Caution the patient against unplanned disclosure

People with HIV often report they went home after being diagnosed, and told the first person they met about the diagnosis. They expected to receive emotional support, but often ended up having to manage that person’s response, as well as the risk that person may go and tell others.

Tell your patient it is okay to keep the diagnosis to themselves until they feel ready and able to disclose safely.

Peer support workers and counselling services can assist the person with HIV to develop skills in disclosure.