Inclusive Communication: 6 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Living With HIV

On World AIDS Day, as a part of our Inclusive Communication series, we wanted to talk about talking to people living with HIV. For most part, people don’t understand the difference between HIV and AIDS. HIV is a virus that attacks the human immune system. Becoming HIV positive doesn’t automatically mean that a person has AIDS. In fact AIDS is a term used for a collection of infections and illnesses that occur in the late stage of not being treated for HIV. Often, those who develop AIDS don’t get themselves tested for HIV and aren’t even aware that they are HIV+

With the advancement of medicine, people with HIV can be treated and AIDS can be prevented. So, when someone DOES disclose to you that they are HIV+, there are a few things you never ever should, under any circumstance ever, say.

1. How did you get it?

2. You don’t look like you have HIV.

3. I’m sorry to hear that

4. So, you can’t have sex ever again?

5. How long have you got left?

6. So, you can’t have a family?

Overall, our advice to you when communicating with someone who has HIV is — don’t be insensitive and ignorant! If you are unsure about whether something you want to say or ask might offend them, depending on your relationship with that person, you can either apologise in advance for what you are about to say because you are unsure if it is offensive or not ask them at all and google it instead.

Are there any other things you think people shouldn’t say to people living with HIV? Leave a comment below!

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