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Author Topic: When do you tell the family and friends?  (Read 3366 times)

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Offline BubbaPat

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When do you tell the family and friends?
« on: April 04, 2008, 03:16:36 AM »
Okay... so I'm wondering how most of you other have told your family and friends?

For me, my partner and I found out we were both positive about 8 years ago.  Other than him, no one knows unless they read my medical chart while I wasn't looking the last time I was in the hospital.  I have told TWO people, both of whom I played softball with at different times.  Both instances were spur of the moment because at the time, they were confirming with their positive status as part of a conversation.  I mentioned mine to put them at ease.

I guess I'm curious because I feel like I'm in an odd place.  When I first found out, I didn't tell anyone because I was moving out of the state and didn't want to give them something else to worry about.  I never told me mother because she simply wasn't in her right state of mind when I left and this would have just been wasted conversation.  I didn't tell the rest of my family because they are all considerably older than I and have their own medical issues to worry about.  As for my friends, a few are still dealing with some fairly recent deaths of friends I didn't know and the others are having their own physical problems.

For myself, I don't want the attention of "having HIV" yet at the same time, I'd like to bitch about missing doses, the high cost of insurance, the constantly changing insurance polices or anything that everyone complains about.  I tell myself its childish and just to let it go but it keeps nagging at me.  Is it wrong?  Am I being childish? 

Let me know what you all think.  I'm very interested to hear what each of you has to say.

Bubba hugs!

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2008, 03:43:33 AM »
Matty the Damned has found that "when" is ultimately a personal decision that has to be considered in light of numerous personal and cultural factors.

He has learned from bitter experience, however, that you should never tell a family member that you're HIV positive when he or she is driving.


Offline anniebc

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2008, 03:47:18 AM »
Hi Bubba

I wish I could help you, I have always been very open about my status from the day I was diagnosed, for what it's worth it's not wrong or childish wanting to talk, vent or discuss your HIV with others.

 I know you don't want to upset your family because they have their own medical problems, but you know what, that doesn't make your medical problems any less important...your life is important and I think they shloud be made aware of it, we need all the support we can get, but I don't think anyone can honestly telll you when to disclose, this is something only you can decide, I'm sure you will know when the time is right.

Until then you will always have the support here when you need to talk.

Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline BT65

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2008, 06:12:15 AM »
Hey Bubba, I've always been very open about my HIV status with family and friends.  There were a lot of questions, mainly from my mum.  Yes, there were some crazy ideas re how HIV is actually transmitted, but the support I've gotten is far greater than any frivilous ideas.

It is a very personal choice, like the Damned One said.  However, just because other people have their own medical problems, that doesn't mean yours aren't equally as important.  I might lose a finger and another person be missing a whole hand; but that doesn't make my injury hurt any less.  Good luck to you.
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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2008, 06:38:10 AM »
i havent told anyone in my family. tell one person and everyone will know within hours! i dont want them feeling sorry for me, i dont want to burden them, i'm embarrassed. three years after diagnosis i still cant bring myself to tell them. i've joked about it saying things like "thats what happens when u got AIDS" like when im sick but they dont take me seriously. i will tell them when i feel they need to know, i guess. maybe.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2008, 08:59:54 AM »
I don't tell unless I have to. After 15 years most of my family and friends don't know.

Offline minismom

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2008, 10:11:34 AM »
After a lot of heart-wrenching consideration, we decided to be very open about Mini's status.  At only 7 1/2, she speaks very openly about her HIV.  For us, the decision was two-fold.  First and foremost, it was about debunking the shame and stigma of the virus and giving her the power of being herself.

Secondly, it was about safety.  Children who will share nothing else, will share cooties.  By being open about Mini's HIV, it allowed us to have conversations with her friends' parents about how thier kids (and their illnesses) were much more dangerous to Mini than her virus was to them.  It made them more willing to keep snotty noses and tummy issues at home.

And, like you, I like to gripe and complain about meds, rising costs of insurance, side-effects, and doctors. ;)  Welcome to the forums.  You have found yourself among some of the finest folks in the world.  As Jan said, we are always here whenever you need to talk.

"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
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Offline bear60

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008, 10:18:32 AM »
For myself, I don't want the attention of "having HIV" yet at the same time, I'd like to bitch about missing doses, the high cost of insurance, the constantly changing insurance polices or anything that everyone complains about. .....Quote Bubba
Well, my experience is that poeple really dont want to hear about all that you are going thru and would rather you kept the information to yourself.  I'm not sure if its because they hate to see you hurting and upset or if it upsets them.  Maybe you have better friends than I do, but thats what my experience is.
edited to add:  And thats why I come here:: so I can let it all out.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 12:15:12 PM by bear60 »
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2008, 10:35:22 AM »

Hopefully you won't have to run into this scenario, but who would you rather tell your mother if you were very sick in the hospital? you or some doctor with terrible bedside manner?

I think it's a very personal matter and deep down inside you probably know what's best.
In my situation I have to keep reminding my mother when she tells friends  "He has cancer and he's in remission"  ..."No, mom. I have AIDS and I'm on HAART"  I think in my mom's mind she heard "cancer" and that is more acceptable to her.  oh well...


Offline David_CA

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2008, 10:41:25 AM »
As for telling my family... that was easy.  I told mine when I was in the hospital for 8 days with PCP.  It's kind of hard to lie to my dad - he's a doctor and knows PCP pneumonia isn't 'normal' (as well as my dad).  My mom lives here in town and we go to the same Dr's office, plus I didn't want to lie.  I couldn't keep my sister in the dark after my mom and dad knowing, so I told her, too (actually, I had my mom do it; I was too sick).  I've told a few friends... maybe 10-12.  Most are stable, long-term friends whom I trust.  I also tell anybody when they tell me their positive status.  I will say that, although it's been difficult each time, I've always felt better after I've told people.  I am selective, but those I've told seem to feel a bit closer after my confiding in them and have respected my confidence.  Even when they've had their own health issues, mine have never been a burden.  Good luck figuring it all out... it sure ain't easy!


edited to add... see the post above by sharkie.  That's exactly why my family found out!
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
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Offline BubbaPat

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2008, 05:31:43 PM »
 ;D  Thanks everyone for chiming in.

I guess misery loves company because a few of you are in the same boat and somehow I feel better.  Knowing that one is not alone is a comfort.

I've never really been good at lying, just avoiding the truth.  Add to that the fact that I was nearly 200 miles from everyone and you get a recipe of "I'll tell them later."  Even when I too had PCP pneumonia, it was easy for me not to tell my family.  Even my doctor wasn't quite sure what happened when I got it.  (This is yet another of my life adventure that I can tell later.)

Keep the comments coming folks, I'd love to hear more input.

And again, Thank you Matt, Jan, Betty, Mum, Sharkie and David.  You too Tendai, GSO and Bear.

Bubba hugs kids!   ;D
Bubba Pat

Offline LatinAlexander

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2008, 06:47:28 AM »
Just a few friends and my doc. No one else. Why? Well, I already have many issues with my own HIV, to add their worries about me. So it is easier for me if they are ok, instead of worrying about me.

Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....


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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2008, 07:17:30 AM »
I WAS DIAGNOISED BACK IN 1992 WHEN I CAME DOWN WITH SHINGLES.most of my family knows but it is never discussed.my mother never knew and i think it would have killed her ,she dies 2 yrs later,my father still doesn't know and at this point i see no point in telling him!!i think the isolation is the worst factor with being hiv+.all my friends have died and i am truthfully the last one left!!i seem only to exist in this life but i am not living.if i had my choice i would choose to die,no regrets,no pain,no feelings,nothing,JUST GONE AND FORGOTTEN!!

Offline BlueMoon

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2008, 07:37:37 AM »
Oh Armando, I'm so sorry.  I wish it could be different.

I've had it easy so far, but I can feel the vise tightening.  It's a prison with no walls and no escape.

I have told only former sex partners.  I've always kept my personal affairs private.  HIV is no different.  I do not want people viewing me with a mixture of pity and scorn. 

My mother is 75 years old.  How would it enrich her life to know that her eldest child has AIDS? 
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline rondrond

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2008, 12:51:19 PM »
My family told me. It seems that I was exhibiting 'strange and unusual behaviour' for a 16 year old boy....not dating girls, not talking about girls, not looking at girls, not giving the corect answer to "ronnie, do you have a girlfriend?" One night, they were all in the living room and asked me to "sit down, let's have a talk" in which I learned all kinds of things I had been wondering about, and a few that I had never thought of, but now could wonder about, such as, "do you know what two men could do with each other?" I just asked, "no, tell me" which my first step father proceeded to give in such detail that my mother fled the room with my sisters while I was almost scared straight that he knew so much about it. (I hated my first stepfather, and wanted to be nothing like him)  Anyway, Mom just basically worried for me as ' you could be locked up and thrown in the dungeon and the keys thrown away....she has a completely different outlook now. My sisters accepted the news from the upstart and without missing a beat started asking for 'tips' on how to please their man...

I have never been good at keeping things in either, and we all discuss everything anyway, Mom was the first person I called after getting the reults. No comdemnation, no outburtst, just, "well, what do we need to do now?"
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 12:54:55 PM by rondrond »
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Offline DanielMark

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Re: When do you tell the family and friends?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2008, 03:16:38 PM »
I told all of my closest friends the evening of the day I found out. That was in September 1988. And I only told them all at once because I think I was sort of in shock at my doctorís prognosis of having only six months left to live. Of course if I had agreed to go on meds back then that might have turned out to be true. Foolish doctors.

Years later I told my mother, who in turn spread the news among my "family," which is in quotes because I consider them only relatives really. My close friends are my real family. Apart from medical professionals, I see no need to let anyone else know my health status. Itís none of their business, in other words.






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