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Raya

To anyone reading this I want you to know that there is no rush at all, tell people when you feel you’re ready

Young African woman with a quiet smile and her braided hair across her shoulder looking intently at the camera outdoors on a rural bridge
Photo credit: ©iStock/mheim3011. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

It has almost been eight months since I was diagnosed with HIV and I immediately started on my ART treatment. I was confused, ashamed, I kept asking, 'How this could be?' and I definitely thought I was dying.

Slowly but surely, I’m beginning to accept that HIV is going to be a part of me and I definitely have control over it. Yes, it’s hard sometimes, I cry myself to sleep but eventually life goes on. I haven’t told any of my family yet because I’m still gathering the courage to do so, only two of my friends know.

To anyone reading this I want you to know that there is no rush at all, tell people when you feel you’re ready. It’s your choice so take your time if you need to. But most importantly if you haven’t yet began your medication, please do so.

What we say

It can take time to accept your HIV diagnosis and be ready to tell others. It’s always worth considering sharing your status with a trusted friend or family member or joining a dedicated support group as soon after you’ve been diagnosed as possible – that way you’re not alone in telling your wider network when you’re ready.

Do you have your own story to tell? Click the link to share it with us!

These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 23 March 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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