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When to Disclose HIV Status

When is the appropriate time to tell someone that you are HIV positive? This is the million dollar question. Do you tell them on the first date? Do you tell them while talking over the phone? Is it something that is better said face to face? Do you tell them before you are about to have sex? It all depends on where the friendship/relationship is headed and what you want out of it.


The law in most states is that you inform anyone that you are going to have any type of sexual contact with that you are HIV positive. Now, that is a sticky situation. No one wants to wait until they are about to have sex to say, “By the way, I am HIV positive.” Talk about a mood killer.


This is indeed a perilous situation. As in anything, it is about the delivery. It is all in how you say it. If you say it with pause and fear in your voice, then the person is going to absorb that from you and will be uncertain and probably walk away. However, if you confront the situation with knowledge and have the information on hand that they will need to make an educated decision; this makes all the difference in the world. Even if you are talking to someone online, there is a way to say it. Have websites readily available where they can be properly educated on the facts about HIV. Be prepared to answer any questions that they may have with certainty. If you are okay with it, that give them the chance to be okay with it.


Now, I am not telling you not to be a little scared of rejection. There is always that chance. There will be some people who walk away due to the stigma and stereotypes that are circulating about HIV. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Know that they are rejecting the disease, not you! Do not personalize the rejection.


The biggest thing about disclosing to anyone especially a potential love partner is how you feel about yourself. If you have come to a place where you are at peace with yourself, any response that you receive will be alright with you. You have to come to a place where you are alright now matter the outcome. Now that takes a lot of practice and time but it is possible.

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