Telling others about your HIV?

As soon as possible
If I really like someone, I want to tell him about my HIV as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more painful it will be if the person doesn’t accept it.
Sanna

Less likely to give in to anxiety
If I tell someone during a chat session that I have HIV, it happens quite often that he won’t want to go any further with me and says: ‘I’m just going to keep looking.’ Internet chat sites are very anonymous settings. But if you are together in a bar the whole evening, the other person is less likely to give in to his anxieties.
Mark

It didn’t feel right
The first guy I told said to me: ‘I can’t be dating with a woman who has HIV.’ It took me a long time to forget that. After that I had a three-year relationship with a man. I wanted to say it to him, but I was afraid he would tell others about it. It didn’t feel right to withhold the information. I told him I wanted to keep using condoms because I didn’t want to become pregnant. I would sometimes hear him talking very negatively about people with HIV. I know now that there is very little to worry about as long as you take your medicines, but many outsiders don’t know that.
Abby

I won’t evade the question
I don’t think I need to say to someone it in advance, but if it comes up in conversation, I won’t evade the question. But if I’ve just told someone about my HIV in a bar for example, it regularly happens that the guy will want to discuss his entire sexual history with me for the next hour: ‘Did this put me at risk? And that?’ I can assure you: that basically neutralises my sex drive every time. That’s not what I’m looking for.
Ben

Do you tell others about your HIV or do you keep it to yourself? And when do you mention it? Everyone deals with this issue in his or her own way. There are no ready-made answers that work for everyone. Telling someone about it might give you more stress than if you kept it to yourself. And you might make a different choice a year from now. If you tell someone about your HIV right away, the other person could drop you – even if it were nothing more than a one-night stand. On the other hand, the longer you postpone mentioning it, the more complicated it can become.

It is perhaps good to realise that you are never legally obliged to tell your sex partners that you have HIV. That holds even if a condom breaks, for example, or if you have unprotected contact. However, you could have legal problems if you lie about your HIV status and have unprotected sex.

Not if it’s a one-night stand
I don’t mention it if I have a one-night stand. I use condoms.
John

A weight off my mind
I finally told him in bed after we had already had sex with each other a couple of times. He was very relaxed about it, so that’s a big weight off my mind.
Robin

It was a really positive experience
I once told it to a man whom I’d had sex with several times in the sauna. It was a really positive experience. We still have sex occasionally. He is always very friendly and always asks how I’m doing. It makes me happy that I was honest about it.
Jan

Condom had broken
Of course the one time that I didn’t mention it in advance, it turned out – after he had come – that the condom had broken. So I told him then. He was angry with me and I felt horribly guilty. I thought: ‘I’m never going to go to bed with anyone again without first having told him.’
Floor

I want to be honest
If I don’t mention that I am HIV positive, she might see herself as some kind of victim, and I definitely don’t want that to happen. If I do tell her and she doesn’t have a problem with it, then we can just keep going. You can always pretend you don’t know anything, but I know I would be very angry with myself afterwards if I did that.
Josef

Fortunately
I tell it to those whom I see more often. Fortunately I’ve never had anyone say they didn’t want to continue with me after that.
Casper

He had HIV himself
I don’t always tell my sex partners. After all, if you use a condom, you don’t need to mention it. But I have told my two regular fuck buddies. One of them told me that his ex also had HIV so he is used to that and knows a lot about it. The other told me that he had HIV himself. That was nice, because then we could really talk about it.
Henk

It makes a difference how you tell it
I have noticed that it makes a difference how you tell it. If you say it calmly and explain that you’re okay about it yourself, the message will come across in a positive way. You don’t want them to think: ‘She’s got a problem with it, so the sex probably won’t be any good either.’
Denise

Her reaction hardly mattered
I find it very hard to assess how some people react to my HIV. I told it to my girlfriend on our third date. We still hadn’t been to bed together. I found it quite hard to tell her. Her reaction almost didn’t matter – I was mostly just happy that I had finally told her.
Hans

He put his clothes back on
It happened once that a guy was already completely undressed and I said to him: ‘Wait a second, there’s something I need to tell you.’ He responded: ‘It’s terrific that you are telling me this so honestly,’ but then he also put his clothes back on. And of course he was free to do that.
Tom

 

 

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