rlynnc saidHey Jocks. I'm fairly new to the site, and I'm curious about other member's views on a topic.
I've had HIV for just a year now, and it's still an adjustment and a learning phase for me. I'm aware that many online sites for gay men have an option to list if you are HIV+ or negative. Some people don't feel comfortable using that feature and I understand why. My question is about how soon do you expect someone who has HIV to disclose that fact when getting to know each other. Or for those who have HIV, what guidelines do you use for when to tell someone.
I have begun to just bring it up as soon as any guy shows more then a friendly interest. I've had more negative responses from guys then not, but I'd rather not lead someone on.
I commend your honesty, and concern for others, even though you've had some negative responses from guys you've told. I don't expect anyone to tell me their health issues, including HIV status, when we're in casual social situations. If it's not relevant to what we're doing or discussing then it's none of my business. I realize it's not contagious to me in ordinary circumstances, so I have no need to know.
But if a relationship develops that may become sexually physical then I expect to be told if a person has any kind of communicable disease. My first partner did that immediately after we began to get serious. His HIV didn't deter me, and we eventually lived together, and even though I'm negative we were fully but safely sexually active.
On the other hand, a few years earlier I was shacked up with a guy for about a week. Until he told me he had hepatitis. He apologized with the usual excuses you'll hear, that he was afraid I might not want to have sex with him, that he liked me so much he had a slip in judgment, he felt so guilty would I forgive him, it just sorta happened and then he was embarrassed to admit it, etc, etc.
Well hepatitis can be damn infectious, even more so than HIV. I immediately packed my bag and never saw him again. Fortunately I never developed the disease, and remain totally STI-free to this day. But as much from dumb luck as from making smart decisions.
The responsibility for full-disclosure rests with the knowingly infected guy in my opinion, no matter what he's got, from crabs to HIV to jock itch. I know we're all supposed to ask, too, but I still contend the guy with the condition has the greater responsibility to tell up front (and in some places it's the law). And again, the time to tell is when things may be getting serious, before anything actually happens. You're a brave man for doing that.
But BTW, note I said "knowingly infected guy" above. And that's the big problem: you can ask, and he can answer to the best of his knowledge, but he can still have something without knowing it himself. Hence the need for safe sex with strangers, which means to assume EVERY guy has something, whether he tells you about it, lies about it, or just doesn't even know about it.