Some people find it easy to tell others that they have HIV, while others may find it very difficult and emotional. You may feel fearful, embarrassed, excited or relieved. Whatever you feel is OK. Remember that you don’t have anything to apologise for simply because you are living with HIV.
Many people find that it gets easier once they begin to tell others, especially if the people they tell can offer support. However, you cannot be sure how each person will react to your news and its impact on you.
If you have only recently found out you are living with HIV, it might be a good idea to take time to understand your HIV status and get used to how you feel before you tell many people.
It can be helpful to think about what kind of reaction you might expect from someone you are considering telling. Do you think they will be calm and supportive? Are they likely to get upset and worried for you? Is there a chance they could be angry or even violent?
Talking to a healthcare professional or support group or organisation can help you think about the kind of reaction you are expecting and how you might handle it. In some situations, it might be possible for someone to be with you when you share your status.
While it is important to consider the negative reactions that some people sadly do experience, it’s also important to remember that many people have good experiences of sharing their HIV status.
Being able to be open and honest with someone about your HIV status and your feelings can be really powerful. It can make you feel closer to the person, and they may offer you emotional and practical support when you need it.