When should I reveal my HIV status to my partner?

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(PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)
(PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

Sex and my status

Question

I dated a guy for one month and we had sex twice without protection. The problem is I’m on ARVs, but I was too afraid to tell him. During our second month the guy insisted we went for HIV testing, so we went to the clinic. Luckily, he is negative but when he found out about me, he dumped me. I’m devastated. I thought this guy was the one. Will I ever find someone to be with?

Answer

Disclosing one’s HIV status is a very difficult thing to do, but it is also very important so there can be transparency and honesty in the relationship. Firstly, you shouldn’t have agreed to have unprotected sex with him. Regardless of whether you are negative or positive, you didn’t know his status. And he shouldn’t have agreed to have unprotected sex with you, as he didn’t know your status.

This should be a lesson for you for the future. You will find someone who will love you, but you must come to terms with your status and find a way to be honest with your next partner. Talking about it will lead to acceptance and help you make sure there are no secrets between you and your future partner that might end up ruining your relationship. If you’re not sure about how to disclose, I suggest you visit your nearest voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) centre to get guidance.

Very Well Heath advices that, self-acceptance is the first step when you are planning on disclosing your HIV status to your partner. You must not feel ashamed of who you are before thinking about other people accepting you.

Also “Find a trusted friend or family member to whom you can turn to for support—one who understands who you are as a person but will also take the time to learn what HIV is and means.”

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