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Silence after disclosure what now?
Dec 2, 2012

Hi,

I have been seeing a guy (I'm female) for several months and like him a lot. Although we haven't had sex yet, we have been on several dates and we are work colleagues. We have expressed strong feelings for each other and I can see myself with him long term. So, I revealed my HIV status to him. It was extremely hard and it's been a week now and I have not heard a thing from him (he now works in different department building). I'm now afraid he won't want me now. I know it's a huge thing to accept. I'm not on medication (undetectable viral load, t cell count 950). I'm frantic, maybe I shouldn't have told him but I tried to explain as best I could. I thought it would be better to disclose now rather than later. I just wanted to be open and honest. How long should I give him before contacting him? Or should I sit back and wait?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing. The timing of disclosure is very personal but I agree that revealing status sooner is important in any kind of serious relationship (and of course before sex). Accepting this news (or not) requires a process that can take various amounts of time. Some people need more information, some need time, and others may never be able to accept it at all. I would give him another week or so and then inquire what is going on. You deserve to know what's happening, as well. If you have a peer network of other people living with HIV speak with them about the situation as it unfolds.

Here is a link to a resource page about disclosure which you may find helpful.

Good luck to you and your friend.

-David



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