Q and A

Question

How do I disclose my HIV status to potential partners?

I recently broke up with a man I loved because I told him I was positive.

I explained to him that my viral load has been undetectable for a year now and that I am doing well with treatment. I tried to inform him about positive people. He started behaving strangely after that. I confronted him him but he denied that my being positive had anything to do with the situation.

I never offended him and our relationship was okay before I told him. Infact we planned on the next level which was marriage and that is why I told him. But he told me never to call him again and that he did not even want to be in a relationship.

Then it occured to me that this is what I would have to go through for the rest of my life. It is painful to be rejected. I looked down on myself all week. I prayed for death every day. I want to be like everyone else. I have decided never to tell anyone about my status. I want to get married in life and have my own kids. I am not prepared to settle for less in life. But how do I tell a man about my status when I know it would send him running? This will make me lose my self esteem.

Currently, I am afraid of dating because I do not want to be rejected again.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that this is still a common experience for many HIV positive people. But just because one person rejects you does not mean that everyone else will.

The is no easy way to tell someone you are positive – but it does get easier with practice.

Soemtimes talking in general about HIV gives you the chance to know how open this person will be to discussion. You might get positive response lthat the person knows about HIV, has had previous parttners or family that are positive, or they might even be positive themself.

If the person is ignorant, angry or agressive then it is better to find out sooner and not waste any more time on them. You want someone who will appreciate you for who you are, that you can share life with, and to have as few secrets as possible.

Do not let this one rejection determine your future.

Many HIV positive people are leading very fulfilling lives, something they never expected… So can you.

NOTE: this answer was updated in July 2016 from a question posted in March 2008.

132 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Nelly,

    What your sister is telling you is incorrect. The only thing that can control the immune system of a positive person is ARVs, these, and these alone. Please see Q2 here: http://i-base.info/qa/what-are-the-most-asked-questions

    As you’re yet to start medication you may find the following guide helpful: http://i-base.info/guides/starting

  2. nelly

    hei there I have just tested poz last month and I asked the nurses not to give me ARV because where I’m staying I have no privacy and I’m staying with a friend that I am working with, do they suggested to give me INH so I agreed I am taking it every morning but I don’t know if I will not be late to start Arv because they said I must come back this month to start the treatment… and I told my sister about she said for now I can buy boosters on order to help my immunes system, so now I am confused what should I do, should I start my treatment or should I just go with my sister’s advice…

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