A Project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
Fact Sheets can be downloaded from the Internet at http://www.aidsinfonet.org
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AIDS InfoNet www.aidsinfonet.org
Fact Sheet Number 204
TELLING OTHERS YOU’RE HIV-POSITIVE
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?
When you test positive for HIV, it can
be difficult to know who to tell about it,
and how to tell them.
Telling others can be good because:
• You can get love and support to
help you deal with your health.
• You can keep your close friends
and loved ones informed about
issues that are important to you.
• You don’t have to hide your HIV
• You can get the most appropriate
• You can reduce the chances of
transmitting the disease to others.
In many states, you can be found
guilty of a felony for not telling a
sexual partner you are HIV-positive
before having intimate contact.
Telling others may be bad because:
• Others may find it hard to accept
your health status.
• Some people might discriminate
against you because of your HIV.
• You may be rejected in social or
You don’t have to tell everybody.
Take your time to decide who to tell and
how you will approach them. Be sure
you’re ready. Once you tell someone,
they won’t forget you are HIV-
Here are some things to think about
someone that you’re HIV-positive:
• Know why you want to tell them.
What do you want from them?
• Anticipate their reaction. What’s
the best you can hope for? The
worst you might have to deal with?
• Prepare by
about HIV disease. You may want
to leave articles or a hotline phone
number for the person you tell.
• Get support. Talk it over with
someone you trust, and come up
with a plan.
• Accept the reaction. You can’t
control how others will deal with