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Author Topic: best friend...should i disclose?  (Read 1981 times)

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Offline texaninnyc87

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  • Posts: 245
best friend...should i disclose?
« on: February 08, 2013, 06:48:58 PM »
I'm debating whether or not to disclose to one of my friends. She's kind of a spoiled, princessy girl. A few years younger than me. When we first met we partied together a ton and travelled a lot and did all the things well off college kids do. Slowly she began to become what you would call a "best friend". we spent almost every night hanging out, going to dinner or shows, getting into trouble, whatever it was we did it together. the last year or so we were both drinking a lot and doing a lot of drugs. I slowly stopped most of this when I found out I was positive in september. I'd still go out every now and then but i didnt really "party" like i did before. She continued to rage on but was still my best friend. Let me say that I really do love a lot about this girl and our relationship was based on more than just fun times. When I found out I was positive, I did not feel comfortable talking to her about it. I thought she would probably be pretty uneducated about it and that she would treat me differently, blah blah. Mostly I thought she would get wasted and tell all of our other friends. It's not that I'm against disclosing my status; i've told a decent amount of people. i just feel comfortable with only talking about it with people i'm very close with. She has a tendency to blab when shes drinking and I just didnt think i could trust her with it. So, I decided not to tell her.

I feel like i've been going through so much these past 5 months and it's been really hard to keep her in the dark since I see her so often. She's noticed that my mood has changed and mentioned it but i've just kind fo brushed it off. For the past few months shes been having some problems. She committed herself to a psych ward right before christmas, then decided she was just being melodramatic and checked herself out. She's gone to the hospital a few times because she thinks shes ODing but really shes been fine every time. Recently she started this new age, detox, rehab outpatient program. She's there 4 hours 5 days a week. Early this week she told me she was suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal and wanted me to go with her to the hospital. This seemed off to me because she maybe drinks 3 or 4 nights a week, and only drinks excessively about half those times. I've also known her to go weeks without drinking even in the last few months. From everything I've read it's almost impossible for someone like that to really be suffering from alcohol withdrawal. I told her I thought she was overreacting and that i wouldnt go with her to the hospital because I didnt want to play into her melodramas.

I've been kind of bitchy about most of her issues and blown the all off as "rich, white girl problems" which they very well may be. But I guess the bottom line is that I feel like i'm being a shitty friend to her and that I need to be more supportive. I think i'm trivializing her issues because I feel like what I've been going through my HIV is so much more drastic. in a way I kind of resent her for not being there for me even though I chose not to tell her. i know it's crazy but i just dont know...i'm not sure if i actually think shes full of crap and needs a wakeup call or if im being a bad friend because i feel like my own problems are bigger than hers. this has led me to try to decide if i should disclose to her because she wants to talk with me about what an unsupportive friend I've been and it seems like a good time to get it all out there. I'm still worried that she'll tell a bunch of people but hopefully her new sobriety will help with that?

What do you guys think? Is it worth it to risk telling her, or am I just trying to use my disclosure as an excuse for being a bitchy bad friend?
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline oksikoko

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 07:34:54 PM »
Wow, that's a lot to unpack.

You know I'm no expert, but since I'm here on the forums for a minute tonight… ;) Here are some thoughts that came up. Maybe it's helpful hearing what a third party (me) thinks.

1) I don't think you should disclose to anyone unless you feel comfortable.
2) I don't think you should disclose to anyone who you think might blab unless you're prepared for the possibility that they might blab. And the consequences.
3) It's possible that you two could be helping see each other through your individual problems. Maybe she has some secret too, but since she hasn't told you, her problems come across as 'first world trouble' and that's why she's upset now - she might be dealing with something huge that you don't know about. :) Or maybe not.

One thing jumped out at me:

"this has led me to try to decide if i should disclose to her because she wants to talk with me about what an unsupportive friend I've been and it seems like a good time to get it all out there."

It's good that she can be so open, but it seems a little one-sided. She wants to talk to *you* about how *you've* been unsupportive. I only have your side, but it sounds mutual. Now might be a good time to bring up why you may have seemed distant lately (you're HIV status), on the other hand, she may think you're using it as an excuse or trying to one-up her problems, depending on what sort of person she is. Only you know that. :) In general, I would try to disclose at a time and place that's comfortable for you and not because your hand is forced, but that's not always possible.

I wear my status on my sleeve (or have it tattooed on my heart, rather ;) ), so I hope to avoid ever having to try to hide it. It sounds painful/hard to do. Good luck. :)
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 08:05:30 PM »
Don't tell her you are HIV+ if you think she will blab and you don't want that to happen. 

Besides that, why not just support her some more. It seems very odd to me that you insist on comparing the gravity of your respective challenges. From what you describe, she sounds like she has/had serious challenges controlling the drinking and drugs, so why can't you just accept that is serious for her, and stop comparing it to your HIV diagnosis.  Your HIV status doesn't have any connection to her battle to clean up her life a bit.  You don't want to disclose it to her, and for good reason, so move on and help her deal with her stuff. She's your very good friend, really its the minimum.  If there is some melodrama involved in her process, so what? Give her your take on the drama as an opinion, but you could still support her, within your limits and availability.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 08:07:30 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 08:08:02 PM »
is it really that odd for people to compare their situations with others they're close with?
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline buginme2

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 08:40:44 PM »
I think you should choose whether or not you still want to be friends with this person.

 I say this because if you decide not to tell her (one of your best friends) and she finds out later, she may very well be very pissed that you, a best friend, kept something so important from her.  She may very well end the friendship.  You cannot remain best friends with someone and keep this secret.

SO:

You tell her and accept whatever the consequences are.  Just from the sounds of it I think if you tell her you need to be prepared for her to tell others.  Just from what you wrote.

or, you end the friendship and chalk it up to people grow and sometimes grow out of friendships.  It happens quite often and it sounds like from what you have written you may have already grown out of this relationship.  But only you know if this is true or not. 

I hope you choose what your comfortable with.

Offline Anqueetas

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 09:28:29 PM »
I have  similar experience with you but my ex-close friends that I disclose with can't deal with it in the end. SO we go parted way and now we are just someone that use to know.

DO NOT DISCLOSE TO SOMEONE THAT YOU NOT REALLY TRUST, WHEN YOU DISCLOSE, YOU CAN NEVER  TAKE IT BACK. REMEMBER PEOPLE THAT HAVE PROBLEM WITH HIV OR CAN'T DEAL WITH IT. CAN BRING SO MUCH DRAMA AND PROBLEM INTO YOUR LIFE, THAT IT WILL BURDEN YOU SO MUCH. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DEAL WITH YOU ISSUE AND THEIRS ISSUE TOO????????

LOVE YOU SELF, BE SELFISH IF YOU MUST. MAYBE IF YOU NO LONGER FEEL COMFORTABLE TO BE WITH HER, FIND A NEW FIREND. I DID AND I FEEL MUCH BETTER AND MOVE ON.


PEOPLE ARE DRAMATIC, DO YOU WANT TO BURDEN YOURSELF WITH THEIR CRAP WHILE DEALING WITH YOU OWN HEALTH AND MENTAL ISSUE ?

ARS, hospitalized for very high fever-July 2011
diagnosed HIV positive - October 16 2011
CD4 460 19.5% VL 49000 - late October 2011
CD4 625 19.5% VL 50030 - January 2012
CD4 369 19% VL 69000 - March 2012
Start Sustiva+ Truvada - April 17 2012
CD4 524 24.5% VL UD - August 22 2012
Switch to Nevirapine+Truvada
CD4 490 26% VL UD - November 2012
CD4 539 29% VL UD - February 2013
CD4 621 28% VL UD - May 2013

Offline Casinokiwi

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 11:03:00 PM »
I would be a great friend to her and help her in her journey to sobriety (assuming that she is ready and wants that).  If the time is right to tell her then you can let her know.  However, if you feel anywhere in your gut that you should not tell her - I would wait until the feeling in your gut is gone.   

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 02:49:49 AM »
is it really that odd for people to compare their situations with others they're close with?

But is it productive to do so? And is it kind? Every one has his own problems and they are serious to him.  If you are friends with someone, it goes with the territory that you can stand in her shoes and have empathy for her challenges. Which have nothing to do with your own.  Yes, to your limits. If you think she wants to waste your time on some melodrama, just say that. You don't ever need to say something like "well your problems are so minor compared to my own, sorry." 

You each seem to begrudge each other for a lack of support.  But you cannot resent her lack of support for you living with HIV, if you have decided that its not time to tell her. You can't tell her because you dont trust her discretion, so stick to that and move on from that point. 

Everyone has their own challenges and friends should show interest and empathy in the problems that their friends choose to share.  If you really can't find empathy, then whats the point of the friendship?  Its not kind to her and a waste of your own time. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mikeyb39

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 04:01:00 AM »
why don't you just 'test the waters' so to speak  Just bring the topic up in a conversation saying that you know a 'person' in this situation and ask her what her thoughts are about it.

You don't have to let on that it is you.  If she has a problem with it well there is your answer.  This is what I would do that way you don't implicate yourself and just move on to someone who can be supportive.

Just my 2 cents.
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD

Offline Dachshund

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 07:50:02 AM »
is it really that odd for people to compare their situations with others they're close with?

No, not at all, it's human nature. I'm betting if your circle of friends include the people you've told then she already knows. Maybe you should give this a minute and let her deal with her issues before she's dealing with yours.

Offline pozsocalguy

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 11:58:50 PM »
In my experience, if you have mutual friends, then she already knows.

I personally regret telling people about it when I was diagnosed. Not because of being ashamed, but because people love to get involved in other's business.
I am the libertarian, atheist, lovechild of Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde. Oh, and PS....  Madonna is EVERYTHING, Everybody else is NOTHING.

Offline positivelynerd

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  • Life isn't a struggle, it's a wiggle.
Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 02:54:57 AM »
My two pennies:  I absolutely wouldn't tell her. 

Everyone I've disclosed to I have been 110 % certain that they would be completely supportive.  I don't necessarily expect them to be completely private about it, finding out about my HIV status can be a lot for them to take in.  They might not know what to say, how to deal with it, and they might need their own person to confide in.  It kind of comes with the territory of involving other people in my road to recovery. 

That said, I have friends who don't know that I'm still very close with, but I admit there is always something being held back.  I might tell them eventually or they might find out through the grapevine.  They might be hurt I withheld this information, but as I see it, it's no one's business (other than those that I have a responsibility to tell).  And good friends should understand that.

On the subject of her problems versus your problems, yes it's natural to compare your life to others, but as Mecch pointed out- we ALL have problems and it does us no good to get into a contest over who has it worse.  Push yourself to be a  supportive friend regardless of her problems, and how you feel about them.  Be the friend you would want her to be to you.  I believe it was Plato who said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 

Good grace in whatever you do,
-Nerd
5/25/12 Seroconversion
9/25/12 Diagnosed
10/12/12: VL- 799k, CD4 285
10/25/12 VL- 599k, CD4 274 
Started Sustiva + Epzicom
11/8/12: VL- 1790, CD4 412, 24%,
11/20/12: VL- 1470, CD4 350, 28%
12/19/12: VL- 584, CD4 293, 24%
1/16/13: VL- 411, CD4 404, 27%
2/13/13: VL- 314, CD4 523, 20%
3/13/13: VL- 171, CD4 404, 26%
4/10/13: VL- 96, CD4 397, 27%
5/8/13: VL- UD, CD4 422, 26%
6/5/13: VL- UD, CD4 462, 31%
7/24/13: VL- UD, CD4 559, 33%

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." -A. Einstein

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 10:34:07 AM »
thanks. after much debating and editing i ended up sending her a three page letter about all of this. i just had another friend that i disclosed to tell a bunch of people so now i'm kind of just in the "fuck it" mindset and figure its better she hear it from me. i sent the email out on sunday night and havent heard from her yet. i'm going to give her time to process it all, hopefully it'll work out. if not, i guess we werent as good of friends as i thought.
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline NY2011

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 06:09:59 PM »
Your disclosure may actually help her realize her character flaws in the long run, and it may even be thereason you're telling her; to open her eyes to her own behavior and her current path in life, and to inform her that someone in her world, quite close to her, has a real world problem now, not a fabricated or exacerbated one primarily for attention or for the experience (of being in a psych ward, for example).  By telling her, I suspect that you are extending a sense of loyalty and kinship, and that the immature spoiled brat stuff has to come to an end if it's going to work, because you'd like for her to be a real friend in return.

Either way, ball is in her court.  I hope she sees it as an opportunity to be in your life and decides to be there for you rather than dwelling on how it affects her.  Keep us posted.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 08:39:55 PM by NY2011 »
10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud

Offline texaninnyc87

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  • Posts: 245
Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 10:31:22 PM »
thought i'd give you all an update.

i finally heard back from my friend, a week after i sent her the email. i've been kind of anxious all week since i hadnt heard from her so i'm glad i finally did. she thanked me for giving her time to process everything and for allowing her some space to put together her thoughts. she's hurt that i kept this from her but glad that i'm doing well and that i'm being honest with her. however she wants to take a small break from seeing one another. there are many problems in our friendship that lie beyond my hiv status. while many issues are connected to my being positive and keeping it from her, we still have a lot to work out. we are both making major life changes at the moment and she thinks it might be best if we have some space while we work on our personal issues. she's also upset that when she confronted me with wanting to talk about our friendship i chose that moment to reveal my status. im going to sit on the email a few days before i reply (she did say she expected a response). i think shes right about us needing space. for so long our friendship was based around these fun but fleeting experiences that linked us somewhat superficially. while we both really care about one another we dont really know how to talk to each other. i want to tell her that my reason for opening up to her about my status the way i did via email was to allow her the chance to express herself and her problems with our friendship in a way that wasnt clouded by the emotional intensity that would be inevitable had i told her in person. i do want to hear her issues and i dont want it to be all about me.

she made it very clear that we are still very close friends and that she expects many more years of that. i just hope we can both learn and grow and that once we have we still retain the spark that we've always had as best friends.
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline oksikoko

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    • the treatment cascade
Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2013, 10:51:17 PM »
.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 01:30:02 AM by oksikoko »
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline texaninnyc87

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  • Posts: 245
Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2013, 10:57:02 PM »
well, as i said earlier, i really do feel like for the past few months id been using the seriousness of my status to trivialize her issues and was also resenting her because i felt like i couldnt trust her even though i never gave her a chance. she's been building up a lot of resentment towards me, with good reason, and regardless of what I was going through she needed support and guidance from me, and i wasnt there for her. one big difference is that she put herself out there and was honest and open with me from the beginning about what she was going through and what she needed from me and i wasnt there for her. regardless of my status, we have issues.
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline elf

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 12:15:23 PM »
Having HIV is for many a dark secret.
Don't disclose it to anyone, unless they love you unconditionally (your parents, brother, sister, ex love who remained a friend without 2nd intentions)...

Life is a game of cards,
you are going to lose, if you show your cards to everyone, in advance.

While for some people, knowing that you're HIV positive won't change much,
they might interpret your disclosure to virtually everyone as playing a victim card.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 12:17:48 PM by elf »
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 01:05:55 PM »
Having HIV is for many a dark secret.
Don't disclose it to anyone, unless they love you unconditionally (your parents, brother, sister, ex love who remained a friend without 2nd intentions)...

Life is a game of cards,
you are going to lose, if you show your cards to everyone, in advance.

While for some people, knowing that you're HIV positive won't change much,
they might interpret your disclosure to virtually everyone as playing a victim card.

This seems like a recipe for a terribly unhappy existence. How can a person ever expect to be unconditionally loved if they choose not to trust? How can someone expect to be accepted when they hide?

I certainly don't think everyone is in the position to change the world, but let's never pretend that building a prison for ourselves isn't just that.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline YellowFever

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Re: best friend...should i disclose?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 03:54:31 AM »
Life is a game of cards,
you are going to lose, if you show your cards to everyone, in advance.

While for some people, knowing that you're HIV positive won't change much,
they might interpret your disclosure to virtually everyone as playing a victim card.

That analogy broke down somewhere. I might have understood it wrong. I'm assuming that playing a card means to perform an action with a specific goal of how you want those actions to reflect on you. In this case, You play the "honest full disclosure" card and people see it as a "victim" card. So if people can freely interpret your actions as playing a different card, then it doesn't matter what card you played.

I think what is more important is what your actions mean to you. Do what your gut tells you, as Casinokiwi says. Choose what you're comfortable with as buginme2 says. Follow your heart, as Disney says.
08/2010 HIV- 08/2012 HIV+
10/2012 CD4 415(15%)
04/2013 CD4 457(15%)
10/2013 CD4 520 (20%) VL 650 (wtf?)
02/2014 CD4 410(20%) VL 390 (yay!)

 


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