It can be a dilemma deciding whether to talk to school about HIV in your family. Many people decide not to, but you might miss school or get behind in your work because you help out a lot at home. Maybe you are struggling emotionally with HIV in your family, and this can make you act differently. You might be quieter or get angry more easily.

You and your family may be worried about how the school would deal with this information if you told them: will they keep the information confidential? You may be worried that they could treat you differently, perhaps by paying too much attention to you and making you feel different.

Under the law, schools do not need to know about anyone’s HIV status (that includes staff, pupils and pupils’ families), so there is no pressure for you to tell them. You are not obliged to.

Schools are there to educate you and support you, and they may be able to help you with your HIV or with HIV in your family. If you are thinking about telling the school, you need to talk to your parent or carer and the person in your family who has HIV (if it is not you). 

You and your family can look at information in our parents area, including on the advantages and disadvantages of telling a school, practical help on how to prepare for this, and making sure the school keeps the information confidential. There is also more information about school in our rights area.