Nevada’s Ryan White Programs Resource Directory

Should I Tell Other People About My Positive Test Result?

Categories: Family,  FAQs

It’s important to share your status with your sex partner(s) and/or people with whom you inject drugs. Whether you disclose your status to others is your decision.


  • It’s important to disclose your HIV status to your sex partner(s) and anyone you shared needles with, even if you are not comfortable doing it. Communicating with each other about your HIV status means you can take steps to keep both of you healthy.

Health Care Providers

  • Your health care providers (doctors, clinical workers, dentists, etc.) have to know about your HIV status in order to be able to give you the best possible care. It’s also important that healthcare providers know your HIV status so that they don’t prescribe medication for you that may be harmful when taken with your HIV medications.

Family & Friends

  • In most cases, your family and friends will not know your test results or HIV status unless you tell them yourself. While telling your family that you have HIV may seem hard, you should know that disclosure actually has many benefits—studies have shown that people who disclose their HIV status respond better to treatment than those who don’t.


  • In most cases, your employer will not know your HIV status unless you tell them. But your employer does have a right to ask if you have any health conditions that would affect your ability to do your job or pose a serious risk to others. (An example might be a health care professional, like a surgeon, who does procedures where there is a risk of blood or other body fluids being exchanged.)
  • If you have health insurance through your employer, the insurance company cannot legally tell your employer that you have HIV. But it is possible that your employer could find out if the insurance company provides detailed information to your employer about the benefits it pays or the costs of insurance.
  • All people with HIV are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your HIV status as long as you can do your job. To learn more, see the Department of Justice’s website.