People process things in different ways. Some people may fully understand the information, others might need time to take it all in. You may also need time to process after telling someone you have HIV. Having a conversation about HIV is rarely a one time thing, so think about following up the conversation and what to do after you’ve told someone about your HIV status:
- Check-in with yourself, think about what you’re feeling about how the conversation went. Perhaps you could talk to someone who already knows about your HIV status to talk things through.
- Whether the person you told asked you a lot of questions or no questions at all, it is a good idea to contact them to see if they have any more questions. Try to keep the conversation going.
- Send them further information about HIV that they can read or watch in their own time. Some young people we work with have found our film Life Growing Up a really useful resource to share with their loved ones when explaining about HIV and what it’s like to grow up with it. There is a lot of information about HIV on the internet and some of it is inaccurate and out of date. So sending them links to the right information would be useful.
- If you feel comfortable, ask them if they would like to speak to your doctor or nurse, or with someone from Chiva. If they asked you questions that you could not answer, or you would like them to hear the information from another person, there are people available to support you.
- Emphasise what you would like them to keep private. Remind them that you are trusting them with the information and that they should not share it without your consent.