The HIV Disclosure Project gives many thanks to the contributions from people living with HIV who make this resource possible.
Disclosure of your HIV status is deeply tied to personal identity and is a major act happening across the lifespan for people living with HIV (PLHIV). Before, during and after disclosure of an individual’s HIV status many PLHIV can feel apprehension, shame and/or other difficult emotions. In short, for PLHIV disclosure is often a significant, personal challenge.
Disclosure performs a vital function for many PLHIV. It reclaims their diagnosis as their own narrative and establishes a ‘frame’ from which they can build strength and resilience.
Imagine writing a script where the editing process never ends. The HIV disclosure scripts formulated in the minds of the PLHIV (where all possible and improbable endings) have been formulated but when the words are said out loud, its ‘performance’ changes yet again. The performance of disclosure commonly reverts to one of improvisation – an interplay between disclosure and how this is received. A PLHIV’s disclosure narrative is never fully written, fully said or indeed fully for every possible scenario; it alters with time, environment and context. Disclosure is about experiential learning.
In a cross-jurisdiction partnership, Living Positive Victoria and ACON, with support from the Victorian AIDS Council and The Institute of Many, have developed The HIV Disclosure Project. This web based resource is designed to help people living with HIV develop strategies and skills around disclosure of status from the lived experience of their peers.
The Disclosure Project is produced as a living book which by definition means it is "living" and will be continuously updated with new Disclosure Stories once they have been submitted.