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

Talking to Others


It’s not unusual for a parent or parents who has HIV not to tell their children about their status. They might worry about how their child will react, whether it will upset them too much and be a burden, or whether their child will tell other people about it.

It’s also quite usual for young people who live with HIV positive family members to find out by accident, e.g. through finding a hospital letter, overhearing something, or by looking up the types of medicines their parent(s)/carer is taking.

If you found out in this way, without being told directly, you may have felt, or may still feel scared, confused or angry. This is a perfectly normal reaction to the situation. It can be very difficult to work out why some important information was kept from you by your close family. Unfortunately HIV is something which a lot of people can feel scared about, and even though your family member may have really wanted to tell you they have HIV, they may have been scared of what your reaction would be to finding out.

If you are living with HIV yourself, you may wish you had been told earlier about your HIV, and wonder why this information has been kept from you. As we have said above, usually the reasons for not sharing this sooner, are based around wanting to protect you, and the fear of the outcome, and not because of a lack of wanting to tell you.  Lots of other young people we work with have been through these experiences, and they have helped us to write these web pages to help you.


In this section you can find out more about: