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Author Topic: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?  (Read 7876 times)

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Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« on: March 21, 2012, 10:30:11 PM »
I've read on here and also on different sites about disclosing... it seems to be the general consensus is that you choose carefully and do not disclose to everyone.

Are there certain things that you look for?  Are there red flags on who to disclose to?

I have disclosed to two of my closest friends, my parents (who told their pastor and two good friends of theirs), my sister (who told her mom) - that's it.

I am tempted to tell my aunt and a good friend of about 12 years.  My one closest friend said that I need to be "brutally selfish" in who I disclose to.  I asked what he meant by that.  He replied and said "Selfish in so far as telling people if and only if there is a benefit to you. If you assess that there is great. Simple."

Are there any experiences from any of you that you have learned from and would advise not doing?  Just wanting real-life advice from those of you who have been there, done that. 

I honestly wish I could just tell everyone that I am friends with - I was always a very open person and it's difficult to hold back. However, I definitely lack the self esteem right now to handle someone turning their back on me - albeit they aren't good friends anyway if they turn their back - but that still doesn't mean it doesn't sting/hurt. 

I feel like I need to broaden my support network, but I also want to be very cautious.  Any tips/advice?

Thanks a lot!
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 10:38:10 PM »
Most people who know me just know because...well, because they know me.  It's pretty much all out there by way of the net and stuff.  I also don't make a point of shielding trips to get meds and stuff from public knowledge.  It's basically brought up with the same fanfare as me buying groceries or getting a new haircut (actually, there is probably more fanfare on my part for the hair cut).

As for "dates" or meeting people, I just (again) let it be just another part of my overall ever-so-exciting conversation.

For straight up hookups, I would just throw it out there when discussing the usual "what are you into" crap.  "I'm a major bottom"...."Oh, that's cool.  You should know, though, that I'm positive if that's going to be a problem."

For the seediest of sex club stuff, I will own up that I make no major agenda of disclosure.  I mean seriously....I am not going to go bumping around in the dark during all the mass groping whispering, "Pssst!  I'm positive.  What?  Oh, I'm sorry...I thought you were the guy with his fingers in my butt.  Not you?  Oh...you!  Yes...I'm positive, in case you didn't hear me telling this other shadowy figure standing here."

Does that make me an AIDS monster?
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 10:40:01 PM »
I find that one's HIV status is used against one most effectively when one keeps it a secret. For this reason I am totally open about my status.

To everyone.

This works for me, I understand it may not be so easy for others.

MtD

Offline forrest

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  • Posts: 162
Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 10:51:41 PM »
@thunter - I was actually thinking more in the lines of disclosing to like relatives, friends, etc. for a support network... but... you do have a point about the sex side of things as well.. you AIDS monster!!   :P  j/k

@matt - sorry, Matt :(  Your statement isn't processing in my head... "I find that one's HIV status is used against one most effectively when one keeps it a secret." so I was hoping maybe you could explain or say it differently? I'd honestly like to understand... sometimes I just don't get things  :(   :-\   :-[  Thanks for your patience!
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 11:00:11 PM »

For straight up hookups, I would just throw it out there when discussing the usual "what are you into" crap.  "I'm a major bottom"...."Oh, that's cool.  You should know, though, that I'm positive if that's going to be a problem."

For the seediest of sex club stuff, I will own up that I make no major agenda of disclosure.  I mean seriously....I am not going to go bumping around in the dark during all the mass groping whispering, "Pssst!  I'm positive.  What?  Oh, I'm sorry...I thought you were the guy with his fingers in my butt.  Not you?  Oh...you!  Yes...I'm positive, in case you didn't hear me telling this other shadowy figure standing here."

Does that make me an AIDS monster?

I don't understand why a sex club is different than a random manhunt/bar hook up. Does that make me an AIDS monster?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 11:28:00 PM »
Forrest, I started out at the more AIDS-ish side of things.  Questions for that kind of disclosure were fairly moot in my situation.  It kinda sorta couldn't be missed.

And I'll be honest with you:  on some level, I consider all that a benefit.  I never had the luxury of worrying about stuff like "should I start meds?" and "what about side effects?"  I also didn't have wiggle room for wondering about which family to tell and whether or not they would be a benefit if they knew or not.  It was more like, "This is happening and it's right now.  Anyone considering jumping ship had better dive double quick."

I personally think I was better off because I was forced to confront it - all of it - immediately. 

I don't guess that makes me much of a help to you, but that's all I've got to offer you on this.  Take what you can from it.

Oh...I will say this:  Don't underestimate the support network potential available right here.  This site, because of the people on it, can be much more than just random characters on a screen. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline LM

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 11:28:53 PM »
I think your friend gave you a pretty good advice on being "brutally selfish". So far, I've only disclosed when unprotected sex was in the discussion.

Offline wolfter

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 12:32:09 AM »
It's all relevant to where you're at in this journey.  I have discovered for me that it's not necesary to walk around with the scarlet A.  I don't hide it or announce it.  I had a member this evening tell me how much Bill and I meant to him and his family and how he never thought he could be friends with people like us. 

But it all gets good.  I have never been more comfortable with myself than I am now. 

Taike care and best wishes

wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Online mecch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 05:23:41 AM »

I am tempted to tell my aunt and a good friend of about 12 years.  My one closest friend said that I need to be "brutally selfish" in who I disclose to.  I asked what he meant by that.  He replied and said "Selfish in so far as telling people if and only if there is a benefit to you. If you assess that there is great. Simple."


Your friend's advice makes sense to me.  For who among friends and family to tell. 

Sex partners is a different evaluation.

And finally I think people should tell ALL their doctors, and dentists.  Not sure it would be necessary for a massage therapist or chiropractor or yoga teacher, but then again, why not.

In most instances it would seem there are risks to disclosing in one's job sphere.  I mean there might be a benefit but the possible risk might be higher than the benefit.

If you disclose to all your friends, then you can't control who passes it along to whom.  As you have already discovered!  So if your friends are ALSO tied to your job, then you'll have to anticipate this. Maybe its a problem maybe it isn't.

Something to think about is - once the cat is out of the bag in one social circle, news spreads fast.  Tell your family and probably eventually everyone in your family knows.

Tell a few friends and then many of your friends know.

Etc.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline denb45

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 09:59:37 AM »
If your not gonna fuck em' why tell em' I'll tell if they buy my a nice steak dinner, and wanna shag, if not then nope, it's none of their business..

 if we aint gonna fuck then what's the point  ::)

 my family and close friends know, they always known that I have teh AIDS  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 11:20:00 AM »
If your not gonna fuck em' why tell em' I'll tell if they buy my a nice steak dinner, and wanna shag, if not then nope, it's none of their business..

 if we aint gonna fuck then what's the point  ::)

 my family and close friends know, they always known that I have teh AIDS  ;)

Honey, you barely have sex with your significant other -- twice yearly if I recall correctly. So why post in a thread about disclosure when you haven't actually ever have to do it in a sexual context for the past two decades?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline leatherman

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 01:10:13 PM »
I have discovered for me that it's not necesary to walk around with the scarlet A.
reading this I realized that I do walk around like that most of time these days. LOL well, not a scarlet A; but that damned red ribbon. :D I've been either representing the ASO or the state Task Force so much lately that I just grabbed a roll of the sticky ribbons, that we pass out from the health fair booth, a few weeks ago and have just been slapping one on most days as I have gotten dressed.

I've actually been surprised at how many people have asked me what the red ribbon stands for - they all know about that darned pink one. LOL But each time I'm questioned I get to spread a little more AIDS awareness - and each time is another possible disclosure event. But after 20+ yrs, for me feeling the stigma or fear about disclosure is pretty rare these days.

Matter of fact I'm so inured by it (I mean the initial disclosure happened because I was "dying" in the hospital, so everyone in my life pretty much got told so they could attend the funeral - that never happened LOL), that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that here in SC most ASO clients sneak in by the back door lest someone even think they might be visiting the "AIDS clinic". Why recently I meet one young lady who lives with her mom. They're both positive but haven't even disclosed to each other! The clinic has to especially arrange their appointments so the other one doesn't know what's going on. Now that's some non-disclosure to the extreme. ::)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline denb45

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  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2012, 01:26:36 PM »
Honey, you barely have sex with your significant other -- twice yearly if I recall correctly. So why post in a thread about disclosure when you haven't actually ever have to do it in a sexual context for the past two decades?

Are you trolling me Miss P  ;D
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2012, 01:47:04 PM »
Are you trolling me Miss P  ;D

LOL.  I think Philicia was basically pointing out the fact that people (in general) cannot resist tossing their hat into the ring whether the content they contribute adds any discerning value to the topic at hand.
don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
Jim Phelps, Mission Impossible
____________________________

Seroconverted: Early 80s
Tested & confirmed what I already knew: early 90s

Current regimen: Atripla. 
Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
Past regimens
Fun stuff (in the past):  HAV/HBV, crypto, shingles, AIDS, PCP

Jan 2012: 818/21%
Apr 2012: 964/22%
Jul. 2012: 890/21%
Oct. 2012: 920/23%

Still UD after all these years

Offline drewm

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2012, 03:01:11 PM »
Basically, it's on a "need to know" basis.

My family knows.

Friends who helped me whilst I was in the hospital know.

If I meet a guy and I want to cum in his ass I tell him.

My doctors know, even my GP because I figure I don't want him treating anything (allergies etc) with one hand tied behind his back.
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 Joe K

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 03:08:25 PM »
Are you trolling me Miss P  ;D

Dennis,

If you can't see the irony of responding to a post, regarding an activity that you have not done in over two decades, then teh AIDS is eating your funny bone.

Joe

Offline wolfter

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 05:18:47 PM »
reading this I realized that I do walk around like that most of time these days.

I was making reference to Hester Prynne who despite being condemned, rose to the challenge and lived her life within her own moral fortitude.  She refused to see herself as the puritan community did. ;)

Personally, I'm mostly past the fear and stigma associated with this virus.  I give it so little power that it has almost become a non issue.  In general, I don't see a need to be 100% open about everything with everybody.  I've also found that most people who get to really know me before finding out about my having HIV generally are more accepting and I think that goes a long way toward lessening the stigma.

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline forrest

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 09:23:46 PM »
I've also found that most people who get to really know me before finding out about my having HIV generally are more accepting and I think that goes a long way toward lessening the stigma.

I totally agree with this wolfter! That is why I hope that some day, I have the courage to be more open because when we hide (like I am right now) it doesn't help with the stigma.  People need to know it affects anyone - period. And, the heartache it brings to us and those who love us.  For those with HIV, for many of us, we fight this in a little secret world.  The folks I work with have no clue what I'm going through in my personal life and in my head with all of this, but yet I have to still perform just like nothing is going on.  Imagine if all the cancer patients in the world had to go into a secrecy for fear of being judged, discriminated against... are we practically the only "population" that goes through so much in dealing with this and all that comes with it and in secrecy?  :(
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2012, 10:53:37 PM »
Imagine if all the cancer patients in the world had to go into a secrecy for fear of being judged, discriminated against... are we practically the only "population" that goes through so much in dealing with this and all that comes with it and in secrecy?  :(

Cancer did carry a stigma. I remember as a child when my neighbor died of cancer and it was taboo to say the word. She was just "very ill".

Up through the 1950s and 1960s, cancer carried a stigma for the patient and the family, partly owing to the poor survival rate, enforcing a silence on all concerned. Cancer was called the Big C, because the word itself was still so scary. A taxi driver once refused to drive me to Memorial saying, "No ma'am, that place is for the Big C. I drive all the way around it." Many patients felt guilty for bringing the shame of cancer on the family. This cultural silence and stigma limited the opportunity for people even to talk with one other about their illness.

http://humansideofcancer.com/

Offline forrest

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2012, 10:58:28 PM »
Wow - did not know that. I have never experienced anything like that in regards to cancer. I have known people with cancer and they've been very open about it and haven't seen a stigma. Thanks for sharing.  So, does that mean that it's a matter of time for us?   :-[  You'd think after 30 years...
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2012, 11:11:13 PM »
So, does that mean that it's a matter of time for us?   :-[  You'd think after 30 years...

No, it's bad comparison Ford gave you (though factually true). Until straight middle class white people get HIV in droves it will have social stigma.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline drewm

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2012, 11:14:08 PM »
Something dawned on me as I was reading these posts. I guess one thing I try to remember is how I used to react to peeps who have HIV. What my thoughts were. How I conducted myself. Did I let it effect friendships. I'm sure I did at times out if ignorance and fear. I have to keep in mind some people are probably going to react like I did.

When I was first dxd with AIDS (CD4-8/VL 500,000) my doc had me wearing a surgical mask in public so I would not pick up germs as easily. I wore that fucking thing everywhere. When people asked, I told some of them I was afraid of the bird flu LOL! It was none of their fucking business. When I went into work where the rumor mill had been running at full steam, some girl said to me "you aren't contagious are you?" I said "I'm not the problem here...are YOU?" She turned red and shut the hell up.

Ignorance and fear are everywhere and sometimes, I get a chance to explain my somewhat limited experience with AIDS and sometimes I don't even try.
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 surf18

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2012, 11:16:15 PM »
Good post forest. HIV is one of the dreaded diseases to have. But yet like forest said many of us suffer in silence. Where say other illnesses they wear it like a badge. This is one reason I say those living with HIV are some of the strongest people in the world. Again like forest said many of us go to work and are expected to perform like everything is a ok. The stigma is still alive like it or not.
I disclOsed to my parents and boy friend. That's it.
Once you say it you can never take it back. Like it or not people will judge and pity. I don't want that. I don't tell any sexual encounters either.
The most I might say is I don't know my status been awhile since I've been tested.
I feel anyone that gets naked with someone knows the risks involved. Now if I was looking for a bf disclosure would be different but for a one night or a regular f buddy I don't see the need.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2012, 02:44:56 AM »
For myself, I was 42, living in L.A. and had the world by the short curlies when I tested positive.  It was different because everybody talked about it, T-cells were street corner talk, the new HIV drugs were giving promise and hope and suddenly, with little planning or knowledge about country living, I moved myself into a small country farm on 20 acres and didn't see or know anyone outside of the HIV community for several years. 

I moved close to San Francisco about 8 years ago and served for a few years as Press Contact for our Commission on AIDS.  I put my name in a lot of local rags and a few of the larger papers as a person living with AIDS because if you are working the crowd for support on an issue, disclosure works arm and arm in credibility.

Living in a city again, one can again be comfortable with the available services like dental, vision, a colonoscopy, or even physical therapy but no matter where you live, the costs of care budget has one foot on a banana peel and as we have seen, especially in the past 5 years, support programs are gone.  Even in San Francisco where the non-profit fundraiser for HIV began, more people are moving into an already impacted care market.  I am thinking about how to serve the non-profits in my own unique fashion but there are so many deserving charities and I just moved in.

Everyone's experiences are as different and unique as the individual so, I believe each person should make their disclosures in their own place in time   8)  Have the best day
Michael

 

Offline Peacock

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2012, 05:30:01 AM »
I unfortunatly work at a pathology lab. You can imagine that HIV is commented on every day, and even though you would expect lab technicians and nursing sisters to have at least a reasonable knowledge of HIV...thats not the case. sometimes the comments are just rediculous.  ???
Im constantly torn between the two options: reveal my status and give them all good solid facts about HIV, or just keeping quiet because as I see it-everybody has secrets, and my health is nobodys bussiness.
I disclose on wim. If Im chatting to someone I like, and If I feel safe enough to disclose then I do it in a gentle manner. I told one Sr that Im celebrating my 10th year Arv Anniversary.(actually I just realised that Its only my 8th year,Oh well..it feels like a decade anyway!!) We chatted a bit more, got interupted and havn't mentioned it since. We seem to still get along just the same as before I disclosed.I dont hide my appointments with the Dr, and when i fax my script to my medical aid I only collect the fax confirmation later in the day..it clearly shows what meds Im on.
Ive always wanted to just disclose and be free to offer advice and Hiv knowledge, but Im such a stubborn person and really enjoy my right to work with folks that mind their OWN bussiness.I agree that Hiv is bad enough to have to live with, we shouldnt be agonising about disclosure.But due to the nature of the disease (Std) its always going to be an issue.Maybe by disclosing i can eliminate the 'agonising about disclosure'   ;) Hmmmmmm......
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 05:34:04 AM by Peacock »
Peacock,Steve
Diagnosed 07/01/2002
Started Haart- 25/11/04 Cd4: 205 VL: 76'500
                      19/12/08 Cd4: 623 VL: UD
      26/03/12 Cd4: 497 Cd4%: 30.10 VL: UD
Combivir and Nevirapine(200mg) x1 of each-Am & pm
Not changed Meds since starting on HAART
Green Tea,Multivit,Selenium ACE,Folic acid,Vit C,Aciclovir 200mg 5x per day for 3 days-(ONLY when I have Shingles!)
100 percent adherence-with the help of a wristwatch!

Offline wanderer37

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2012, 11:02:28 AM »
This is something that has been bothering me a lot over the last few months, was diagnosed in October and so far non of my siblings/ parents / friends know. Simply don't know how to break the news or if I'm ready or not.

Offline forrest

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2012, 07:32:19 PM »
First, I'd like to say that I am glad this thread has gone in a good direction... in that I mean... I have read some other threads about disclosure and they have gone off with a lot of negativity and off topics.  MY intent with THIS thread was to ask about disclosing to people in general (not sexual partners).  As in, family, friends, etc.  So thank you.

One that I have struggled with is my dentist.  A reason I struggle is because this is a doctor that SHOULD know.  I have struggled because I work for a large company... and in the area I work, I work with the husband of the office manager of my dentist office.  She knows where i work and that I know her husband and he knows that I know his wife. 

I know that HIPPA is supposed to protect me.  However, there is also the reality of the human spirit (or whatever you want to call it).  If she would catch wind... there is nothing to stop her from telling her husband over dinner, or whenever.  Should she? No.  Could she? Yes.  Would I ever know? Probably not. 

I like this dentist. He's been great to me.  I always watch to make sure they follow the universal health practices... they do. I've not had any fillings or anything other than cleanings.  I've even thought about pulling him aside and telling him verbally.  Have been a bit torn. 

I still am struggling telling my aunt.  I mean... here it is a year later.. (tomorrow).  But like someone else said, there is no reason to rush. I am not sure how much someone outside the HIV community can really support on the HIV topic anyway?  So I dunno.  Will see.

I wish I could just be open about it.  Sure, I could... but I am not there mentally.  Definitely not.  So, for me, I can't handle it right now and have to be very selective on who I tell. I just feel that i need to broaden my support network. 

I have kinda felt out my aunt and a friend of mine.  With one friend, he knows that something is up with my health... but that is it.  I asked him if there was anything that he would not feel comfortable with... he said the only thing he could think of is if I told him I had AIDS.. sigh... but, he did say that even with that, with some education on the topic, he would be okay with as well.  Needless to say, I haven't told him... yet. 

@Wanderer... I hope you are able to find someone... at least I have some really close friends... and my parents... they are still coming to terms with it too, I think... but at least I can talk to them. Does your local ASO provide a mentoring service?  Just an idea.... at least it would be someone else for you to talk to.  I'm not really a support group sort of guy... so for me, the mentoring program has been good and then again, here has been my HIV support group  :) 

@Peacock - that has to be very difficult! I don't envy you.  It's kinda sad that they make comments like that instead of just being (keeping it) professional. 

Thanks as always.
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline surf18

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2012, 09:26:45 PM »
See people are ignorant like your friend. I never told my dentist. I did tell my plastic surgeon when I noticed when he was injecting Botox in me he or his nurse did not wear gloves. He had been weird to me ever since ,I now go elsewhere .

Offline leatherman

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2012, 10:24:58 PM »
I've always thought it's best to tell all my doctors/health care providers. there are enough problems with HIV all by itself without accidentally bringing on a medical problem or bad drug reaction/interaction.

Just like I believe that SC shouldn't pass a law allowing health care officials to discriminate against people if something goes against the health care official's person moral or religious convictions (if they can't treat someone who needs treatment, then they should find another profession), I believe if you find a health care professional that has a problem with you being HIV poz then they don't deserve to have you as a patient and you need to find another doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline klipsch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2012, 03:05:26 PM »
I find that one's HIV status is used against one most effectively when one keeps it a secret. For this reason I am totally open about my status.

To everyone.

This works for me, I understand it may not be so easy for others.

MtD

This pretty much sums it up for me...
when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Online mecch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2012, 03:48:09 PM »
See people are ignorant like your friend. I never told my dentist. I did tell my plastic surgeon when I noticed when he was injecting Botox in me he or his nurse did not wear gloves. He had been weird to me ever since ,I now go elsewhere .

For three years at my former ID specialist, an office with a lot of HIV+ patients, the nurse drawing my blood for labs never wore gloves. 

If you want to tell your dentist, also tell him you don't want the fact spread to his staff and tell him the social connections to your circle.  You might trust in his professionalism.  On the other hand, all dentists take the usual precautions so it wouldn't be a lack of respect for him or his staff if you never disclose.   The point about telling dentists is that if they are up to snuff, they are supposed to know of special observations to make about HIV+ patients that might benefit the patients.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 03:51:01 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline forrest

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2012, 09:19:16 PM »
This pretty much sums it up for me...

I was wondering if you guys could elaborate on this... it doesn't click on my head   :-[   :-\  :(   Do you have examples?  I hope that some day I can be more open - but then again, even from LTS on here, it seems as though some still are very careful on disclosure. 

...so it wouldn't be a lack of respect for him or his staff if you never disclose.   

I think I needed to hear this.  I have felt guilty not telling him... but I really struggle with the idea that if it's in my charts... and for whatever reason the guy I work with's wife (office manager of the dental office) looked in my charts... I can only imagine i would be the topic of conversation at their home that evening.  At this time, i just don't think I will disclose.  If I do, I will tell him in private and ask that it not be in my chart and explain why - I think he will totally respect that.  He's a very open and honest dentist... has told me different things that are quite personal and i was like... wow.  Did he just tell me that?  But he was telling me b/c I was dealing with the same thing, etc.  So, I think that is my plan with them. 

I HAVE felt guilty though not telling b/c my ID doc said to disclose to all doctors (except like a Chiro, etc.)  He said it's best if they have the full picture and he said to always run docs by him and he'd tell me if I can trust them or not with the HIV disclosure.  So, that's cool.

Now... I just have to work on whether or not to tell some of my close friends... again, coming here has been helpful... so maybe I don't have to... I just hate having this secret and going through so much (mentally) without the support of my close friends. Again, that is a part that really stinks about HIV.  My parents have struggled a lot with that too... not being able to just be open about it. 

Anyway... thanks as always!
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline surf18

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2012, 09:55:41 PM »
Remember once you tell you can never take back. So chill out take time and see later. Meanwhile come here for support.

Offline klipsch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2012, 12:43:40 PM »
I was wondering if you guys could elaborate on this... it doesn't click on my head   :-[   :-\  :(   Do you have examples?  I hope that some day I can be more open - but then again, even from LTS on here, it seems as though some still are very careful on disclosure. 

Let me elaborate with my best example. I've been involved with 12 step recovery groups on and off since 96 and I was diagnosed in 98. I've disclosed openly to groups of strangers ranging in size from a handful of people to close to 100. People like secrets and like even more to spread them with or without malicious intent. By openly disclosing since I found out I was poz in 98...I'm taking control of any situation where somebody may try to cause me emotional harm by spreading rumors. What happens if somebody does try to use that information against me in such a way as "Such and such has AIDS..." the reply they would most likely get is..."No shit! Who doesn't know that?"

Have I second guessed myself at times? Yea...plenty of times. Am I comfortable openly disclosing under whatever condition? Not at all. But it's easier now, because I've been living with HIV for more than 13 years now. It's especially gratifying when I tell somebody that's known me for quite some time without knowing my status. When I tell them...of course there's the shock factor...but I remind them that it's been 13 years now. I've been dealing with it and they've seen me live my life day to day...year to year...without a complaint or obvious problems that they may ignorantly associate with HIV or AIDS. If somebody wants to judge me on something I have no control over...fuck em. I would rather know that sooner than later.

Hope that helps explain...  ;)
when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Offline forrest

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2012, 09:33:24 PM »
Thanks Klipsch (for clarifying what you guys meant).  Appreciate it.

Did you always feel this way?  Actually, after rereading.... yes... it appears you have.  I was going to ask if maybe I will feel more like that in the years to come... I hope that I am more brave in the future. Right now, I feel like I have a ton already on my shoulders and don't think I could mentally handle the negatives due to a lack of self esteem and other things going on.  Hopefully some day.... hopefully  :)

Thanks again.
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline Wagner

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2012, 08:49:04 AM »
Interesting collection of opinions.  Personally I tell anyone.  I think it's important for the world to see what someone with HIV looks like.  I realise that doesn't work for everyone but it does for me.

Online mecch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2012, 03:06:11 PM »
Forrest, take your sweet time with disclosure.  I suspect you need other activities and roles that bring you real rewards.  Eventually with time this HIV+ identity won't be pivot of your energy and then the disclosures will come easily.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Peacock

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2012, 03:37:09 AM »
Ive decided that the easiest way to disclose to my dentist is to take them a copy of my latest viral load and cd4 results. Im going to give it to the receptionist and ask her to please give it to the doctor to place into my file.
They can then have time to think about it and i wont have to deal with the shock reaction.
 ;D he,he,he then when I make my next appointment the Doctor will be prepared if he has any questions.
Cheers, Steve
Peacock,Steve
Diagnosed 07/01/2002
Started Haart- 25/11/04 Cd4: 205 VL: 76'500
                      19/12/08 Cd4: 623 VL: UD
      26/03/12 Cd4: 497 Cd4%: 30.10 VL: UD
Combivir and Nevirapine(200mg) x1 of each-Am & pm
Not changed Meds since starting on HAART
Green Tea,Multivit,Selenium ACE,Folic acid,Vit C,Aciclovir 200mg 5x per day for 3 days-(ONLY when I have Shingles!)
100 percent adherence-with the help of a wristwatch!

Offline ftworth76112

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2012, 05:08:39 PM »
Great question, and one that I've only begun to deal with, since I was diagnosed in February of 2011.  So, I personally don't have any wisdom.

But my caseworker did:  follow the military classified information protocol--they should have a need to know.  Only you can determine whether they have a need to know.

Also, she said, you never have to explain something you never said.

Your partner or spouse needs to know.  Your physician needs to know.  Not my brother, not my sister, not anyone at work, not my friends.  At least for now.  Who knows-- I may be an HIV/AIDS volunteerer at some point.  For now, I value my privacy very much as I come to grips with my condition!

John
Age 57

Offline surf18

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2012, 08:19:56 PM »
yep they gave you very good advice ftworth. very good.

Offline jonesy

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2012, 03:47:10 PM »
ftworth hit the nail on the head there.  Only disclose if you are confident and feel comfortable enough....only you can decide.
18/04/2012 - CD4 - 330 / VL 48,000 Atripla started

Offline eric48

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2012, 05:11:25 PM »
What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?

Simple: never

Cheers
Eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

Offline LiveWithIt

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2012, 04:21:55 AM »
My criteria is on a need to know basis.  My most recent friend knows, but he's poz too so that made it easy.  My former friend was poz, but I never told him because I didn't trust him as much.  Not many people know besides people in an HIV support group, a friend and medical workers. 
Pray God you can cope
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

Offline Valmont

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2012, 12:59:59 PM »
I´ve always been lucky when I decided to disclose, benefices have been most important that problems...  It is great to have friends that know, girlfriend that knows...

If I could, I would be completelly open with my condition, but in this country (Ecuador), stigmas in regard to this are stil terrible, people is very conservative and it is really commun to hear homofobic words, the same about HIV...

Básically, I choose to disclose with people I feel in confiance and that are no relationanted with work.

I would always disclose with people with I´m starting a relation, after the first kisses but before sex... 

In regard to my familly, that live in another country, for now I prefer not to disclose, I´m far, I see them every two years, last time have been terrible for me economically and also because of my divorce and they have been very wrorried for me, I don´t what to had HIV and I´m also scared about their reaction, no idea how they can deal with it and I have many problem not to have also these...
Apr 2011: Diagnotized
Jun 2011: CD4: 504  VL: 176.000
Dic 2011: CD4: 714  VL: 95.000
May 2012: CD4: 395 VL: 67.000
Jun 2012: CD4: 367
Agu 2012: Starting Emtricitabine 200 mg / Tenofovir 300 mg and Efavirenz 600 mg (2 pills) different brands or VIRADAY/ATRIPLA/Mylan....
Sep 2012: VL: 138
Dic 2012: CD4: 708 VL: <34  %CD4: 32%
Jan 2013: CD4: 707 VL: <20
May 2013: CD4: 945 VL: <34 %CD4: 33%
Agu 2013: CD4: 636 VL: <34 %CD4: 50%
Dic 2013: Latent TB, started Isoniazid

Offline Valmont

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2012, 01:03:07 PM »
I´ve always been lucky when I decided to disclose, benefices have been most important that problems...  It is great to have friends that know, girlfriend that knows...

If I could, I would be completelly open with my condition, but in this country (Ecuador), stigmas in regard to this are stil terrible, people is very conservative and it is really commun to hear homofobic words, the same about HIV...

Básically, I choose to disclose with people I feel in confiance and that are no relationanted with work.

I would always disclose with people with I´m starting a relation, after the first kisses but before sex... 

In regard to my familly, that live in another country, for now I prefer not to disclose, I´m far, I see them every two years, last time have been terrible for me economically and also because of my divorce and they have been very wrorried for me, I don´t what to had HIV and I´m also scared about their reaction, no idea how they can deal with it and I have many problem not to have also these...

Edit to add:
With docs, I don´t like it, but I always disclose (we hare "patient with code 8"...), here it is clear they don´t always receive the good formation about dealing with it; anyway, some are realy great...
Apr 2011: Diagnotized
Jun 2011: CD4: 504  VL: 176.000
Dic 2011: CD4: 714  VL: 95.000
May 2012: CD4: 395 VL: 67.000
Jun 2012: CD4: 367
Agu 2012: Starting Emtricitabine 200 mg / Tenofovir 300 mg and Efavirenz 600 mg (2 pills) different brands or VIRADAY/ATRIPLA/Mylan....
Sep 2012: VL: 138
Dic 2012: CD4: 708 VL: <34  %CD4: 32%
Jan 2013: CD4: 707 VL: <20
May 2013: CD4: 945 VL: <34 %CD4: 33%
Agu 2013: CD4: 636 VL: <34 %CD4: 50%
Dic 2013: Latent TB, started Isoniazid

Online mecch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2012, 05:11:48 PM »
If you live in one of those crypto fascist US States where non-disclosure to sex partners is a crime, maybe you should disclose, or not screw, or move out of that state.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline forrest

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2012, 09:49:20 PM »
yeah, the intent of this post has always been to disclose to like friends and family.  It has never been about disclosing to sexual partners. I don't even know what sex is anymore  :( 

I don't know how some of you do it - not disclosing to anyone.  Maybe you just aren't as needy as I am in support.  I feel soooooo alone in the world right now and it totally sucks.  Enough that I question if I really want to even go on.  That comes in waves.

I have it on my agenda to tell a long time friend when I go back home in a couple weeks. I have not told her but it would add to my support network. I only have two close friends (married together), my parents, and my sister and step mom that know.  I feel like I need a little bit more in my support network.  I have 4 sets of long time good friends... only one of them know.  I am going to disclose to one more and then I may not tell anyone else.

I feel like i am not being me by not telling.. I dunno. I have always been a very open person.  I don't like carrying this by myself.  That has been the most difficult thing about this - doing it in silence.  It fucking sucks.  From a support standpoint, I wish I had cancer (yes, I said that).  Because at least with cancer, I could be open about it and folks wouldn't think anything of it.  However, right now... while I don't feel it, I have to present myself like not a damn thing is going on. 

I know this friend is very open and has made comments to me that she'll always be there. Period.  There is nothing I could tell her she said that would make her think differently of me. I believe her as she has shown that in her life.  Thus, I feel safe with her.  We've known each other for about 16 years. 

I am still torn on telling my aunt.  I'm in a period right now where it's not weighing as heavily on me 24/7 so my need isn't as strong.

Anyway... feel like I'm rambling... I'm very tired  :(

Peace.
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Online mecch

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #47 on: April 24, 2012, 07:15:33 AM »
Forrest, people have different needs for support about being HIV+, and different needs as for discretion.  You might be someone who could benefit from the support and normalcy of quite a number of people knowing.  If people knowing you are HIV+ isn't going to cause financial, occupational, or social/familial downsides, then maybe some live and let live attitude about who knows might be a solution for you.  (If not for others.)  People have horror stories to tell about the downsides of disclosures but there are plenty of good results as well for other people. As you found with your friend, lots of people around an HIV+ person take the news completely in stride with adult sensibility. And offer support if that is what the HIV+ person needs.  Or also perfectly Ok with saying so what, it changes nothing about our relation, and not making much of a deal about it at all, if that is what the HIV+ friend/family member needs. 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 07:19:12 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Bearcub201

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Re: What's your criteria on disclosing you're HIV+ to people?
« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2012, 07:32:10 PM »
Wow, what a thread about an important issue. I had a couple stitches pulled out of my nipple today (crazy story...) by the on-call Dr. at the clinic I go to due to my Primary Dr. taking a day off. I disclosed to her and she was super sensitive. I told my boss last week as she was curious about my excess of emotions over the past couple months and she was very sensitive as well.

I told my grandparents and they freaked out, full on "I knew this was going to happen" and all.
It's different in each situation I guess. I've always been a very open and open minded person and it's so hard for me to keep secrets and live secretively.

My first sexual partner back in 2000 was poz and we had protected sex. I wasn't told until after and I can safely say that I was freaked out. After a lot of thinking I realized that there is risk in everything. Getting into a motor vehicle, riding my bicycle, dancing. We don't get any guarantees in life but that doesn't stop us from living it up.


I'm still afraid that I will be stigmatized and try to keep my disclosures to people who care about me and I can trust.

 


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