Why should I tell people about my status? The list below covers some of the reasons why it is important to share your status with some people: You can benefit from emotional and practical support: It can't be underestimated how much better it feels to share a burden with someone you trust. Additionally, talking about with them will probably lead to thinking of pragmatic steps you can take to get help. Sexual partners have the right to know if they may have been put at risk: telling past, present and future sexual partners protects them by allowing them to make informed decisions - it could also enhance the trust between you. There is also a significant chance that the person who infected you doesn't know they have the virus. You can access the best available treatment: by telling healthcare professionals as soon as possible, you can start getting the treatment, advice and emotional support needed to lead a full and longer life. The sooner you start treatment, the more effective it will be. It is a criminal offence to knowingly infect someone with HIV.