What This Guide Is About
This is a guidebook about the many aspects of healthy disclosure and non‐disclosure of HIV status by people with HIV/AIDS. The guide was created by people with HIV/AIDS to help AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) in supporting people with HIV/AIDS who are wondering about disclosure: Why? To whom? When? How?
The guidebook is rooted in the lived experience of PHAs. It grew from a desire by PHAs to create a perspective on disclosure that will help people with HIV and the ASOs that serve and support them. The PHAs who contributed to this guide hope that ASOs will use the guide to deepen their understanding of the disclosure journey and to inform their policy and program development concerning disclosure.
Some of the insights and advice in the guide are expressed as communication from one PHA to another while other advice is framed as a message from PHAs to ASOs. Where the insights shared by PHAs are voiced as PHA to PHA messages, there is much to be gained by the ASO in listening to this voice. As the final chapter on Empowering Warriors asks of ASOs: Listen to PHAs for they are the experts in living with HIV.
Close to 90 alumni of the Positive Leadership Training InstituteTM (PLDITM) met in Toronto in March 2013 to brainstorm about disclosure and provide the main themes and content for the guide. It quickly became clear at the meeting that disclosure involves the whole person in all aspects of life, of which sex and criminalization of HIV transmission are just parts of a holistic picture. Disclosure is a lifetime experience and not just an act required by the law in some circumstances.
Illustration by “André.”