Family


If you have a relative who you are close to, who has been helpful in the past, which accepts and loves you, who respects your privacy, they could be supportive now. If you do decide to tell someone in your family, it might be useful to have some leaflets you can show them - whatever their culture, people may have exaggerated worries about HIV and having something to read may be reassuring.
Some people worry that if they become unwell and have to be admitted to hospital, the medical staff might disclose their HIV status to their relatives against their will. Generally doctors wouldn't disclose someone's HIV status - they might explain that the person has a condition like pneumonia, for example, without mentioning their HIV status. But in some situations medical staff might encourage people to disclose their HIV status so they can get support from their family, but they will not force them to do so. Often people don't understand the ways HIV can be passed on, or they may feel worried about your health. They will be reassured to know that you're getting good care from your HIV clinic and that you know where to get support and how to take care of yourself.
If you are a parent you may be thinking about telling your children that either you or they have HIV. However take under consideration that they may be shocked by the news or not be able to keep it to themselves, it is a good idea to get some support before disclosing to your children from a family support worker or an HIV organisation that works with families who have children. Talk to PT Foundation to get more information about useful tips or help.
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