How To Tell Someone You Have HIV

The most difficult thing you may ever have to do is tell a loved one you have HIV. Disclosing your HIV status is difficult but sometimes necessary. This "how-to" will help you disclose your HIV status with the least amount of stress.

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: As much as you need

Here's How:

1. Know why you want to tell the people you are telling. What do you want from them?

2. Anticipate their reaction. What's the best you can hope for? What's the worst you will have to deal with?

3. Learn as much as you can about HIV.

4. Have articles or printed material to give to the person to help them understand.

5. Get support. Talk it over with someone you trust and come up with a plan.

6. Accept the reaction. You can't control the fears and feelings of others.

7. Be patient. It may take some time for those you tell to process the information.


1. Past sexual partners should be told you are HIV positive so they can be tested.

2. Local health departments or your health care provider can assist with partner notification and can do it anonymously.

3. Health care providers can give you more appropriate medical care if they know you complete medical history. Disclosing your status to your health care team is important.

4. Be sure you are ready to tell and are able to handle the reactions you may receive.

Read:How to tell others, your employer, your child's school that you are HIV positive and some personal stories

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2021, December 20). How To Tell Someone You Have HIV, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: March 26, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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