That's understandable. Many people feel the same way. You don't have to tell the world—and your appearance won't give it away either. But there are times when you do have to disclose your HIV status. The good news is that there are resources to help you know who to tell and when.
Worried HIV treatment will make you look sick or make it obvious you are taking medicine? You'll be happy to hear that treatment has changed since HIV medicines were first developed.
Today's treatments are less likely than past treatments to affect your face and body shape. Chances are low that people will know you have HIV when you are on treatment. And many treatments are between one and three pills a day. You can plan your medicine routine so that no one sees you taking it. And side effects are fewer and less severe than when HIV treatments were first developed.
The signs of HIV are not always obvious. So if you think people can look at someone and tell they have HIV, Gina has news for you. Watch the video to hear how she dealt with her HIV diagnosis and what it was like when she started HIV treatment.
There are times when you are legally obligated to disclose your HIV status to others, including your employer(s) and your sexual partner(s). Laws vary from state to state about who you need to tell and when. Click here to find out
Once you know when you must disclose your HIV status, the next step is having the conversation. Try these conversation starters to get things going.
The Americans with Disabilities Act gives you privacy rights in the workplace. You are also protected against discrimination and harassment. You can find out more about your rights here.
There are times you must disclose your HIV status. And there are times when telling people is a personal choice. In that case, it's up to you when to tell friends and family members. If you decide to tell someone, start with someone you trust. Someone who will keep it private. Find out more about how to tell others about your HIV status.
It may not seem like an easy conversation, but there are millions of others who have done it. It’s possible for you to do it too. It might even make you feel better to talk about it. Get more tips on HIV status disclosure here.
Talking to someone about what you're going through could help you deal with the stress and anxiety that living with HIV can cause. Some say it's a relief to share their feelings. There are different ways to get the support you need.
If you feel more comfortable on the phone, you can talk to someone at Project Inform's HIV Health
If you'd rather talk to someone in person, that works too. Here's where to find HIV care services and support in your
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