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"You will lose friends, you will not be able to date everyone, people will not be able to see past your HIV status to see your heart -- and you have to know that that's OK." "Most fear regarding HIV is fueled by ignorance," Williams says.When you're able to answer questions and explain what HIV means -- that you're not an urgent threat to anyone, or that with treatment you can live a long and healthy life -- "You will be surprised at how people are willing to engage further in the conversation and relax a bit more around the subject." Anthony suggests you "continue to build yourself up and surround yourself with people who love you for you, and not your status." It helps to remember that any shame, disgrace, or reputation around HIV that you might run into isn't really about you, Anderson says.If you want that kind of support, ask your doctor for a referral or look for a trusted professional in the field."Everyone will react differently, and sometimes they'll react differently than you'll expect," Williams says.In general, people with HIV are legally required to tell others if there's a chance they could be exposed to the virus.
"You own your narratives; you own your body." "Disclosure is a case-by-case situation," says Kevin V.Figuring that out will lead you to the best possible way to disclose." "I truly believe the more of a big deal that you make it, the more of a big deal it will be for the individual hearing your words," says Anthony "By trying to normalize it, it will make it more normal for the person that's receiving the information." That's why it's so important to have a handle on your own emotions as well as self-acceptance. Think back to your reasons for disclosing and why you're telling this person."Allow yourself to share as much information as feels comfortable," he says. "It's important to understand if they ask questions, don't make up information -- have a source," Anderson says."I have respect for my family and didn't want them to find out from anyone else," he says.His mother admired and appreciated him much more because he told her.