Finding Out that You Have HIV
(Or Newly Dealing With It):
Emotional and Psychological Issues
Michael Siever, Ph.D.
for the PLUS Weekend Workshop
Possible Reactions to HIV Diagnosis
• Feeling a part of a
Which themes do you relate to?
Which have you heard from others?
Which do you not relate to and/or have a strong reaction to?
To whom to disclose?
Timing of disclosure?
Expectations of disclosure? Yours? Others?
The dos and don’ts of disclosure?
1) Parallels to coming out
2) Disclosure dialogue as a “gift”
Social Support Issues
• Social support can be described as feeling heard,
valued, understood, being a part of a group or
community, receiving physical and emotional
comfort, appreciated, validated, with patience and
without judgment. What else?
• Social support, like exercise and food, should be
tailored to your unique perspective/needs.
• What do you NOT want from social support?
• Anyone with a surprising or touching social support
A Brief Overview
• You have
a) needs and
b) resources to meet those needs.
If they are “out of balance”, you have
• You have external events and demands,
and you have internal responses to them.
Everyone’s stress is different.
Various perspectives and reflections on your issue
help immensely in exploring your stress.
Exercise, diet, sleep, social support and other health
enhancing behaviors play a vital role in stress
Relaxation, Mindfulness practices can be also
Be aware of what doesn’t work for you.
Know when to ask for
Self Care, tailored to
Participate actively in
Move ahead with life,
What holds you back?
What else is important