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How do I tell a wonderful man that I am positive.
Aug 5, 2004

Dr Reimien: I am hiv+, for 3 yrs. undetectable vl and tcells over 1000. I met a wonderful man who is kind and considerate but, I have not told him of my status. We did have relations protected of course but I feel so guilty for not telling him. I know that the risk of transmission from female to male is lower and I do not have periods. We both have children so having children is not even a thought for us. Please tell me the best way for me to bring this issue up. I am in the medical field and know that the risk is relatively low but it is still a possibility...thank you...

Response from Dr. Remien

As you have probably seen by looking at other questions on this topic, this can be a delicate and challenging issue for many. I don't think there is any one way or timing for disclosure. And I do believe that both partners play a role and have a responsibility about discussing the possibility of transmission of HIV and other STDs.

In terms of timing, what generally works well for most people is to bring up the discussion at a point in time where you feel close enough to the other person (where there is some level of trust and intimacy) but not so far into the relationship that it feels like you've been keeping a secret in a close & intimate relationship. The precise timing can be difficult to know and will differ across individuals.

In your case, it sounds like the issue is less about safety and risk and more about sharing an intimate and personal piece of information. It also sounds like you are at the point where you feel close enough to and care enough about this man that you want him to know. I suggest that you work it into a conversation about closeness, trust, and caring about each other. Let him know that you feel close enough to him, that you want him to know about something that is very personal and not easy to talk about, and that you trust him enough at this point in the relationship to share this with him. Chances are there are things he hasn't shared with you that may get discussed as well.


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