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Reged: 07/21/08
Posts: 4
telling your status even before you kiss? or not?
      #244316 - 02/04/09 03:47 AM

Hi I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on if you should kiss before you disclose your status. I know there's very small risk for transmitting it through kissing but I totally feel like I'm hiding something if I don't disclose before kissing.

Am I being too paranoid? I've tried both ways and I understand the totally different situations you could encounter but I would just like someone's opinion.

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Reged: 01/26/09
Posts: 145
Re: telling your status even before you kiss? or not? new
      #244321 - 02/04/09 08:28 AM

For the purposes of clarification: Unless BOTH partners have large open sores in their mouths, or severely bleeding gums, there is no viable transmission risk from mouth-to-mouth kissing.

As for when (if) you disclose your HIV status - that is the oldest and longest running question there is.

Personally I belong to the school of thought which says that it is best / easiest to disclose to all potential sexual contacts and to do so as early as possible - because:
  • disclosure in the heat of the moment can be a real passion killer
  • it gives me a chance to assess their understanding of HIV and their appreciation of the true risks to them (also whether I need / can be bothered to educate them)
  • being rejected by someone hurts a lot less if it happens before you have grown fond of them

There is an equally valid school of thought which says it is best to delay - because:
  • it gives the other person a chance to get to know you and judge you as an individual, not a disease
  • provided you are taking appropriate precautions, you aren't putting the other person at any real risk
  • rejection hurts, so put it off for as long as possible

With one approach you are likely to experience more rejection and run an increased risk of your status being the subject of gossip. With the other approach you run the risk of waiting until it is too late, or risk causing a situation where the subject of your attention can reasonably begin to wonder what else you are hiding and/or if you can really be trusted if you can withhold that sort of information.

Personally I find that the overwhelming majority of people I disclose to are turned on by the fact that I have trusted/respected them enough to disclose my status to them (which in turn leads them to disclose all manner of things about themselves that I would normally have to wait a long to time to find out), so for me I have never found rejection to be much of an issue; but other people have a very different and far more negative experience of the early disclosure approach.

The simple answer is that there is no easy answer. You simply use whatever approach you feel most comfortable with in any given situation.

There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

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Reged: 11/15/08
Posts: 25
Re: telling your status even before you kiss? or not? new
      #244423 - 02/09/09 03:33 PM

I could not agree with you more, Ruairi. There is no one answer to this question and you do bring up some very valid points.

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Reged: 03/23/09
Posts: 9
Re: telling your status even before you kiss? or not? new
      #245190 - 03/30/09 11:45 PM

This is a hard question for all parties. As someone who recently dated someone HIV+, I experienced first hand the angst of disclosure, which made for several awkward moments and explains why he seemed so tense anytime we were together, yet so relaxed on the phone and in IMs. As I mentioned in my own post, I cannot imagine how I could have gotten anywhere with him while he maintained such a secret.

From day one, we talked about trust. I trusted him with details of my recent major depression. I even had an HIV scare while dating him and immediately told him of my concern. He never told me -- I found out after we broke up. Where was his trust? Was everything he told me a lie? Yes, these are the types of questions lack of disclosure raises. Can I even be friends with such a person?

I was very close to loving him. 3 months later, I am still hurting and feel very lonely. What was he waiting for? It seems now like he was playing a game.

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