Key messages

There are particular aspects of managing appropriate confidentiality and boundaries within the HIV sector. Some of these unique issues arise from past and ongoing stigma and others related to our commitment to greater involvement and meaningful engagement of people living with HIV. For example:

  • Different facets of our identity influence us to approach situations in different ways—including, for some of us, being people living with HIV.
  • In addition to your role(s) in the organization, you may be a: friend, family member, partner, parent, patient, community leader, client, citizen, neighbour, volunteer… or PHA.

Given the HIV sector history of the lack of external support and ongoing experiences of stigma, it can be very difficult to identify the ‘appropriate’ level of involvement and boundaries. This most often means being available and providing comprehensive support within the organizational roles and policies while not creating dependency or being paternalistic.

Legal and personal issues around disclosure of HIV status create an additional level of consideration when balancing when it is appropriate to protect information, and when it is appropriate to share it.


What does this mean locally / at your organization?

We suggest you chat with your supervisor and/or colleagues and learn about the following:

  • What policies, procedures and guidelines exist around Confidentiality & Boundaries in your organization?
  • Are there specific implications and expectations of Confidentiality & Boundaries that relate to my role and/or the communities that we work with?


Core curriculum training

Confidentiality and Boundaries webinar/video (in development):


Learn more here