With school starting up again, I decided to take the opportunity to discuss one of the biggest hurdles for people living with HIV: disclosure. For many years, I never thought I’d even openly discuss HIV. I’m thankful that, when I was ready, I was in a safe space to do so with a support system that was ready to finally say, “We’re here for you!” (My family and most of my friends knew my “secret”.)
Part of my anxiety was that I never really felt like I had ownership of disclosing my status. In my latest article for H-I-V.net, I explain how getting kicked out of public school in 6th Grade because of my HIV status influenced my disclosure timeline. As well as some instances of bullying in school, particularly when I started dating.
The life I have today wouldn’t have been possible had I not opened up about HIV. That, above all else, is why combating the stigma and ignorance that still surrounds HIV is so important. The more comfortable someone feels emotionally, the better their health outcomes and quality of life is.
I hope this finds you in a good place! As always, thanks for reading and following my journey.