Should I have told my partner?
I Have been living with HIV for a year now in December last year I met a guy whom I didn’t share my status with and we were having protected sex. I have always encouraged him to check his status and this one time the condom burst. We inserted another one and I guess that was an opportunity for me to tell him so he could take PrEP but I didn’t. I thought I was still not ready and since I have been on treatment for so long my viral load is low and it a small risk. I don’t know what I was thinking. Two weeks later he went for a test and it came back negative.
And so recently I thought I needed to tell him because I felt the need for him to know sooner so that in the near future we can take extra precautions together. He was very shocked. Upset and heart broken. Says I should have told him before I should have maybe but you can’t share your status with someone you just met. You still need to get to know the person their character. He feels like I deprived him on an opportunity to choose and he is scared he might have contracted during the condom burst.
Is there a possibility that he may have contracted then or the high chances are that he might HV not due to my viral load. It’s a heavy thing to go through and to live with HIV. It’s a different world to be in. He said I should give him space and time to think things through. I then told him to make sure he notifies me when he’s gone to check at the clinic.
I totally understand where he is coming from its scary to sleep with an HIV person but I also feel like people lack knowledge as a result of such an increased fear. At the same I also understand why I was hiding my status and I was always making sure that we use protection and the condom doesn’t burst again.
And the thing is that I hadn’t told anyone for the whole year and then decided to tell my friends for support to tell my partner. I couldn’t articulate the words. And I would never forgive myself if I know I will put him through what I went through
Hi, how are you doing?
Don’t feel like you should have told him. Disclosing your status is very personal. As you have mentioned, you need to feel comfortable and safe to do so. This can take time.
You have a low viral load. Do you know what your recent test was? If it is below 200, there is no risk of transmission. It is impossible to pass on HIV with a suppressed viral load this low. This means you did not put your partner at risk. U=U explains this further.
Being positive is not something that should define you. Not telling your partner did not take his opportunity away to decide to be with you. Being on treatment means you are looking after your health. This is not something he needs to be involved with until you are ready to tell him.
Have you now been able to tell anyone besides your partner e.g., friends or family? Having someone to talk to and understand this could help both yourself and your partner. Telling people your status isn’t easy and many people find it difficult. The i-base disclosure Q&A may be useful to read.