
but my advice is think hard man, once you say the words you cant take them back. and look we dont get the support and cheers and all the other stuff say other people with diseases get. people are still bigoted in regards to this disease. so please think hard of who you want to tell.

Offline surf18

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 02:05:42 PM »
i told my bf immediatly after diagnosis. and i told my parents an hour or so later. it was very hard. i opted not to tell my sister and close friends. i just felt it was better that way. in my opinion i feel less is better. i dont want the judging , the pity looks, the shame etc. real or imagined. i dont want to go there. let them think i lead this charmed life ,which obviously couldnt be further from the truth. i dont even tell my dentist. i didnt tell the anstelogist at my butt wart surgery the other day. thats my choice. i dont even know if sexual tricks need to know as long as you practice safe sex. i did tell one trick as he was constantly trying to stick it in me , finally i said yo dude what if im positive and you keep trying to stick that thing in me raw. and he was like i dont care.i finally told him i was.well thats another story. but anyways i did tell him just before it got out of control.
but my advice is think hard man, once you say the words you cant take them back. and look we dont get the support and cheers and all the other stuff say other people with diseases get. people are still bigoted in regards to this disease. so please think hard of who you want to tell.

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 27,947
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 02:32:30 PM »

i didnt tell the anstelogist at my butt wart surgery the other day. thats my choice.
 

It may be your choice, but it's not a very smart one. Some anaesthetics can react adversely with some hiv meds. Not telling your health care providers can be a dangerous thing to do - not for them, but for YOU.


i dont want the judging , the pity looks, the shame etc. real or imagined.


I've been judged a few times, but never by anyone whose opinion meant the slightest thing to me. Who cares what some ignorant person thinks? Also, there are quite a few people in my community who may have judged me when they first found out, but because I refused to let their judgement affect me, they have grown to respect me and also other people living with hiv. We perpetuate our own stigma when we stigmatize ourselves.

As for pity and/or shame, real and/or imagined, I've never experienced ANY. Maybe because I don't pity myself and I don't feel shame over my virus either. Why should I? It's just a virus and I got it doing something that nearly every person on the planet over the age of sixteen has done at some time or another - I had unprotected sex. Being ashamed of having hiv is like being ashamed of something you got by washing your face. We've all done it.

When we feel sorry for ourselves or act or feel ashamed of ourselves because of this virus, people pick up on that and treat us accordingly. Don't believe me? Step unashamedly out of your closet and find out for yourself. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.

As for telling or not telling tricks, if the sex is protected, that's your call. But to hide this from a partner in an ongoing, allegedly loving, sexual relationship is just wrong. And what happens if you see a trick a few times and start falling in love? You're going to have one helluva uncomfortable time disclosing after the fact.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline surf18

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 03:08:45 PM »
anne all good points too.
maybe when i get used to having this thing ill be as open as you are but im still not dealing well with it.

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 04:55:17 PM »
anne all good points too.
maybe when i get used to having this thing ill be as open as you are but im still not dealing well with it.

What Ann is trying to tell you is that you won't be able to deal with having HIV until you step out of your closet and own up to what you are. Free yourself from the shame and self loathing.

To the OP: Ann is wise. Heed her words.

MtD

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,742
  • Certified Life Coach
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 05:37:07 PM »


As for pity and/or shame, real and/or imagined, I've never experienced ANY. Maybe because I don't pity myself and I don't feel shame over my virus either. Why should I? It's just a virus and I got it doing something that nearly every person on the planet over the age of sixteen has done at some time or another - I had unprotected sex. Being ashamed of having hiv is like being ashamed of something you got by washing your face. We've all done It.


Absofuckinglutely!
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline Raf

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
  • Bald by choice
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 06:06:12 PM »
How have you told your friends or family?
In my case, I live with my parents, so the only family that knew about this was the ones who live with me. I admit though, I won't be writing this today if I didn't had their support. But aside that, the rest of my family don't know, and they don't need to know.

After my dx, I kinda isolated myself, it's been a long while since I saw my friends, so the only ones who know about this is my inmediate family. Only my doctor and my family actually know this.

How do I tell my family?

I have lived away from family for the last 20 years.

I am totally lost and need some help.

Thank you in advance.

First of all, you don't need  to tell everyone about your status, because you can't take it back when you disclose it, but it's good to have someone at your side specially when you're first diagnosed. I would start with someone who's really close to you, and after that it's up to you.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

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

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 05:17:18 AM »
-   Don’t rush it. Take your time.

-   It is usually better to wait to come to terms with your infection and look past the shame before disclosing.

-   Don’t keep it a secret for longer than necessary as this takes up an immense amount of energy and can be stifling in the extreme.

-   Think about to whom you are disclosing and what YOU stand to gain from this.

-   I say from experience, that those who love you and know you well will stick by you HIV or not.

-   Oftentimes, the burden of secrecy and imagined consequences are far worse than actual disclosure consequences.


Good luck.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 12:49:45 PM 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 Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 23,842
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 08:58:00 AM »
Ocean, I strongly support your not rushing to disclose. If you have been more or less been disconnected from your family for 20 years, there must be reasons for that. You may be thinking of disclosing in hopes of getting some kind of supportive response which may not be realistic. So think and talk it out with someone you are close to before disclosing.

If you don't feel there is anyone whom you are close enough in your life to help you sort things out, see if any AIDS Service organization in your area offers counseling. What you are talking about is a commonly shared problem as you can see from the responses you've received here.

Your positive status is very new to you. Try to avoid having the impulse to "do something" provoke you into actions which you may regret later. Gradually your life is going to settle down again into place. Most importantly make sure that you are getting the medical support you need. You might even ask your doctor for a referral to someone whom you can talk with.

And of course you're always welcome here to talk about anything that's on your mind. You're going to get through ok. Just take the time you need to sort things out.  
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 08:59:46 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline Billy B

  • Member
  • Posts: 374
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 10:55:48 AM »
I did not inform my immediate family. I'm not dying so why involve them or give them something to needlessly worry about. Of course if my good health were to change direction I would inform them when the time comes.
A few of my close friends know and I rely on them for advice but all these people are negative and cant really understand what it is to be HIV positive. But my point is not everyone needs to know.

+1

You can bet that if you tell one family member they will all know in a short time. I have kept my status a secret by using out of town doctors, dentists and pharmacist. I live in a small town and I have seen the way people who are out about their + stature are treated.
Billy
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline simpleguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2011, 04:52:53 PM »
I just told my mom tonight on the phone. We were having a conversation about some other stuff, like work and other general ongoings in life. At the end of the conversation she asked if everything was alright with me. I told her I had something to say, and then said it straight: I'm hiv positive and have been for 3 years.

I did most of the talking from there. Told her that I'm not going to become ill or die, that I'm in treatment and otherwise live a normal life doing what everybody else does. We're going to see eachother tomorrow and talk more about it. I felt a bit like a coward telling her on the phone and not in person, especially because she cried a little after I told her, but I couldn't help it. It just felt like the right moment to tell her.

The reason? Because I'm thinning in my face. My cheekbones are starting to show. I think I might have lipoatrophy in the face, grade 1-ish. I hadn't seen my sister since Christmas, and when we met at a family get-together in may, she looked at me and she said "gee, you've really lost some weight haven't you" and at the same time running her hands over her cheeks, just to illustrate that my face had gotten ..well.. slimmer. Yeah, it has happened really fast: from xmas to march, I could see a difference in my face from one week to the next.

I just feel I cannot hide it anylonger. I don't want to invent stories to explain why I've lost weight. I don't want to keep secrets from my mom (who is very close to me). Also, I need the support of my family and a feeling of belonging there - not acting strange because I keep secrets from them.

I'm sad now that I've told her, because she cried, but at the same time I'm also relieved. I'm going to talk to her tomorrow. We agreed to keep it between her and I, until she's more settled with the news and knows more about it. Also, I don't want to cause too much commotion. I'll let the rest of the family know a little later.

The OP asked "How do I tell friends & family?". My answer is: Tell it when you're ready and you really feel inside that you're ready and it has a purpose (other that making others feel sorry for you or for shock value). Do it, because you trust your friends and family, and you want them to know about you and you want to be closer to them! Do it a little at a time. Don't rush and tell anyone or everyone at once, just because you feel like it. How will you be able to control the situation and handle things in the right way, if you tell a lot of people right away? I don't think that's possible.

Thanks for "listening"  :)
2008 JUL: Sustiva OCT: Rayataz DEC: Kaletra • 2009 Off meds • 2011 Intelence • 2012+ Complera

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,017
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2011, 06:12:03 PM »
How do I tell friends & family?

You'll know when it's time. Don't feel like you HAVE to disclose to everyone or anyone immediately. Truth is you are not going to die tomorrow or next week, so what's the rush.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%
8/9/12, CD4 not taken, UD.
2/13/12, CD4- 904, UD 42%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline BJS2011

  • Member
  • Posts: 62
Re: How do I tell friends & family?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2011, 09:14:46 AM »
I was diagnosed May 2011 so it is still pretty new to me. I was told I need to start Atripla based on my numbers.

How have you told your friends or family?

How do I tell my family?

I have lived away from family for the last 20 years.

I am totally lost and need some help.
When I was called in for test results I took my Mom and best friend in the office with me. Thank God cause I had a nervous breakdown in her office.I have a VERY close relationship with my parents so they understood right away and have been my biggest support. My siblings disowned me but to hell with those bigots. I have a super group of friends and know who to tell. If they don't get it they are not worth my friendship. I tell everyone cause its just a disease. You would be surprised how many understand and support you. The rude ones just say go to hell and ditch them cause you don't need negative people in your life at all.  Its best to tell people you trust right away so you can build a support system cause its super important to have people you can trust and talk to. God Bless you!!

Thank you in advance.

 


Terms of Membership for these forums
 

© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.