Adjusting to 'the news'
How HIV-positive youth feel about having HIV
What HIV-positive youth say about feeling different from other youth

Adjusting to ‘the news’

For some of you, the hardest time is right when you find out you’re HIV positive.

“When I found out I was poz I thought my life was over! But now I have learned that being poz doesn’t mean I am going to die tomorrow.”

Even though finding out you’re HIV positive can be scary, having HIV is not a death sentence. Treatments and medications to prevent infections and illnesses have made it possible to live with HIV longer than ever. [Check out the Treatment section for more information.]

Some of you were born with HIV and have grown up taking HIV medication AND being involved in fun activities.

“When I was a little girl and was told of my illness, my mom got so worked up about telling me, but after she did, I was OK about it and just said, ‘OK, so can we order some pizza now?’ "

Either way, many of you don’t talk about being HIV positive with many people. And even if you do, it’s somestimes hard to describe what it feels like to have HIV. Lots of youth have described this experience by saying that it feels like you’re carrying this big secret and that people don’t understand what you’re going through.

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE