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My First Disclosure

| 31 Comments

Terrified, I shut the lights, buried my face in my hands and told him the secret I was dreading to tell him for the last four weeks: I am HIV positive. As someone newly diagnosed with HIV, this was the first time I've told a potential partner about my status.

 

I had been thinking about this moment ever since I met him. Its unfortunate but inevitable, that as signs of romance begin, my head starts turning with when, where, how, and if I should disclose.

 

In therapy sessions, I told my therapist (and myself) that I would wait to disclose until I felt like I really knew who he was and whether I could truly trust him. But as we spent another great date together, my thought process quickly changed, and I found myself throwing my perfectly planned disclosure "time-line" out the window.

 

On the night of the disclosure, he picked out a trendy, intimate place for us to have dinner. When I arrived, he was waiting for me with a table and a bottle of wine, and smiled at me as I walked through the door. We spent dinner chatting, laughing, and learning more about each other. After dinner, he escorted me around the corner to a live music venue. From there we went out dancing, to a place he knew would play music that I loved. He had planned the perfect night...or so he thought...

 

A few hours later, we ended up back at my apartment. He started kissing me. Soft, passionate kisses - the kind that you can get lost in.  But I couldn't get lost, I wouldn't let myself. I silently and repeatedly reminded myself that I had to be very present and strategic. Our hearts raced (for different reasons), and as his kisses became increasingly passionate, I started to pull away. He smiled and asked me what was wrong. I told him that we needed to talk.

 

That's when I shut the lights and put my head in my hands. I couldn't look at him, looking at me as I revealed this news to him. After some hesitation, I spit out the 30-second version of my story. "I was in a relationship with a man who I had loved and trusted, but he cheated on me, and as a result, infected me with HIV." I cringed and peeked at him through my fingers, like a child awaiting punishment.

 

To my surprise, he didn't look angry or disgusted. He didn't scream or run away. He looked at me, and after a bit of nervous, verbal fluttering, started to ask me questions about how I was doing. He repeatedly said, "I'm sorry," and showed empathy and kindness. I told him I was willing to answer any of his questions and to talk about it as much or as little as he wanted. He thanked me for being honest with him and asked if he could spend the night with me. Shocked that he still wanted to, (after I had effectively extracted all of the passion from the night), I said, "of course."

 

We got into my bed, and I told him how much it meant to me that he wanted to spend the night. He seemed to be talked-out, and wanted to just think or sleep this experience away, so I thanked him for taking the news so wonderfully, and we said goodnight with a quick, passion-less kiss. I laid my head on his chest with a sigh, and we both drifted to sleep.

 

The next morning, I thanked him again for his kindness and told him I'd be happy to talk more about it when he was ready. He told me he had to leave, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and hugged me tightly as if to say "take care of yourself." Part of me knew that it would be the last time I saw him.

 

Despite how wonderfully he took the news, and how comforted I felt to have him spend the night by my side, it's been almost two weeks now and I still haven't heard from him.

 

I try to rationalize his behavior in my head. Maybe he needs more time to process... Maybe he'll come around.... But when I'm being honest with myself, I know the truth. He is not willing to have a relationship with me now that he knows the truth about all of my 'baggage.'

 

The weeks following my first disclosure were filled with a range of emotion.... Relief that I successfully jumped over another "first-hurdle" in my HIV journey; anger that I have these hurdles to jump at all; and sadness like anyone feels when they realize they are being rejected.

 

As I tried to focus my mind on my studies and extra curricular activities, the questions about this experience kept creeping in. Did I disclose too soon? Maybe I should have kept our relationship purely platonic for longer so that we could have gotten to know each other better? Or maybe I should have told him on our first date, so that it wouldn't hurt this badly now that I know his truth - that he's unwilling to be with me and my HIV.

 

Talking to one of my friends about the experience, she quoted from a favorite childhood movie of hers, and told me, "You'll know he's the one, when he's the one." This simple quote rang true, and made me smile.

 

As much as I rationalize this experience as a good thing--the disclosure went well; he was kind; it made me stronger, wiser, and more experienced in dealing with the everyday struggles of living with HIV; its better that I know sooner rather than later that he's not right for me--its still hard to shake the feelings of loneliness and the pangs of rejection. I'll try to remember what my friend said and know that one day someone who truly wants to be with me, won't let something like a virus get in the way.

 

This experience reinforced something I already knew, but that I now understand more profoundly; how the stigma of HIV can truly be the worst part of this disease. I've been taking my medication faithfully, my bloodwork is great, and I feel perfectly healthy. The pain I've felt in the last few weeks was not caused by HIV per se, but by others' fears and ignorance of the effect HIV has on a relationship's future. I informed my potential partner that because my viral load is undetectable, if we practice safe sex the chances of transmission are close to zero, and that chances are my life won't be cut short by HIV, but he still has dodged any further conversation about HIV or our relationship. Stigma is one powerful beast...

31 Comments

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Comments on Anonymous's blog entry "My First Disclosure"

Well, i kno how it feels. Its easy to write but hard to escape feelings. I am HIV negative, but i have gone throw similar, with a guy i liked who is HIV+, he kept it hidden for 1 year. One time his friend blew out to me and i got suspecious. I did find the truth, but i never got to explain to him the truth. I tried to contact him to reconcile, i still love him, but this time my infected friend thinks i would reject him.. You like someone with heart, and i like him with a heart..

Ok i was reading your blog and i can honestly say i know what you are going through girl honestly i have had men reject me in a nice way and have had men reject me in a very mean way and even though it done happen more then once it still feel like a bullet going through my body ripping through me. i have had some thoughts of ending my life because of all of this but you know one thing i could not take my life i wanted to live to much that is why i fight and have gotten this far but trust and believe i understand it all to well.

I've found the SOONER I disclose the better it is for both parties. I'm a pretty fast sorta guy, though, and I'm extremely open, and shameless about my past, and serostatus. So far, it's been more difficult sharing that I'm bi-polar, lol!!! Most guys don't even flinch if I tell them I am poz. :)
If you are ashamed of being poz, or think there's a stigma, then you're going to live life trapped by it, until you break out of that mindset.

I think it was right to be honest like you were. sadly there are still a lot of people who don;t know enough about HIV/AIDS to know that you can still have a fulfilling relationship with someone who is POZ. I am negative but as long as the man was truthful with me from the very start would have no problem falling in love with and staying with someone who is POZ.
Don't worry my friend you will find someone who will love you un-conditonally

This is among the harshest aspect of HIV: finding a partner who will love you HIV and all. It is an enormous burden on a partner, not knowing if/when/how their loved one will get sick and possibly die. If someone isn't up to it they generally know inside. My advice is to get the HIV business out up-front, preferably it should be the second or third thing you tell someone who's interested in you. That way you can screen out those who aren't ready and love someone who is. In the meantime stay strong and reach out to those who care about you, and always believe there is someone out there who is right for you.

I have been with positive and negative men, actually only 1 of each since my diagnosis in 2005. I find it extremely difficult to disclose to a negative person because they either are curious as to how I got it or they pretend it doesn't exist at all. I prefer positive relationships because at least they understand where and what I'm going through. With some it becomes a contest as to who is sicker and in more need of the other to care for them. I don't look at it that way, I enjoy the fact that I'm alive at all!

Its got to be hard to be a heterosexual with HIV. My heart really goes out to you. Its immensely rough for gay men, and thats with screamingly high seroprevalence rates in our "community". You will almost certainly be the first person, and maybe the only person, he ever encounters who admits to being infected with the virus. That's gotta be a tough nut to crack.

For what its worth, I've found that the most constructive way to handle it is with the utmost confidence. Disclosure is a time when you may feel vulnerable and scared, but if you betray any of that, it will only add to the sense of unmanageable doom which is commensurate with the virus. I know you wanted to cry, to curse your ex, etc, but disclosure is the one moment when you MUST resist the urge. I've repeatedly heard the suggestion that hetero pozzies disclose in a controlled environment (ie not 10 minutes before you hit the sack), with reassuring printed literature about risk negotiation and life outlook on hand. As you did, I'd make sure to emphasize that between condom use, his being a man and your adherence to medication, he is probably more likely to be killed crossing the street than infected with your virus. Seeing it in print makes the whole thing sound more legitimate though. Disclosure is the moment when you need to resist your inner emotions and sell yourself more than any other. There will be plenty of time for emotional honesty about this disease, but the first moment of disclosure is not one of them. You may want to role play the situation with a therapist, so that you have a framework for getting the words out in a constructive manner.

You have the good fortune of being in NYC. If there were any city in America where you are likely to find a worthwhile man who can deal with it, you're in it. You have the good fortune of having at least one contact that I can think of who is another smart, educated woman who has dealt with this issue. Now might be a time to transcend some boundaries and ask her how she breaks the news to guys.

Stay strong. There will be doors slammed in your face. There will be men who freak out over the fact that they kissed you, or shared utensils. There will be accusations, paranoia and gossip. Anyone who says that HIV doesn't get in the way of their love life is either lying, chaste or in denial. Yours is not an easy path to walk. Always remember what you bring to the table. Clearly, in your 20s, your're smarter, stronger and more composed than most people will ever be. Parlay those traits into an understanding that the whole you is an amazing catch.

Hey anon, from reading this blog entry, I am able to deduce that you are damn articulate and above all, a person with conscience. You are a wonderful person but make no mistake, HIV carries a huge stigma and it will take more than sexual predator with anxiety disorder to stick around you. If the guy is n't coming back, no worries. I am sure you are not the first HIV person he ever got in relationship with. It is because you told him and he is now trying to shatter his complacency, thinking he is smart. He was just being lucky all this while. The good news is that there are millions of guys out there still so keep trying. Nonetheless, before you disclose next time, try to see if the person is like you. I mean someone with conscience. You can read the signs from what he says and does. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that. You just have to learn to read signs in people. People with conscience are very reliable and very understanding. They are less judgemental and eager to love your heart before your vavajay....smile.

Hello anonymous, I've been in the same situation as you and believe me it is a very uncomfortable moment and no matter how much you prepare for that moment it is never easy and will always have to run the risk of beign rejected. I find that its better for me to disclose early but only when that person is worth it. There first time I disclosed my status I was at the girls apartment and we were both ready to get into bed. Once I told her the passion and the heat of the moment was lost, and she sent me home with the worst case of BLUE BALLS. Since that day when I meet someone who I am sexually attracted to and she agredss to go out on a date I some how work the HIV conversation and test the water to see how she feels about someone who is positive. Depending on her answer I will disclose my status. If I don't disclose at that moment is because I know how she will answer. Give it time, you will meet the right guy.

Hey Anonymous it is me I am back to say something to you girl I am here to tell you a lil bit of my story well first it was like this back in the day before all this I had a normal life bt I was always called ugly and always told no man wanted me but as I got older and moved out of my hometown I found that dudes talk to me and I got sucked up into the storm I ended up falling for this guy and I rather not say his name but we ended up taking to that level and after that it was he did not care at all and he had used me I felt hurt abused and felt like hurting him but 2 wrongs don't make a right right well I soon got over him and continue to do me and try and figure alot that was going on inmy life I ended up moving to Memphis,TN and while I was down there something terriable happen to me I ended up getting raped I heard through the greatvine that this man that had raped me was poz I did not want to believe it at all so I just act like I did not hear that so I went to donate blood for money down there in memphis and they let me go through and I say nomore the 4 or 5 weeks and a letter from the health department came and it said they found that monster in me and that I got to go to the clinc asap....Girl ever since that day I have been getting rejected left and right ppl just do not do they resource at all. I am pretty sure as long as u be real and all u will find that right man that likes u for u.

There are two kinds of stigma the stigma that people like myself put on ourselves and the stigma that people put on us as persons being HIV+ BOTH can hold us back from living a life.
I have went through many modes of thinking since 2003 on my birthday I found out my positive status. The virus has attacked every dimention of wellbeing. I now tell folks one I am a peer-educator activist with ACT UP, writer and advocate for people who are homeless with HIV/AIDS pushing for housing. I lost my wife to the virus and lung cancer in 2/2009 I think now on a level of well their is not a cure and people that I disclose my positive status to can't cure me. Very easily this could be them having HIV> EMPATHY is a part of out character so few of us use,but we all posses.
Don't beat yourself up because we are powerless over what and how people think.

cliffwms44

I feel for you. I finally gave up on trying to meet a negative woman, and decided that I would have to be with one who understood the medical and mental side better. Still no luck in meeting the right one, but at least that stressor is gone from the equation. Excellent blog.

Guiness, I agree with testing the water. I have had relationships with and had to disclose to positive and negative partners. It did not make a difference at the time. However now I am about to date again and I will definitely test out the water first to find out if I am wasting my time and try to minimize rejection.

I've been + since '84. I remember going out with a guy back in the early '90's. He'd lost a partner to AIDS so I thought he'd be educated and compassionate.

Our first real date we were walking down the street, headed to dinner and discussing HIV. He said, "well, I'm HIV- and I've got papers to prove it".. I was kind of shocked and responded:
"well, I'm HIV+ and I've got the papers to prove it". Our dinner was uneventful & the last time we went out, as he did not return my call(s).

I've casually dated a few HIV- guys, but ultimately know I'm much better in relationship with, or dating or HIV+ guys.

I've got a profile on POZ.com. That's been interesting and am meeting some nice guys. I'm come too far and too long to deal with others fear and stigma at this point in my life.

I'm sorry to hear. I too loved someone and trusted them. He was more than my age and he've been a long time love interest that I wasn't old or legel age to date. We somewhat dated for a year. I use pray that he would be the one. I assume he would've made a great husband someday because of his father was the kindest man I've ever known aside my father. It turn out all he wanted from me was sex. But I began distancing myself finding him not who I thought is was. I broke up, went to college, transfered to another in atlanta and then it began. Force home very sickly and found out about it. I could hear the glass shatting. I image it was like that for you too. I felt like I've died and tried to commit suicide by trying to give myself a cold. still today I want to die because I've lost faith in love and soulmates and all. I've the same path a little like you, but have things got better? If so how?

Hi there i know how it feels to be rejected but this is the best thing you ever did and you should be proud of yourself that you disclosed it and thats the way to go if at all we want to stop the spread of this disease
But i have good news for you .you can still experience sweet love with +ve guys.i lost my hubby 5yrs ago he left me with a 9yr old daughter who is now 14yrs old i joined a site for positive singles and i have found a wonderful man who has taken my daughter as his own .Am one happy woman experiencing real love and hopefully soon i hope to give him a child of his own so dont worry we are still loveable and can find true love just be patient y

I can totally relate to what you've said. So many of us have the same experience. I choose not to limit myself to dating only +ve men. I just stay positive in my outlook on life and hope to meet someone who will love me regardless of my status. You stay strong and remember, your not alone.

I tried to avoid having to go through the rejection by online dating on the POZ site. That way disclosure is out of the way and I won't have to hurt. Needless to say that did not go well. Only 6 people in my area on the site, men from across seas email you at 2 am explicit sexual comments like cyber sexting and then the one who have multiple STD's as if to say , well she has HIV so she won't mind a few other diseases" I wanted to scream. Virus that is under control is what I have, I am not ashamed but the ignorance that is still prevalent makes the disclosure harder. The POZ dating site could be a awsome meet and date site if our POZ community stood behind it and made it safe, fun and serious. I am now on a regualar site and wonder , do I use condoms and keep my mouth shut? Then I remember how I felt to when I contracted this from my husband who knew all along and near told me. I found out at a prenatal visit. His tone was so what there worse things people live with.... So I am like many alone and shut in just me and my 4 kids not ashamed but unwilling to be rejected And hurt

hi there


it was a pleasure to read your opinion about this issue.....i feel the same but i ma still struggle to find my inner strengh and dare to someone whom i date telling :that me,and that s the whole story...

all the best
zsolt

Sadly I know how it feels having experienced on one too many times the stigma involved when you disclose your status to someone you care about.

And in my case, then how quickly I was rejected because of it.
Your lucky he didn't show disgust. I have experienced far worse and even to the point of hearing from family members how they believe that this disease is a "punishment from God"!
I have tried for years (being a long term survivor) telling myself that someone will look past this disease and see my heart and really see me.
Once I thought I had found my love and was married. My ex-wife knew before she married me and I changed my life to accomodate her going as far as to move 1,400 miles to help her to realize her career and her dreams.
She left me shortly thereafter and crushed my heart not only telling me that she wasn't in love with me, that it was only infatuation but also telling me that she thought I would only live for a few years.
But when she realized that I could live a long life...she didn't want to stay with me for fear of what others would think if they knew.
Nowadays, I find myself living alone with a cat as my main companion (at least he loves me unconditionally), renovating my old house and trying to reinvent myself and my career choices.

I sincerely hope and wish that you find the love and happiness that I had so eagerly sought.

just as all tge others are saying if they were not meant for you they will leave. I am newly dignosed and it has been hard, but i have told myslef that there is life after testing positive. WHen the right person comes along you knw they are the one. I am a single parent and when the time is right you will know. Dnt eat yourself up. God Luvs u

This guy was absolutely perfect,he did everything right....for months my feet almost did not touch the ground.
I told him I wasn't ready to be intimate and he said he understood and would wait,he promised that whatever it was we'll deal with it together.
The day i revealed my status it was below freezing...it took me a few minutes to realise he didn't even bother to grab his jacket on his world record sprint out my door.All I got was a three word e-mail "burn the coat".
I kept it to remind myself how much I allowed another person's ignorance and stupidity to hurt me,and never to make that mistake again.

I applaud your honesty. Disclosure is so challenging in the beginning.

I had sex with a condom a few times and never told the partner I was positive. Never saw them again even if they wanted to see me.
I'd lied by ommission and was ashamed of myself.

Eventually I got online and put it on my profiles (with 3 sites). Figured if they know
up front they won't bother me if they are afraid.
And only those secure with it will respond.

Trouble is - after sex the first time I was saying

'I'm so amazed with your confidence regarding my disclosure.'

'WHAT DISCLOSURE?' ... etc .... 'YOU'RE POSITIVE?'

Well, never saw them again.

So I wrote a one act comedy play to air my frustrations. About disclosure of a man sharing his status on his very first date for the first time with someone new.

It was to be premiered at the WORLD'S AIDS CONFERENCE IN VANCOUVER some time ago. When the Cultural Co-ordinator saw it in dress rehearsal she screamed.

'NO NO NO ! THIS IS HORRIBLE! WHAT THE HELL?'

So they preached to the choir with old tired dated sad one act plays of death and grief to the assembly of professional care-givers, doctors, nurses, etc. Who needed to be brought down with those entry level depression plays? She needed to be doom and gloom and I'd written the first HIV comedy ever. I didn't think twice.
In 4 weeks of rehearsals we always felt it was just a good play. Good theatre. Not ground breaking.

Kicked out a day before the performance in front of over 1000+ people. I slaved to bring that baby to life. I was furious. So furious - I stumbled in my rage and found a ONE ACT PLAY FESTIVAL. I pleaded on the day before the show -for an our 20 minutes. We were accepted.

The postage stamp sized stage was so small I had to step down off the stage to go around the couch. I fell off twice! We finished our
play - standing ovation - and the very lines that
I hoped would make it funny I was wrong, they laughed at least every 30 seconds! I was dumbfounded and kept going. This was more then just about disclosure - and it brought down the house.

A 20 minute play with laughs we had to stop for -took 25 minutes before we were off the stage.

Last on the stage - 11 PM!!!!
We knocked it out of the park.

Since then - I disclofirst email. No waiting, don't expect to waste my time. As well as theirs.

'If you're comfortable with HIV - let's talk about a date.'

I don't waste a second on people that are liable to dine and dash. I won't meet for coffee unless it's opened up before I dress up and start to get excited. People go in with expectations to everything they do. Especially romance and sex and love.

So a good date - is they already know - and we're looking for the chemistry. And most times chemistry is not there and it's okay with me. The honesty frees me to be myself fully. Present and secure. I trust people to be themselves. I dont' seek their approval.

I'm not alone, I'm not afraid, I'm not hiding. It is our secrets that kill us. It's no longer a secret. Never will be.

And if an AIDS WORLD CONFERENCE is too narrow minded to let a comedy on disclosure be seen (no lewd behavior or foul language) then to hell with them. Can you imagine how funny that is in retrospect?

I was later told (by a very famous international playwright who'd read the play from a friend of a friend) in an email -

YOU ARE A CANADIAN NEIL SIMON. CONGRADULATIONS.
YOU HAD ME AT THE OPENING LINE. I LOVE YOUR SHOW. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOUR FUTURE WORK. YOU HAVE A SERIOUS GIFT FOR HUMOUR!

HIV/AIDS - it's a manageable syndrome. Like diabetes. Or herpes. Or ... and I'm not seeing it as a death sentence to life or dating. I'm inspired - and dating a person who doesn't mind and is the best lover, warm open and funny.

I am crazy in lust and loving it.

Hold on, believe and never give up on you!
We are all worth being proud of ourselves with HIV or without HIV. It's not a debate of what parts of me aren't loveable.

I end my profiles with

ACQUIRED TASTE.
I'M ONLY FOR THE ENLIGHTENED AND JOYFUL.

If anyone wants to see the play - I'm transcribing it to microsoft word.

We have so so much to be proud of.
Shame is only a stumble that we stand up from, laugh about and walk forward with,not from.
There is no part of me that is not loveable.
That is perhaps what I seek in myself, others and life. And why I continue to playwright.

Your blog really hit home with me. Though, I more than lucked out with my first disclosure. It was one of the scariest things I ever had to do. I ended up marrying the man I disclosed to, and having a beautiful baby girl with him!! So NEVER give up. I definitely don't fit the stereotype, even my first infectious disease doc didn't quite know what to do with me. So I found an awesome one that didn't make me feel uncomfortable. My husband is negative, as is my baby girl. When I found out I was positive, I joined a group of HIV positive gay men. I felt I had more I common with them than the other groups. The guys were wonderful, they saved my life. Good luck to you. Don't let one guy get you down. He wasn't the one for you. Clearly.

I so loved all the above post about disclosure. I have been positive since 1993 and disclosure has always been an issue. I tell right up front and I feel it helps me avoid those who really dont want to deal with HIV/AIDS issue or those who are uneducated and wish to remain so. I did once find a man who was not positive and he accepted my status we protected and had a great relationship sex wise for 5 years..we did break up but he is still negative and HIV was not the issue that ended us. Since then I have had a few encounters with exes who accepted my status and we protected but no relationship came from it. Im holding out now for a relationship. I was dating in January 2011, told new man everything right up front, he stated not a problem. I gave him over a few weeks educational information so he could see risks etc and make an educated desision not just trust what I said.I gave him information about how people may tell him not to date me due to my status..or if we did break up women may not want to date him if he was sexual with me. I said this has happened to others in the past and just wanted him to have all pros and cons up front so no surprises for him later. Over several weeks he said all he has learned it still was not an issue to him and we could more to next level of relationship. I asked him to re-read information and then when we went away for valentines day as planned we could take that step if he was in inclinded to do so. I said Ijust wanted to make sure he was ready as to make love ot him then have him change his mind about issue would be so hard for me. He agreed. We went to an event in my community together where those we knew saw we were a couple..many of those people know my status. Four days later he broke up with me in a voice mail and we h ave not talked other that say hi to each other since then..his choice. They seem to leave more often than not..it hurts,rejection is never easy and disclosure never gets easier. I dont act like a victum when I tell my status and I dont settle for someone just because they accept my status either. Ive tried POz online dating sites as well and seem to find many still want just sex and not true relationships..just games. I still feel I deserve the best in life and in relationships and will never settle for less than love.passion and mutual respect from a partner positive or not. I say to all keep being honest to yourself and others and place the outcome in Gods hands. Only the best in life to you all. My motto is: Tell people to Protect themselfs and then they wont have to deal with Managing HIV/AIDS.

Well darlings I have to say that being HIV + is much easier for gay men than for straight men or women..in the straight set their are so many rules between men and women and courting and stuff..I pity straight guys all the crap women put them thru to get into their beds..a woman who makes it easy for a man is a slut..well honey in the gay world we make it easy for the boyz...i guess thats why aids spread so quickly in the gay community. I was a terrible "slut" but I didnt get Hiv til I was 58..Im now 64 and have a partner of 32 years..he's hiv - because we didnt have sex for about 15 years(while i was running around behind his back)..he loved me enough to stay with me though which is WONDERFUL and I know I dont deserve it..or do I??? To be honest I havent had sex now since 2004..once you get that monkey off your back..its so easy to just do your own thing and ignore it..my partner and I still love each other and we cuddle every night but here's the kicker.my hiv doc told me the only safe sex is mutual masterbation. everything else has some risk to it...anyway..Im happy...healthy (I had to deal with aids and lymphoma at the same time)and have second chance at life..and believe me Im living everyday as though it were my last...sex...can be the death of ya....

Thank you for your story, I just got diagnosed pos.
and I'm in a mental tailspin, I'm not sure who or what I am. I've struggled with my Penis size my whole life, even with kids and all that,
I do the bookstore & theater thing, because of my insecurity, Now I feel like if I found a nice woman, you know, even the thought of a relationship, (where the hell can this go?)I don't want someone I care about to get this BS, plus what do I say? hi wanna die with me? there is a woman I absolutely adore, damn it I'm stupid, why did I do what I did, oh god.
sry got to go

Relationships have issues whether you are positive, negative, male, female, other, or just unaware of your status. This month is the 10th anniversary of my HIV diagnosis.

I am a middle-aged Black gay male. 2 years ago, I met another Black gay male almost 20 years younger than I. This person was ready to engage in sexual intimacies--even higher-risk activities.

Due to my status, I refrained from engaging in higher-risk activities with the younger man. Shortly after our meeting, I made a status disclosure to the younger man. I was surprised, actually sort of shocked, when my status disclosure compelled the younger man to disclose that he also was living with the virus.

Once, our disclosures had been made, we were able to engage in safer same-sex sexual activities. Higher-risk activities were engaged in with an accurate knowledge of what the consequences could be.

Despite what some bloggers may personally believe, HIV is no easier for gay males than it is for anyone else. Living with HIV causes interpersonal and intrapersonal dilemmas for everyone living in this world be they black, white, asian, Native American,hetero, homo or otherwise.

For me, the best course has been honest up-front disclosure before engaging in activities that could lead to transmission of the virus.

I understand trully. But in my case, I am a lesbian so life for me is heartbreaking on a day to day when it comes to finding love. Its a constant let down but you have to continue to live even if its alone. Even being undetectable does not matter, the stigma of you being a nasty person is still hanging over your head like a neon sign. My heart is bleeding for you and keep your head up.

oh wow this was a great article.i am 23 years old and was born with the virus and i feel the same way.i get too scared to ever tell anyone because of the way they will take it.will they walk out the door or will they stay? i always think they will probably just walk out the door. i mean if you didnt have it and someone told you they did.would you stay??

Hello Everyone,
I'm not HIV positive, but I work with the population. I too feel that the stigma is the work part of the virus. I think that the original deliverance called the stigma because medical professional wasn't sure what was claiming the lives of many at such a rapid pace. I think that if we could change the original deliverance, we could change the ignorance. I think if that negative stigma wasn't attached people would be less afraid to disclose their status; in turn, minimize the spread of the virus. That is why we need to strategize and formulate a plan of action that focus of eradicating the stigma.

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This page contains a single entry by Anonymous published on March 19, 2011 11:40 AM.

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