"Living in a rural area, I don't feel I can risk coming out."
I gradually rebuilt a life in the UK for myself and my child with the support of my family....Stigma and ignorance are for me the main issues around my diagnosis. Living in a rural area where everyone knows everyone, I don't feel I can risk coming out. The fallout could affect not just me but also my child and family. I would love to stop living this double life but the few of my colleagues who do know have warned me not to tell others.
People are split into those who know and those who don't. Dating is a minefield and disclosure is never easy and nor is rejection. The ignorance of GPs and non-HIV specialist consultants is alarming. However, I never miss a chance to get on my soapbox and to remind them that one third of the PLWH (People Living With HIV/AIDS) community in the UK are undiagnosed. I always stress the need for universal precautions—be it condoms or gloves. I would love to be able to shout from the rooftops that I am living with HIV. Sadly, I think that day will be a long time coming in rural UK.