Auntie Stella


Auntie Stella was produced by Training and Research Support Centre (Zimbabwe)
Box CY2720, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: 263-4-795124

22. Should I tell him I’m HIV positive?

Theme: Sex and relationships
Safer sex
Living with HIV and AIDS
Changing Society

Dear Winnie

Most importantly, I want to say that being HIV positive does NOT make you a different person from before and nobody makes special rules about what is ‘allowed’. You deserve the same as everyone else – love, relationships, sexual pleasure, marriage and children. Many HIV positive people have partners; sometimes the partners are HIV positive too but certainly not always.

Telling Thando won’t be easy but you will need to do it some time. Get to know him better before you do anything. You obviously need to discuss HIV and condoms with him before you start having sex. If he refuses to use condoms, won’t accept you using female ones or won’t stick to completely safe sex, then sex is OUT, however nice he is.

You are absolutely right to worry about passing on HIV. I wish everyone was as responsible as you! Remember, though, even if your partner is also HIV positive, you must still use a condom so you don’t reinfect each other every time you have sex.

Best wishes for a happy future, whatever you decide.

Auntie Stella

Action Points

  • Do you agree with Auntie Stella? Why or why not?

  • ROLEPLAY: You need two people.  Winnie tells Thando she is HIV positive.


After the role play, the actors tell the group how they felt during the conversation. Then everyone can discuss these questions:

a) What happened at the end? Who decided? Was it difficult for both actors? Was it a good conclusion? If not, how could you make it end better?

b) Would this be the normal result among young people you know?

c) Would it be different if Thando was the HIV positive one and he had to tell Winnie? If yes, what might the differences be? (Do the roleplay again reversing roles to see if and how it changes.)

d) What individuals and organisations can help people in this situation?