Pozitively Healthy: A Gay Man's Guide to Sex and Health in Canada
Many gay guys find it difficult to talk openly and honestly about sex. Living with HIV can make it more difficult to talk about sex. And research has found that some men of colour and transmen find it especially difficult to talk about sex and safer sex with guys they have sex with.
Finding Out if He Has HIV Too
When you think about having sex with another guy (or a group of guys), you might ask yourself:
You may find it difficult to ask him about his HIV status or to talk about condoms. It may be easier to avoid those subjects. Or you might just assume that he also has HIV. But unless you talk about it with him, you won't know for sure if he has HIV. And you won't know what he thinks about using condoms.
If you have assumed that he is HIV positive, and it turns out he is not, you could face criminal charges for not disclosing your status. And you could pass on HIV.
Deciding Whether to Tell Him You Have HIV
Deciding whether to tell the guy you have HIV may not be easy. But you might want to disclose your HIV status to a guy you are going to have sex with for reasons like these:
When Do You Have a Legal Duty to Tell Him Your HIV Status?
You have a legal right to the privacy of your health information. This includes your HIV status. So you usually get to decide who you tell about your HIV status. But the criminal law limits your legal right to privacy. Here is what the criminal law in Canada says:
Even if you use a condom for fucking, you might have a legal duty to tell him your HIV status before you fuck. The criminal law is not clear about this.
It is important to understand that it is a crime to expose someone to a significant risk of HIV infection. So you can be criminally charged and convicted even if your sex partner does not become infected with HIV. For more information about HIV disclosure, sex and the law, read HIV disclosure: a legal guide for gay men in Canada.
Your worth as a person didn't change when you got HIV.
Every guy has heard "no" when they ask another guy for sex, a date or a relationship. And each of us has probably said "no" to a guy. Sometimes guys say "no" to us when they find out we have HIV. That's far from certain, but it happens. So you may need to get some skills to handle the "no" while staying positive and proud. It may help you to think about these things:
New Publication Transcends Language Barriers to Share Untold Stories of Gay Men Living With HIV Around the World
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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