Do You Need To Let Everyone
Know That You Are HIV Positive
Letting others know about your AIDS diagnosis is a very important step in your treatment. Your healthcare
professional will go over the health reasons why it is imperative that you inform all of your sexual contacts that
you are HIV positive. There are other reasons and other people that you need to inform about
your HIV status.
Who are these people who struggle with the need to let others know of their diagnosis? They are largely, young
people. Prevention methods fail, for many reasons: failure to be consistent in using condoms, the 2% breakage rate
of condoms, using types of condoms other than the Latex kind, participating in too many risky activities that
exposure you and others to the AIDS virus.
The statistics are staggering - The United Nations Population Fund has stated, "that the HIV/AIDS has become a
young people's disease in that every 14 seconds worldwide, between the ages of 15 and 24 there will be 6,000 young
people infected with the AIDS virus."
That is an alarming statistic. All these young people worldwide being infected, seeking questions about what is
happening to them, discovering their diagnosis, and seeking what to do next.
Did You Know?
Since 1981 when the HIV and Aids was first recognized as something new in the
medical world, researchers and scientists have been working to learn as much about the new disease
So far they have determined the virus is spread by contact with another
contaminated person’s body fluids. This could be through contact with blood, semen, and vaginal
fluids. Once the body has the HIV virus it begins to produce more HIV particles and these begin
attacking the T-cells. The T-cells or CD4 cells burst and that allows the virus to enter the
bloodstream and invade other cells.
You should already know the difference between HIV and AIDS. HIV is a subgroup of
retroviruses that cause AIDS. The virus kills cells in the body’s immune system and progressively
destroys the body’s ability to fight infections. This inability to fight off infections also
affects some cancers too. HIV gradually gets worse until the body is no longer able to fight off
the infections and other bacteria that would normally not make people sick.
These opportunistic infections will attack the body and could be potentially life
threatening. AIDS is the acronym for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It was first recognized in
New York City in 1981. The virus was isolated and identified in 1983, but it wasn’t until 1985 that
a diagnostic test was developed to test for the disease.
Here are the positive reasons to tell others:
By doing so, you will receive positive support.
It is easier to keep friends and family updated if they all know.
You don't have to hide anymore.
You can openly seek they best medial care available.
The chances to transmit the disease to others will decrease because others will know.
You can avoid a felony conviction if you are found to be guilty of not telling a sexual partner that you are HIV
positive and you have sexual contact with them.
Reasons You May Wish to Hold Off Telling:
To give yourself a little time to understand why you need to tell certain people that your are HIV
To be able to analyze how they will react and thus be prepared for it.
Gather support for before, during and after.
Acceptance that you won't be able to control how they react.
Since the disease was first discovered in 1981, there have been over 60 million
people all around the world that have been infected with the HIV virus.
It has also taken the lives of more than 20 million people, many who live in
underdeveloped countries, especially in parts of Africa.
It may be difficult for you to tell those you are close with. You will need to tell your sexual
partners, your employer, family members, and your friends. They should all be relieved that you are taking care of
yourself. These people may turn out to be some of your best support members.
You should tell all of your health care providers including your dentist so they can give you
proper care. If you have an HIV positive child, you will need to inform their school and any organizations that
they belong to: sports, after school programs etc., you should not just tell them the news, you should provide them
with valuable information and resources to find more information about AIDS.
This information will give them the means to feel comfortable around your child, and to answer any
questions they may have concerning physical contact with your child; so in turn your child will remain comfortable
participating in school and other activities.