What do they Know?
Before you tell someone about HIV, first, try and find out what the person actually knows already about the virus. You could start up a conversation about something you read or saw on the TV or online. See what they say and how they react.
If they say things about HIV that you know aren't true and you feel comfortable, you can correct them, stating references that are in the public domain, such as an organisation or website.
You could bring HIV up with them a few times so you get a good idea of what they know and feel about HIV. You can also use this to educate them, so they now know the facts before they know anything else.
Some of the young people we work with who have told friends or partners about their HIV, have found it useful to show them the short film 'Life Growing Up, ' which covers all aspects of growing up with HIV from a young persons perspective.
Some steps and preparation to think through before you talk to someone:
1. Why do you want that person to know about your HIV, and not a different people?
2. What would it be like if the person you tell, tells other people?
3. If you do decide to tell them about your HIV, where do you think would be a good place?
4. Who else might you have there to help both that person and to help you – who do you not want there, or would you want it just to be the two of you ?
5. Have you tried telling them another secret before? Did they keep it? If you haven’t tried, you can try now and see if it gets out or if you can trust them.
6. Find out how much they know about HIV and what their attitude is. You could bring something up that you saw on the TV, or something that maybe was talked about at school or college.