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From the perspective of a HIV- partner "re: disclosure"

Jan 27, 2012

Not disclosing isn't exactly "wrong," provided you "play safe" as Dr. Bob would have said, but... do you really want to have "that little secret?" Do you want to live out the rest of your life with only short term "relationships?" I've been serodiscordantly involved with three HIV positive women (at different times). Two of them were upfront, we had a great time and I would say worthy sex until we moved on but stayed friends (I still call one of them my best friend). The one that chose to open that discussion only after I demanded we get tested 6 months into the "relationship..." I wish her the best, where ever she may be. The virus didn't kill that relationship, but the secret did. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but the most attractive or repulsive aspect of a person is far and away their honor.

I'm the only one I hold responsible for my own stack of chips in this gamblers game of life. That being said, I'll know the rules and the stakes before I play at your table.

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for you comment

I think we all understand where you're coming from with wanting romantic partners to be upfront. But to equate disclosure with honor is a gross simplification of the issue at hand. There is an extra set of issues that an HIV+ positive must navigate as they enter the romantic arena.

HIV+ positive people are often stuck between a rock and a hard place. Be honest and face, what can be, overwhelming discrimination and fear-based rejection or hold off on disclosure until they feel the time is right only to have their partner get upset for not being "upfront" fast enough. Luckily this isn't always the case, as people find other positives, allies, and supportive communities.. but it's still a reality in many places.

This is a VERY hard reality to come up against. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of HIV- people to recognize this difficulty and cut people living with HIV some slack.

Ultimately it is the decision of the HIV+ person when and if to tell loved ones. We'd all like to live in a world where discrimination (whether at the individual level or the political level) wasn't there. Since we have so far to go.. as long as partners are not put at risk of getting HIV, let's try to replace demands and assumption with support and patience.

Thanks again for your comment, it's great to hear a diverse range of experience in the forum.


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