relationship and status disclosure
Jan 1, 2013
Dear Doc Im 45,diagonised in 2000, never suffered hiv-related illnesses, started atripla 10 months ago. viral load-undetectable, cd4 up to 400+. no side effects and all other tests good. My doc says im healthy. I recently linked up with an old school friend and would consider a more serious relationship. will i pass the virus thru kissing? How do i tell him about my status considering the stigma attached? i really like him and do not want to lose him. Probably this has been asked a thousand times before but please advise
Response from Ms. Southall
Hi My answer comes from experience, I'm positive and my husband is negative. First being on meds and having an undetectable viral load reduces the risk of HIV transmission by up to 96%! There's a new message out called "Treatment as Prevention" specifically talking about this. Also HIV is not passed through kissing.
Disclosure is the hardest things that I feel that we as folks that are living with HIV have to deal with. There is no right or wrong answer here, you just go with your gut as to when is the right time to tell. Of course that goes with saying that there has been no sexual exposure. The thing to keep in mind is that telling someone is telling them something very initimate about yourself and ensuring that this person deserves to know this about you. Then once that decision is made, how they respond is their stuff, it has nothing to do with us. It is how they are deciding to deal with it. Though at the time if they do decide to walk away it hurts like hell, but the big picture is this person wasn't the right one for us. Telling someone, tell them matter of factly, they will mirror you for their response, if you are upset and scared they will be that. If you tell them this is something very important that you want to share with them because of who they are and you want to see where this can go they will sense that as well. And even if they decide this isn't for them, you didn't scare them away and you will most likely keep them as a friend.
Just know in the end however they respond, it doesn't change who you are and if this is not the right person, I know that person is out there for you.
Be well and stay safe, Shannon
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