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Change your perception of what people think about your HIV

Everyone responds to situations and information using the existing information that they have and what they think. You may be faced with some strong initial reactions as a result.

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HIV is still misunderstood. Over time you being HIV positive will be a blip for some people as they grow to understand that you being HIV positive is just a small facet of you. 

Taking your medication as prescribed, achieving undetectable status for more than six months, not having any other STIs means that you are un-infectious. Not everyone knows that. 

Reframe a situation

If you got rejected for being HIV+ then it is abundantly clear that person is not right for you. 

YOU are not the problem, the other person has that problem.

Focus on getting the right person for you who will understand and be willing to support you. If it is a family member or a friend, sometimes they need some space to think through and then accept the situation. 

You haven’t changed.

Choose when to engage

Choosing when to engage with a strong reaction is a very powerful tactic. 

If you are online, use the block or report button. 

If you are face to face, stating that you are not going to talk until they have calmed down. 

If someone is being abusive or overly negative, don’t get involved if you don’t want to. 

They have to be capable of understanding or receptive and this won’t happen if they are emotional. It is not up to you to educate them about HIV. There is enough information online and HIV prevention organisations able to help on this matter. 

You need to focus on what is best for you and concentrate on your health...

That said, it is useful to try these exercises when you are feeling stressed about what people think about you.

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