In a perfect world it wouldn’t matter if I was HIV+. As you all know, this isn’t a perfect world. I came to realize this better the weeks following my diagnosis. I told my family. They are my family for Goodness sake! They are going to support me, right? Well, most of them did. I was soon ostracized from certain family members. My grandparents were accepting of me. Then again, I am not sure they understood what HIV was. I was soon uninvited to Christmas, Birthdays, Thanksgiving and any other family get together there was. I lost one of my best friends, she was an in-law to one of these family members. For awhile I felt very alone.
I don’t want to give the impression that my whole family and all of my friends were this way. On the contrary, most of them (that i told) have supported me. But my everyday contact with these family members came to a screeching halt. I tried to educate them, to no avail. I believe if I wasn’t around they wouldn’t be reminded that this could have happened to any of them.
I think this is why I don’t tell many people. I am afraid that the friendships that I have made over the years will be broken. As educated as we all are, it’s just not enough. Most people would rather send money to show their support for a cause. When the cause is staring them in the face it becomes much more real. Not many people can handle that.