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Aug 5, 2004

Your answer to my question (below) has really helped me, so thank you Dr. Remien! xxxx

Dr. Remien's response to a question about disclosure: My feeling is that discussing and disclosing HIV status is a 2-way street in a relationship. Both partners are responsible for knowing their own status, asking their partner about their status if they want to know, and disclosing their own status when it seems important.

The challenging issue for many people is the timing of disclosure. As I already suggested, both people play a role in "having the discussion." When do two people feel close enough with each other to be willing to talk about an intimate thing such as HIV status? If it's not done relatively early on, it can feel more difficult as time goes on. That is why some people have a personal policy of bringing it up early and getting it out of the way - then they don't have to worry about it.

Since you are asking the question, it sounds like you feel it is about time for you and your boyfriend to have this discussion. Living with the fears you have cannot be fun. If he is unwilling to be with you because of your HIV status (regardless of what his status is) then you are probably better off knowing that sooner, rather than later. If he is not bringing it up, then you may want to let him know that you think it is important for the two of you to talk about HIV and health-related issues, and that you feel close enough to him and care about him enough to have the conversation.

Response from Dr. Remien

Thank you for expressing your gratitude. I hope that my response to your question is helpful to others. I know you are not alone in dealing with disclosure issues. Take care.

keeping his secreat
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