Disclosure of HIV Status/Telling others about your HIV Status

Every piece of information or news influences people, particularly those individuals who share different status, belief or ideology as they in turn respond to it differently.

Some might take disclosure of your HIV status as a piece of pure information, while others might see it as a reason to be distant or flee away from you. Whether or not they react, you need to understand that you cannot control the situation, which sometimes comes with rejection and judgement. However, to reduce the rejection that comes with it, here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself before you disclose it to anyone.

  • Who needs to know?
  • Why do I need to let them know?
  • Am I ready for an unexpected reaction?

Disclosure of HIV status is one of the major problems People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) face every day because of the potential negative consequences associated with it such as domestic violence and abuse, abandonment, and discrimination. One might want to think the best way to go about is by keeping the information personal to oneself, but there are several occasions where it is mandatory to disclose your status, for instance, when starting a new job, getting a new partner and many more.

Apart from the reasons stated above, disclosing your HIV status helps you build a support system for yourself and in a way prevent others (especially those close to you) from contracting the virus.

However, there are several reasons to disclose your status and at the same time, there are several reasons not to. Before you disclose your status, It is important to factor in who the person is to you and how important the information is to them. And after disclosure, you should be ready for a reaction even an unexpected one. You might want to disclose your status to your partner (both past and present), your healthcare provider and your immediate family as non-disclosure is an offence against the law in some countries or states.

Disclosing your status with certain people might shake the relationship you share and at the same time, it might be the only opportunity you have to educate them on everything about the virus.

Nevertheless, some, especially a sexual partner might react to the news with anger or violence, so it is important to choose a proper location (semi-public) to protect yourself in the face of rejection, judgement, or discrimination. The best thing to do is to walk away, where you feel repeatedly disrespected or mistreated. Bear in mind that such reactions are sometimes is inevitable, especially in societies where HIV education is not grounded, and people are not equipped with the knowledge.

BSmartlytics has developed a unique patient app, BSmart Chart App (available on iOS apple store and android play store) that allows you to disclose your status to “who needs to know” for instance, your Clinician and your next of kin remotely and shields you from the unexpected reaction.

At Bohemian Smartlytics, we help people living with HIV have a better life with our entirely new approach to health. We develop research-based solutions by deploying, utilizing and managing unconventional, innovative and AI-powered smart technologies.