Black Issues : Prevention And Testing: How To Talk With Patients

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Back to home » HIV 101 » POZ Focus » Black Issues

Table of Contents

HIV Care in the Black Community

It's Our Community and It's Our Fight

Prevention And Testing: How To Talk With Patients

If A Patient Tests Positive

Common HIV-Care Myths Among Docs

Calling All Doctors

Fears vs. Facts


Give and Get Support at

Adhere To This

Resources For Non-HIV Docs

Resources For Your Patients

HIV Docs Share Treatment Smarts

HIV Medications and Pregnancy

What You're Talking About
Losing Hope (blog) (20 comments)

You Can't Hurry Love (14 comments)

I Watched Charlie Sheen on The Dr. Oz Show So You Don't Have To (blog) (14 comments)

Charlie Sheen S&%ts On 30 Years of AIDS Activism (blog) (13 comments)

Remember Their Names: World AIDS Day 2015 (blog) (12 comments)

Prudential to Offer Individual Life Insurance to People With HIV (7 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Prevention And Testing: How To Talk With Patients

Talking about HIV can be awkward  for both of you, because it can mean broaching taboo subjects. But these steps can reduce red faces.  

Open up a nonjudgmental dialogue about sex and drugs.
Explain that HIV is an epidemic in our community and that no one’s immune: HIV rates among monogamous married women, teens and seniors are growing. Also, statistics show that many positive people either do not know or do not disclose their status to their partners. Discuss safe sex and condoms, and tell patients that you’re educating everyone about prevention and testing—you’re not singling anyone out.

Encourage positive patients to practice prevention.
Some positive patients on HIV treatment may believe that if their viral load is low or undetectable, they can’t infect others. Urge HIV positive patients to use condoms, not only to protect their partners, but themselves—from other sexually transmitted diseases that can cause HIV to progress more quickly.

Be sensitive to concerns about anonymity and testing.
Many patients are fearful of whether their test results will be reported to their workplace, their insurance providers or the government. If you’re not sure, your local AIDS service organization will know the reporting procedures in your state. To find one near you, contact your local department of health or visit

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