Living Positive Victoria, in partnership with the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC), is proud to launch a guide to the legal issues in Victoria around disclosing your HIV status.
Disclosure of your HIV status is one of the main areas where the law affects the lives of people living with HIV. If you are thinking of disclosing your HIV status; or if someone else is asking you to, this guide will help you to understand some of the legal issues involved. This guide may also help people such as counsellors and social workers who offer support services to people living with HIV.
This is a guide to what the law says about disclosing your HIV status in Victoria. It includes:
• information about your right to privacy and freedom from discrimination; and
• how to protect these rights.
Living Positive Victoria President, Christabel Millar, believes that “sharing our HIV status is an act of love. It signifies our desire to be connected, to be visible and to be understood. We most often choose to share our status with those we want deeper friendships with and those with whom we want to share in the daily ordinary beauty of our lives. The fact that any disclosure can be met with discrimination, rejection or threat to our safety shows to me, that HIV positive people demonstrate some of the greatest strength in humanity, compassion and perception that I have ever seen. Living Positive Victoria hopes this guide empowers you to put you and your wellbeing as a top priority at all times throughout your disclosure journey”.
Although HIV is no longer considered a life-threatening condition in Victoria, a diagnosis remains truly life changing. A large part of the challenge of living with HIV remains connected to the stigma and discrimination experienced, even in 2021. The fear of disclosure remains at the forefront of thinking for every person living with HIV.
This Disclosure Guide provides a detailed overview of the sate of play when it comes to your responsibilities as a person living with HIV and what you can do when you feel that you have experienced discrimination in a range of settings which can impact your quality of life, self-confidence and overall sense of well=being.
“The sense of personal agency and self-empowerment arising from being fully informed of your rights and responsibilities can assist greatly when it comes to making your decisions about the when, where and why of disclosure. This Disclosure Guide and the ability to connect to peers with lived experience of disclosure, can provide the tools and insight to assist you with this sometimes complex issue confronted by all people living with HIV throughout their life journey, post diagnosis. “, says Living Positive Victoria CEO, Richard Keane.