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Telling others I am positive
Apr 9, 1997

I feel it is an obligation to tell others I am positive if I am considering becoming intimate with them. However, I have been hurt several times by people by their words or actions after revealing this secret. How can I make it easier for me to be honest and not be hurt so bad?

Response from Rev. Pieters

I also feel obliged to tell others I am positive before we engage in any sexually intimate behaviors. I, too, have been hurt several times by people who do not respond positively. In part, I've had to learn to let these hurts go. I have come to realize that I really wouldn't want to be involved with someone whose fears are preventing them from being intimate. The fact that they want to have sex with me before, but not after knowing my antibody status tells me that they may not be playing safe with their partners, and would probably not want to play safe with me. This is not acceptable to me, even if they are willing to take the risk.

It amazes me how many gay men will have unprotected sex with men whose antibody status they don't know, but won't have safe sex with someone who is open about it. I assume that goes on among heterosexuals as well. I have always assumed that all my partners are HIV positive (even when they tell me they're not), and behave accordingly.

Some people with HIV have responded to this rejection problem by deciding to have sex only with other HIV positive people. Others have become celibate. Others have developed a thick skin, and learned to let rejection roll off their backs!

Yes, it hurts to be rejected because of antibody status. It hurts me, too. Please realize that those who have rejected you because of your antibody status are the losers, not you. You may very well see them at the HIV/AIDS clinic someday.

Have faith that there are plenty of others who will understand and want to engage with you on many different levels! Don't go into situations expecting to be rejected, because that can be quite an unattractive quality. Do go in expecting that not everyone you're attracted to will return the feelings. Remember that even people without HIV have to deal with rejection from time to time!

I will pray that you find just the right partner. Someone's out there especially for you! God's just getting both of you ready for each other. Be patient, and have faith! It works!

Wife feels left out

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