Originally I intended to convey these thoughts as a response to another blog entry; however, when I tried to post it, the Universe and the internet had other ideas.
Who can we really trust? We all have one person with whom we can build our best relationship of trust. I hope you can see where I am going with this. That relationship has to be cultivated with great care. Once we have a solid foundation of trust in that relationship, we have the strength to move outward with disclosure.
One thing we all must remember is that nearly every person in this world has a confidant, and that is why there is gossip. In almost all cases there is no possible way to tell one person a "secret" and expect it to stay with that person. The only real Secrets we can divulge are those which get the response, "what [in the world] are you talking about?"
Getting back to disclosure and trust I can offer what has worked for me in my 25 years plus of living with HIV and AIDS. That one personal relationship has given me the power to handle the moment when the gossip returns to me. It gives me the power to smile, shrug my shoulders and ask that person,
"Now that you\’ve told me you know I have HIV/AIDS, why don\’t you tell me something really shocking and interesting?"
The that special relationship allows me to move beyond living positive to living positively. When it comes time for me to disclose I am rarely shunned by person to whom I disclose. The most common response to me is that of curiosity and lots of questions. That strong relationship of trust with that one most important person in my life allows me to destroy the stigma of this disease one person at a time or one group at at time.