How early do you expect to be told?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:23 AM GMT
    Hey 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.
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    Jan 08, 2013 12:52 PM GMT
    I don't think it is necessary to bring that up on the first or second time you meet if you are just having coffee or lunch.If it is obvious things are gonna get hot and heavy then by all means tell the guy before the clothes come off.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Jan 08, 2013 12:59 PM GMT
    bro, i appreciate you being honest. i think i agree with your scenario. when a guy shows you that he is interested more than a friendship. i think you should tell him than. its beats waiting until you both are naked. ha ha ha
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    Jan 08, 2013 1:50 PM GMT
    I think you have the right approach.

    In my dating day, I felt uncomfortable about having sex with a HIV+ guy, it was a minus point. But it was not an exclusion criteria.

    Actually, if the guy was comfortable enough about discarding his status, we could have a lot simpler discussion about what each other saw as safe sex practice, so less stress when doing it.
    And it also showed character, something I appreciate, as it takes balls to tell someone you like and expect rejection most of the time.
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    Jan 08, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    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.
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    Jan 08, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
    Did the Poz guy that you contracted the disease from disclose? Do you wish that he did?

    I want to know up front.. I think it is irresponsible not to disclose up front.
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    Jan 08, 2013 2:39 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidDid the Poz guy that you contracted the disease from disclose? Do you wish that he did?

    I want to know up front.. I think it is irresponsible not to disclose up front.


    The Op is the one sharing the burden of rejection, Not you.
    It's irresponsible not to disclose before sex, but before that, it's all about the OP feelings about the matter.

    Your attitude is an incentive for guys NOT TO disclose.

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    Jan 08, 2013 3:28 PM GMT
    Although the issue sounds HIV specific, it isn't. The issue is one of trust. It doesn't really matter if you say:
    "I'm HIV positive."
    or
    "I'm a recovering addict/alcoholic."
    or
    "I've been in prison."
    or
    "I'm finally going to college 15 years after getting out of high school."
    or
    "I'm a (fill in a religion or political party here) and that's important to me."
    or
    "I'm unemployed."
    or even trivial deal breaker issues.

    Basically, before any long term relationship really begins, it's important to disclose ALL of the potential deal breakers. I don't mean you go on a date with the sole purpose of airing all your dirty laundry, but rather, progressively as you develop a sense of trust with the guy.

    It's sort of the "There are some things you need to know about me before we go further. I like you and I need to know that these things aren't going to be a problem later. Also, it affects the way you and I interact." That's a clinical approach that you have to put into your own words. The importance of this early on is that you get it out of the way early. You need to know that the guy you like isn't going to dump you over something that is an aspect of you right now. Otherwise there's no point in wasting any more of his time or your's in developing a relationship.

    Additionally, you open the door for him to confide in you as well. If you feel that this conversation is one-sided, then he's got something to hide that he doesn't feel that you can handle. (Most things about ourselves that we feel are our flaws, are things that we assume, usually incorrectly, other people feel as strongly about.) What you may feel strongly about, good or bad, may be trivial to him and vice versa. No one is perfect and without flaws. Anyone who perceives themselves to be without flaws should be avoided anyway, because they lack empathy.

    Lastly, you broach these subjects by asking how they feel about them. You may get your answer before you've revealed anything about themselves. Besides, do you really want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you because of this.


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    Jan 08, 2013 3:34 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidDid the Poz guy that you contracted the disease from disclose? Do you wish that he did?

    I want to know up front.. I think it is irresponsible not to disclose up front.


    Off the topic of the post but I picked it up during my last relationship. Tested negative while in the relationship, and 3 months after that test was in the hospital for something unrelated. They told me I now had HIV. The guy in question still claims to be negative, I've not seen his recent tests. He broke up with me when I told him, but a few weeks after said he could have exposed me to it. Which I don't understand if he is still negative. /shrug. That's the story.


    As far as Knowing up front. I agree Alpha13. I've even considered the idea of only being with HIV+ people from now on. I know I would have issues if I spread this to anyone, much less someone I loved. The post was not about weather to tell someone. It is about when meeting someone in the real world, not associated with a gay site.

    "Hi I'm Ryan, I think you are very attractive and I'd like to get to know you. BTW I have HIV. Nice to meet you." Doesn't seem the best time to bring it up.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:39 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidBesides, do you really want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you because of this.


    No, I wouldn't want to be with someone. Which is why I've started bringing up the subject early. Like I said most the guys have been extremely negative about it, and I'd rather get hurt early on then wait till it really stings.
  • great_scott

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    Jan 08, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
    I think they should just be honest from the start. I would definitely expect to be told before anything physical happens (even kissing).
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:02 PM GMT
    great_scott saidI think they should just be honest from the start. I would definitely expect to be told before anything physical happens (even kissing).



    That's the kind of input I'm looking for. Even though kissing is a safe contact, it's good to know that is a line for some guys.
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:24 PM GMT
    I met a really nice, good looking man one evening. We hit it off right away - danced, drank, good conversation. Left the noisy bar for a quieter one where we could talk. More great conversation, a bit of flirtatious touching, then full blown making out. It was obvious we both wanted this to process further. He invited me back to his hotel room where we made out some more and the clothes started to come off. Then he jumped up and said I have to tell you I'm HIV positive. [cue screeching brakes sound effects here]

    I would say the best time for him to have told me was back at the bar and it was obvious that we both were looking for some mattress action.

    Sadly, I was just recently out and it really freaked me.
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:48 PM GMT
    the only people who really know their hiv status are those who are positive. so i always find it a weird situation that people think that hiv is exceptional and that's the one thing they are entitled to be told about. seriously, assume everyone has everything and operate accordingly.


    to answer your question: before exposeable behavior. the reason being. the theoretically neg person may have something contagious of their own that would be a deal breaker for the poz person, and assume it's not an issue because they live in the delusion that everyone is immortal.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:25 PM GMT
    Like many here - I totally feel that the OP is doing the right thing. When guys have been up front with me about any STD's, etc. they might have (before engaging in intimate activities) it gave me a sense of confidence and trust in their character.

    It also tells me they are not ashamed of who they are and where they are in their lives and identities. So - kudos to you, rlynnc - you sound like a man with a solid head on your shoulders that desserves and will find the relationship(s) your looking for. icon_smile.gif
  • mv03

    Posts: 201

    Jan 08, 2013 5:37 PM GMT
    I'd rather be told sooner than later. Just don't assume someone will know. However, I am more educated than most people about it. I've dated several positive guys despite being negative. As hard as it is to say this, because I HATE when people say this to me, but if they have an issue with it, they aren't worth your time. I'm suprised you haven't had more people just say, 'Oh me too'.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:44 PM GMT
    As soon as it looks like intimacy is in the cards.

    By the way, OP, you are a champ for being so honest!
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
    or if someone says they are negative.....does anyone actually follow up to ask them how they know this? what tests did they use? what was the window on that test? what activities have they engaged in (including non sexual ones...including anything that could involve a needle, like steroids).....

    and do you take them at their word?

    is your behavior going to change at all because you know someone KNOWS they have XYZ antibodies and is treating them versus someone who thinks they do not, but may actually be in the acute infection stage, when they are most infectious.....

    so if you'd fuck the "neg" guy who could really infect you, but not the poz guy who is on meds...your risk is greater with the first one.....

    but it doesn't matter....assume everyone is and that even if you were entitled to every aspect of someone's medical history, you can't count on them to follow through with due diligence to get this data

    or...just stop being a vanilla prude who need to be heteronormative to get off.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:06 PM GMT
    RedWhiteBlue said

    or...just stop being a vanilla prude who need to be heteronormative to get off.



    I am not sure where/who that is directed to. Not sure what my post has to do with vanilla prudes
  • CityofDreams

    Posts: 1173

    Jan 08, 2013 6:12 PM GMT
    The older I get, the more I realize that I wouldn't have a problem dating someone who is HIV+, as long the right precautions are taken. This whole HIV stigma comes out of pure ignorance. I agree with most of the guys here, let your potential know sooner rather than later. I would want the guy to tell me upfront, if we are both interested in taken it further than a friendship.
  • owen19832006

    Posts: 1035

    Jan 08, 2013 6:13 PM GMT
    i think that after a few dates and if you see that you are generating some interest on the guy you should disclose it.
    regarding sites that have that feature on the profile and give you the option to disclose i think you should leave it blank in your particular case.
    if you are going to have unprotected sex with someone though i think it not only the responsible thing to do, but the legal thing to do to disclose your status.
    In Scotland at least under Scots Law you could get charged with Reckless Endangerment if you dont.
  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Jan 08, 2013 6:16 PM GMT
    Honesty is the best. I would want the guy I am interested in to be up front about something like that.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:16 PM GMT
    I've been with my bf for what will be 3 years this coming April. I met him at a bar one night in September. We got to chatting and hanging out and knowing each other as friends. This later started developing into more feelings and attractions. When we both realized this and discussed the option of dating he came out to me and told me he was HIV+. I understood his fear of being rejected at that point because many guys turn and run. Up until that point it didn't make a difference in our friendship and had never come up. But once he realized that it was going to have more of an impact on my life, he felt it necessary to disclose the information to me.

    I agree with what's been said on here before. I don't think it should be a "Hi I'm David and I'm HIV+", but honesty and being open about your status is a good thing before things progress to a physical level.

    Don't give up on HIV- guys and limit yourself from finding the guy that can make you happy. It's been 3 years dating a HIV+ guy for me and I love him with all my heart and because of his love and honesty to me and educating ourselves on safe practices I'm still HIV- today.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:18 PM GMT
    rlynnc said
    RedWhiteBlue said

    or...just stop being a vanilla prude who need to be heteronormative to get off.



    I am not sure where/who that is directed to. Not sure what my post has to do with vanilla prudes


    oh...sorry..it's not directed at you at all. it's directed at anyone who thinks they can't have fun safely.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:32 PM GMT
    I agree, don't give up HIV- guys. It's a deep conversation, but sounds like you are handling it welll, and other guys here have good avice.

    This article is old on RJ, but there are some videos on YouTube about the drug, and it looks like we are getting even closer to preventing HIV contraction. Plus safe sex practice, and it seems like being a pos/neg couple is possile.

    http://www.realjock.com/article/2003