Enhancing the health and social wellbeing of children and young people living with HIV

School and College

It can be a dilemma deciding whether to tell 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. Or you might be struggling emotionally with HIV in your family, and this can make you act not like yourself – you might be quieter or get angry easily.

You and your family may be worried about how the school will deal with this information - will they keep the HIV in your family confidential? You may also be worried that they could treat you differently, almost 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 means staff, pupils and pupils family), so there is no pressure to tell them.

Schools are there to educate you and support you. If you are thinking about telling the school, you need to talk to your parent/carer and the person in your family who has HIV. Remember – it’s their information and they need to decide who it is shared with. But HIV in your family does affect you, and if you are having a hard time, you may feel you want the school to know so they can help you out.

You and your family can look at information in our parents area which talks about the advantages and disadvantages of telling a school and offers some help on how to prepare for this and make sure they keep the information confidential.