Talking to Friends and Family About HIV

Talking to Friends and Family About HIV

Let’s take back our power.

For years, talking about HIV has been considered taboo. But whether HIV-negative or living with HIV, we need to talk about HIV with partners, friends and family members.

When we share accurate information about HIV with partners, friends and family…

  • We take back our power and affirm that we’re worthy
  • We build trust and intimacy
  • We say no to ignorance
  • We protect ourselves and our loved ones
  • We share life-saving information  
  • We empower each other

Let’s Talk About Sex

Sex can be healthy, life-affirming and fun.

When we’re willing to talk about it, we enjoy the freedom to express ourselves while opening ourselves up to deeper, more satisfying connections.

Sharing about how HIV is and isn’t transmitted, dispelling misconceptions, and, in the right circumstances, sharing our HIV status are all a natural part of that conversation. 

In 2017 Black people made up 44% of new HIV diagnoses.

In 2016, we made up 42% of people living with HIV.

We have the power to turn these numbers around. 

There’s Power in Truth

  • If you have HIV and take your medication as prescribed and your HIV becomes undetectable, you can’t give HIV to anyone else through sex.
  • If you don’t have HIV but you’re in a sexual relationship with someone who does, pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) can help you stay HIV negative.  
  • If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis can prevent you from getting HIV.

We have the tools and treatments to keep us healthy. We strengthen our community when we share accurate information and help to end the stigma.  

Start The Conversation

Talking about HIV need not leave you tongue-tied. When you’re ready to have the conversation:

  • Find the right time. Don’t leave such an important conversation to chance. If you’re nervous about opening up, pick a time and place where you’ll have privacy and space to be vulnerable. 
  • Focus on facts. Expect people to be misinformed. This is an opportunity for you to dispel some of the myths surrounding HIV. Be ready to share information on the power of prevention and the effectiveness of the latest treatments.
  • Honor the process. Having a conversation about sex or HIV is probably just as intimidating to your loved ones as it is to you. If you’re telling someone for the first time that you have HIV, give that person time to process the information and come to terms with it
    in their own way.

For more information, visit

For more about HIV and your legal rights, or if you’ve been discriminated against because of HIV status, visit