Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Disclosure = Selfish?? huh?

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That was fast--great move forward. Please keep us posted how your new therapist treats you and how you feel about seeing him.

I like that he is out about his specialties.


Hi jimbalaya,

I was actually diagnosed same time as you -- May of this year -- and have been wondering about the same issue, whether to disclose to my parents.

The reaction from people who do know (my partner, doctor, a few close friends) has all been along the lines of "You have to tell them!"  (Direct quote, in some cases.)  But increasingly, I don't think that's true.

In my case, my mom will be fine with it, but my dad is a big worrier and it will definitely make his quality of life go down if he knows.  So, since I don't need their involvement on this issue at present, my disclosing is only going to result in a net loss in family happiness.  My dad's going to feel like crap, and then I'll feel like crap for making him feel like crap.  It would be -- in a word -- selfish.

However, this choice is incredibly personal, and my experience can't really inform your own decision.  Talking to a therapist sounds like a great idea, and finding one who isn't clueless like an even better one.

Good luck and best wishes --


Just to add my tuppenceworth, I've not disclosed to my parents either. At first I felt like I should, but my mother was going through chemotherapy so had a lot on her plate (kind of like Emeraldize's situation), and my brother has always been unwell too so I didn't want to add to the family pot o' problems!

A few years later and nothing terrible has happened to me - I'm just glad the drugs I am on are so forgiving compared to my mum and brother! - so I think I have been justified in not telling them. My mother also has a tendency towards the dramatic that I would rather avoid, and I dealing fine as it is at the moment  ;)  I have friends I can lean on if I need to talk, and also this forum is a great source of help/advice/comfort/sounding board too! :)

/edit: basically only you can say what is right for your situation! So don't worry, you'll know what is best.

Hey Jimbalaya,

I agree with Ann and Em with the caveat that there is "no rush". Take your time.

See the thing about HIV is that even though it is a serious chronic illness which should not be trifled with, the strides in treatment have made it a very different condition to what most people conjure in their heads- the images from the early 90's and stuff.

I had the same apprehensions as you and the guess what- My mom found out by accident anyway. Yea, she was shocked and upset but she got over it. And pretty soon.

Your mom is more resilient than you think and when she sees you getting on with your life and everything, your diagnosis notwithstanding, she'll feel all the more relieved.

You obviously know your situation best.  :)


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