20 Jul 2011

Health : Would you tell?

Category: Health

One of the core activities in most departments of health across north America is something called Partner Services.

When a person tests positive for a HIV or another sexually transmitted infection, by law, their test results are reported to the department of health (DOH). This is done to try and stop the spread of the infection through something called ‘disease intervention’.

The theory is that if you know who has been infected with a sexually transmitted disease you can stop the spread by getting their partners tested and treated before they spread the infection.

This strategy makes a great deal of common sense; find out who has the infection, find out who may have been exposed, and stop the spread.

In the past, nurses and disease interventions specialists (DIS), received real names and addresses for partners and they would contact them in person or by phone. With more and more people using screen names and email addresses for hooking up, real names and addresses are not always known, so when people who test positive for an infection are interviewed they often provide screen names and websites for their sex partners. (e.g. bi_g_bo_y123 on Adam4Adam).

This means that the only way a person can find out that they may have been exposed to an infection is by being contacted through the website.

Adam4Adam has allowed departments of health to create profiles and contact members who have been exposed to an infection for years, and in doing so we have helped stop the spread of infections. But we want to know what you think.

Would you tell your fuck buddies that you tested positive for an infection?

Would you want someone to notify your partners anonymously?

Do you believe in a buyer-be-ware world, where you take the risk and get what you get?

What are your thoughts on disease intervention and partner services on websites?

Stephan

131 comments for Health : Would you tell?

  • I think it should be people not government to say what thet are!

  • I see both sides of the coin. The problem is that I believe what Marty stated. Government should not be involved in peoples lives. HOWEVER, we as a society have created this problem because of secrecy, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality to keep things in the shadows. People cannot be who they really are in fear of retaliation, social chastising, etc. Then you have the digital age adding to a higher level of secrecy even more so. It’s definitely a huge problem and it’s not going away anytime soon. But now that I’m poz, I do tell everyone that I’m with. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest or KNOWING about their individual status.

  • Stephan, wow! Yet again, this is another well-written and thoughtfully expressed blog entry that forces us to think critically about important social issues. Looking forward to reading the discourse.

  • Always tell whoever I may be with that I am hiv+….Someone wasn’t honest with me and I tested hiv+ last year…Just can’t do that to someone else…..If someone declines because of it I respect that and if they want to learn more about hiv I help them learn….My pet peeve is when someone is nasty about my status (happens alot) or doesn’t read the profile clear through(happens alot too) and then feels like they were being deceived…

  • But people many times do not say what STI(s) the have. I think the department of health is doing good work by following up on cases and playing a proactive role in preventing further infection.

  • I think that people should have to tell partners if they’re pos and there should be a penalty if someone who is pos and doesn’t tell their partner and their partner is infected. I understand that it’s the risk you take with hooking-up but let’s be men and be honest. Obviously being pos if frightening and life changing. Why would you want someone else to go through it to. Don’t be a dick.

  • I wouldn’t tell for awhile. Once the fact you are HIV positive gets told around town, really would suck I think.

  • when ever i’ve tested positive for something i’ve had the balls to tell the person myself. if you can’t take responsibility for what can happen when having sex then you need to zip your shit up and become celibate. it shouldn’t be up to the health dept to do what you should be doing.

  • In my opinion, if a person chose to have sex with anyone regardless of if they know the other person’s status or not, it’s their decision. People are adults and will make decisions. They know the risk of having sex with random men and they should deal with the consequences of that as all. Many people think they can do what they want and won’t ever have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

  • I believe that we must all be responsible in our contacts with others, which includes informing them of any and all communicable diseases that we have at the time that we were together or immediately following. Let’s be men and step up to the plate and be honest. We are all responsible for insuring that we practice safe sex and we are responsible to ensure our health and the health of others is taken seriously

  • I would tell if I were infected, I would try and get a hold of my fuck buddies on my own first rather than for them to hear from someone else. I do like it when a guy tells me ahead of time that he is infected then it is my choice to go ahead or not. Do not like being told after that is not right.

  • Honesly, it should be up to the partners. Sex is a 2person game[sometimes more dependin on what you talkin bou} but its 2011, we all know risks associated with sex. I personally would prefer to tell my partners if I tested poz for anything. It can sound more devastating coming from an outside source sometimes. All I can say, is CONDOMS CONDOMS CONDOMS. Yes there are not 100% but, its been my experience that condoms are 100% is because people don’t know how to use them. Long as you use a condom correctly, everything will be find. Breaks in condoms are caused because of incorrect usage, not enough lubricant, or just carelessness. I’ve had sex with a few HIV+/HIV- men who have sex together and they are okay because they do what their supposed to do. Just wrap it up fellas. I you have something, don’t knowingly have unprotected sex, on the other hand, for those who are negative of STD’s, everyone who says they are negative of STD’s ect are not always truthful and MANY, do not even know. Have fun, be safe!

  • where’s the privacy in there? interventions? should you tested positive it’s your choice to let it known… not other health agency’s to get you expose. not right!

  • STOP HAVING UNPROTECTED SEX !! thats where the problem lies. Be a responsable adult and wrap your shit before you stick it and stop the spread of infection, IF you choose to have unprotected sex with the idiots off these sex sights then I guess you get what you have comming to you. Treat everyone you meet from here as a possiable carrier of an infection disease of STD and the problem stops. Dont loose your life for a minute or 2 of pleasure.

  • If you are positive and know it its the law to disclose upon any sexual relations.Here in NJ however thats the law other states im not aware of what the law is but here its an attempted murder charge if you knowingly have any std especially HIV and then go around not telling the truth and fucking guys bare or not

  • @Marty:

    People lie. The reasons vary from being afraid, to simply not caring to purposefully lying. Whatever the excuse someone uses for not disclosing their status, esp. when hooking up, the point remains: they lie. Those who don’t come to terms with their disease will push it aside as an afterthought. Personally, I think A4A is being quite responsible in allowing Heath Services to come on this website and make sure people are informed. I have a close friend who hooked up two years ago with someone who had not disclosed his HIV status until after they had had sex (thank goodness my friend used a condom). It was a big scare waiting in the health clinic with my friend, waiting for his test results.

  • Actually I think its a great idea for the government to have records to stop the disease. If we left it to people, the whole world would be hiv positive or have a sexually transmitted disease. You know how people are out there that have it and don’t know or who have it and don’t care if they get another person infected. People, especially men lie just so they can get in some ass or mouth.

  • There has been so much misinformation about AIDS,.. No one, not even the Medical Industry has a clue what is going on!

    Examples: We were told: AIDS caused by Gays, No; It proved to be Needle Drug Users!

    If all the people who The Government clamed were infected, Then Half the Population would be dead by now! Not so….

    AIDS is curable but, there is no money in the cure; Medical Industry & the Government….are not interested!

  • Bible : “Believe none of what you see and only half of what you hear!”

  • I think people diagnosed as HIV+ have a moral obligation to tell their status to previous partners. The government’s “need” to know is an effort to prevent the spread of disease, but also to keep a statistical record for the Centers for Disease Control.

  • I would have no problem with someone contacting me though a website that I may need to go get tested for a STD.

  • I think that considering how easy it is to prevent the spread of disease and the staggering increase of infection, someone should step in and just force some change. I dont mean treating people like lepers per say, but there is a great deal of ignorance, omission , insecurity , and selfishness that leads to careless infection. Why shouldn’t more people do something about it?

  • People should be responcible enought to tell what they have but having a system to do it for you is nice, i am a hiv neg man, and i plan on staying that way. I have no ill will toward anyone that is hiv pos, but I am glad that there is something to help me find out the people who refuse to tell what they have!

  • i firmly agree that reporting positive test results should be left to the individual and not the reporting agency- in fact there are laws in place to support that ( HIPPA ) – but i also think that if the individual refuses to report his status then he should be held accountable if he doesn’t.

  • I think it’s a double edge sword really, I mean for one part it’s a HIPPA violation for that persons rights to be spread around, I work in the medical field and we don’t even know if are patients are HIV poz or not, on the other hand I think if people are not honest with people they sleep with and let’s be real they mostly are not because of how they are treated, I think if you test poz you should be made to tell, or track some way, it’s scary anymore to have sex with anyone buecase some people are just not honest! Or think they have it so everyone should have it, I also thing we need to have more information in are schools about being sexually active and HIV seen how alot of people in the late teens to 30s are becoming more sexually active and come up positive, and the older folks need to be more informed about as well so they can tell there kids about it and not be so scared.

  • I think it’s a good thing. Because, really, how many guys are honest about that kind of thing.

  • I like this because it help safe life! the government is just trying to help stop spread of HIV and another disease.

  • I understand the concept of this however, when I tested poz, the way they treated me when trying to get names, made me feel like I was being interrogated. I was put behind closed door with two people that kept going back and fourth with, who did I sleep with? What’s their names and address, phone numbers, emails and so on. One person finally said, “Why dont you just tell us, you have HIV already so what difference does it make?” That statement upset me more than anything else. I personally did not give up any info because I felt 1. It’s my responsibility to inform anyone that I had sex with, personally. 2. Several of these people trusted me to keep it all discreet. I only had to tell three people and all but one took it well and got tested. The other, we still dont speak to this day, and I dont blame him. I also feel that having someone from the Health department or the government calling and scaring the hell out of someone by telling them, oh you need to be tested, is just wrong. People should take the responsibility to get tested often and to man up and inform people if they test positive. Now, if they feel that their life would be in danger, then this is when the health department taking action would be needed. This would not be an issue if people would just have safe or no sex. I mean it takes two to have sex, but only one to insist on safe sex or no sex at all. I made the mistake of not having sefe sex, and I am paying that price. But I also did what I needed to do to inform the ones that needed to be tested, and to be upfront with my status when I am meeting people for a hook-up or offered sex. When you are honest with people, you will be suprised that they act different than what you expected. Thank you A4A for bringing this to the front and letting me speak on this issue. Mark H.

  • government should stay out of our bedrooms.

  • 1.Telling your partners that one has tested positive is the
    responsible and man thing to do. Catching an infection in its
    early stages is of utmost importance.
    2.See answer to question #1
    3.This is an indirect answer. I believe in honesty. If I were to test positive for something other then HIV, I’d cease
    playing until it was safe to do so. If it were HIV, I’d cease
    permanently. For a HIV infected person to play with one who is
    clean and not tell them, is paramount to murder!!!!!
    4.This is a good idea for folks who have multiple partners. Who and remember them all, especially if they’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Open communication is necessary in finding, notifying, and properly fighting diseases.

    Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts. Not all
    will agree, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

  • I think it’s a good idea. You can’t always trust people will tell you the truth. There are a lot of people on A4A who lie about they’re status an comtinue to engage in risky behavior because they just don’t give a damn. If the government decides to step in and privately/anonymously notify particularly at risk people more power to them.

  • I tell all my partner’s all I’m an open book I don’t hide anything…… HONESTY is the way to go it’s how you build trust with someone. (At least I think)

  • My profile already states that I’m poz, so the answer to the first question is “yes”, and always has been.

    Would I want someone to notify my partners anonymously? No. While I always tell them before playing, it’s a personal thing and I don’t want to news to come from anyone but me.

    I don’t like the “buyer beware” concept, but that’s what we have and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I have had men, including here on A4A, state they are negative in their profiles but tell me they are poz in private emails, as if we share a secret shame. Well, I’m not secret or even ashamed. I always wonder if these men have told anyone not already disclosed as positive about their status. That doesn’t reflect well on them.

    Disease intervention and partner services on websites, hm. Well, I do agree we need to do something about the spread of HIV. It’s apparent that the infected either don’t know they are poz, or just don’t care who they put at risk or (and this happens) there are guys who still want to fuck bare with a poz guy. I can’t say why, I’ll never figure it out.

    HIV hasn’t turned out to be a physical debilitation but it has changed the way I look at myself (dumb for fucking bareback when I knew better) and changed the way I’m perceived in the gay community. Try getting laid, or even a date when you are openly poz. This can be a lonely world and being shunned only makes it lonelier.

    Ron

  • Yes i would tell my partner’s that i’ve tested positive for an std, or hiv. You have to be completely honest. Specially if you care about them beond sexually. Wouldn’t you want to be told before you do something you might regret. It’s about an educated choice you’d have to make, then issues won’t arise.

  • I think the Goverment should tell the people, I mean people want their lives to be as long lasting as possible. But you have these guys who just want to get a quick nut in, and not being truthful about their status and give this fatal disease to others! If you have HIV and dont tell your partner, you WILL go to jail for murder!!!

  • Not so sure about the government, but people should absolutely tell their partners, especially when asked. I have too many friends who were infected because their partners (or even boyfriends!) flat out lied to them when they were asked, claiming “it was none if their business.” there is no reason to lie or be ashamed of it to hide it from your partners.

  • I think it is the individual’s responsibility to inform their partners if he has put their health at risk. That being said, I can totally understand being nervous about confronting them directly – I think if health departments are willing to do anonymous notifications, then that’s fine. The important thing is that partners get notified, not necessarily who does it.

  • Sixteen years offering partner services (as an intervention specialist)….i think it is the correct (and responsible) thing to do–letting partner(s) know. Too often people ‘blame’ others or end up not notifying partners. Many profess not to know their partners and some feel they would be ‘snitching.’ Partner services help because notification then does take place. Health department showing up on someone’s porch works–it is a great motivator! It is a ‘wake up call’ for a few; stops infection and has saved lives. Unfortunately, others could care less….

  • Yes I would tell, but not everyone that I met. Only if it became an intimate issue…I would want the other person to know. I have a friend that HIV positive and he tells everyone that he meets!!! Sometimes less is better. But it’s most important when u become involved with someone. They have a right to know and to make their on decision as to where the relationship goes from there. Me personally, Im a little afraid to become intimate with a positive person because I have this fear that the condom will break, but then I still take chances when I use a condom with a “negitive” person cause they might not be “negitive”

  • I fully believe that if an HIV positive person knowingly infects another with HIV without first warning that person, they should receive jail sentences. It is the same thing as murdering someone, just a more painful drawn-out experience.

  • I always ask if a person is positive or negative, and I always tell them before we hook up that I am positive. I have been for over 16 years and would not want to give it to some one the way I got it, by not knowing that the person I got it from was poz. I agree with Marty that it should be people and not the government to tell. Government, nurses, DIS, teachers etc. should educate people about the disease and lessen the stigma that not knowing about it has created. Get the damn church out of everything and people “high school kids” in particular will be better informed.

  • I believe that if you know you have been exposed to an infection it’s your responsibility to tell any potential partners. I also know that people lie. When it comes to infectious diseases I want to be notified, preferably by the person, but if they’re not going to be responsible then the government needs to step in.

  • I think It’s great. I’ve been on the receiving end of the phone call saying that I may have come in contact with someone who tested positive and I was scared s*itless. Having ways to get a hold of people when things like this happen, whether it be through a website, email or phone is tremendously helpful and I applaud the person/persons who started this!

  • I think it’s great that should myself or my partner not tell the other about an infection, there is a backup health network system that will send out a notification.

  • I know out of pride and humility I wouldn’t want to personally tell the last several people I’ve slept with. I would rather have a health official do that. But even then I don’t always exchange names or numbers with the people I sleep with so it isn’t something I could help I guess. But I do think people should be honest about their status once they learn it. Make an alternate online account and remain anonymous but spread the news.

  • This is a valid practice and it makes sense.

    The only thing I would like to bring up, that it would be a nightmare for whoever receives a message like this. Waiting for an appointment, then waiting for results – it is such a difficult unproductive time.

  • I agree with Marty. I myself have herpes2 and I don’t hook-up but when I am chatting with a guy and it comes to the talk of gettin together to chill I am straight to the point.

  • Is it any wonder why so many people don’t want to be tested? Not only do they not want to know, but they don’t want someone else telling their business. I’m sorry but personally I believe that you should take responsibility for your own actions. No one makes you have unprotected sex and if you are worried about the risk, than don’t.

  • I think all options should be on the table. With it being a buyer beware world already having any way of containing the infection is a good step.
    I would like to think i would tell my previous partners that i was hiv+, but as i am not i can’t fathom the internal fight i might have to be responsible. So having a third party option could help.
    I personally think disease intervention/prevention should be more aggressive.

  • @Marty: If you left it wholly up to people, there would be even more lies than there already are. It’s human nature to lie about things that are unpleasant.

    Maybe I’m the exception to the rule. If I suspect I have something, I make a point of telling my partners what’s going on, that I’m going to get tested and what the results are. I’ve had the clap a couple of times and knowing who I’ve been with has allowed me to single out the culprit who gave it to me and shamed him to getting treatment (and out of my bed). Among my circle of fuckbuddies and friends, I’m the one who has and will always be the most honest about things. I don’t do it to be the center of attention; I do it because it’s the ethical thing to do.

  • I think it’s a good idea.

  • can’t think straight right now. getting tested is responsible, personally, if you are not pissed off with things in your place of residence, i guess. and sex is good to happen in safe, natural, non-judgemental ways, regardless of your choices, which can be many, many, many, many, etc. if things, prevention, etc, etc, whatever, happen within a sex-happy, sex-positive approach and environment, then things should be done right, i guess. haven’t given too much “social, public policy” thought to this. mostly have applied things personally, etc. if any DOH collects data to help people be normal, if sex is normal for the people who like to have it, etc, then whatever, just help prevent and cure diseases not interfere with people’s nice sex life, etc. gotta go now. deep subject for this time of night. important, but it’s kind of late right now. bye!! xoxo. e.

  • So first of all we are all adults and we should all be aware of the risk in sex and proceed knowing that there are chances, if you tested positive I think as an adult you should alert the people who have had sex with and inform them, Its not the government or the medical professions job to be informing all your fuck buddies that you tested positive they have other pressing things to take care of. If you know your positive make it known don’t hide it, if you don’t want people to know “masturbation is safe sex with someone you love”{unknown}.

  • It’s a gross invasion of privacy masked under the guise of “disease prevention.” The government keeps a database of who has what diseases…and we’re supposed to be grateful they only use that information for our benefit? Seriously? And what’s to stop some right-wing politician from changing the laws, getting their hands on that list and doing nefarious things to poz people? You can’t say governments have never used lists of names to do scary things to people they don’t like. I say, if the government asks your name for this purpose, lie.

  • Gee I remember FIGHTING in ACT UP during the late 80’s for things like anonymity for folks with HIV. Like it or not, the private info we think is private, may end up in a rogue database, and then (as in a documented case in Iceland) folks’ medical insurance gets cancelled.

    Point being, we all need to practice safer sex, and not just for HIV, but other VD’s not to overshadow HPV aka anal/genital/mucus(THROAT) warts.

    I can see the rationale for reporting and having a third party do the contacting. For one, the job gets done. Second, it should stop the virus from spreading.

    However, the thing that stops virus most of all is safer sex in the first place.

    Also, let me just say i think bareback sex sends a crazy message. This is a crusade of mine: STOP BAREBACK, STOP PNP, STOP SPREADING HPV.

    warts are clinically proven, to lead to certain cancers, in many people.

    peace out.

  • I think that people should take responsibility for themselves and have a mind set that every person they meet has an std and take care of them selves. I dont think someone you just met will tell you their status right away. Now at days it should be common sense to always wear a condom. No one will tell you their true status. They might not even know.

  • I think it is a great idea. As much as people should be honest, not everyone is or they are too scared to admit they have an infection. This just helps keep people safe.

  • I’m all for a information being provided to the public. People lie so they can BB which leads to infection in their partners, that’s not right!

  • I think people should tell others they are positive just as a common courtesy.

  • I feel people should tell others they are positive.

  • people should tell others they are positive.

  • I was invected with HIV by a hook-up. It was not a first time meeting, and I thought he was wearing a condom. He didn’t tell me he had been recently diagnosed poz until after I told him that I was just diagnosed. Was VERY mad, but still refused to give names to the DOH. NONE of their business. I know how to speak and be upfront. My HIV status is very visible on my profile.

    So, No I don’t need anyone else speaking for me. On the other hand, some people are not as upfront and I would appreciate being told, even if it was from the DOH

  • Except in the case of deadly, life threatening diseases. Ever heard of Herd Immunity?

  • Actually in the state of Illinois if you know you have a sexually transmitted disease and do not inform the person your having sex with it is a felony.
    I believe that if you are going to be sexually active you should get tested and practice safer sex
    And yes i do like the disease interventions and the partner services.

  • I think it’s a great idea, people are so not telling the truth this days, its like we have gone back in time. We as gay men need to be more responsible for our actions and should be taking better care of ourselves. We should be truthful with people before sleeping with them and we should be practicing safer sex. So yes I am all for it!

  • That’s the problem Marty, NO ONE IS TELLING…Yes I would want to know from my partner. However, I prefer the gov let me know because they have the test result and don’t have anything to lose by contacting me.

  • Absolutely – it is the morally right thing to do.

    That being said – when are the online sites, A4A included going to include Poz/Undetectable as a status? I find in too many locations guys are absolutely lying by saying Negative yet they are Poz/Undetectable. Very few websites offer that option and it only serves to continue the discrimination and naivete within the gay community.

  • The CDC’s actions do nothing to control the spread of any STI. It’s just a personally invasive policy to know what we do in our private lives. Their job should be to make sure that vaccines are developed for all STIs, therfore eradicating them. That is the only thing that will work.

  • You can’t trust the HIV TESTS because they show a hi amount of false positive!

    There is MONEY in a Positive result, but no money in a Negative!

    Beware of the Medical Industry their first agenda is MAKE MONEY!

  • I would tell a fuck buddy if I had an infection; it’s irresponsible not to as well as illegal.

    While I think Partner Services/Disease Intervention are excellent ideas, I also think those who are HIV+ are already at a disadvantage. There are those who are HIV positive that have no issue with telling others, but it should be at their discretion.

    There are the others that will know, but will maliciously infect others by still participating in risky behavior (not telling their partner/FwB, participating in unprotected sex). But since there isn’t a discrimination between the two, the former are put out by having their business put out before they’re comfortable, which can lead to distrust on their behalf towards their partner.

    While HIV has come a long way as far as treatment, that doesn’t mean that we should throw caution to the wind with our health. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t curable (yet) and in the mean time, we should do everything in our power to protect ourselves and others.

    Get tested regularly, use condoms, and use universal precaution.

  • It’s laughable to me all these people in this thread who say something like, “the government ought to stay out of our lives.” What makes it so funny is how many people on here who would probably agree with government policies, like Obamacare, gun control, or “taxing the rich,” are violations of the very same principles as staying out of the lives of private citizens – all of which, by voting for the politicians who inact those policies, even supporting the individual policies, while not realizing that letting “them” do one of them, it emboldens them to think they can do whatever they want that violates your privacy and individual freedoms.

    It’s also funny to me how people talk about the various issues related to contracting, having, and protecting themsevles and others from getting, HIV. For one, most of the people who think their viral loads are undetectable just aren’t. I’m a physician who treats people with HIV and AIDS all the time (I’m a psychiatrist and an internist), so I have personal experience with that one.

    I think it’s sad that gay men are so self-centered, even predatory, so long after the beginning of the epidemic that we even have to talk about whether or not you ought to tell your partners, or that others have to be told to protect themselves from getting HIV. One of the main problems with that is so many young gay men have never known anyone dying from AIDS. And too many people my age (41), have forgotten what that looks like. Unfortunately, that is still a potential reality. The drugs don’t stop that from happening, completely.

    My advice as a physician: put a fucking rubber on it before it gets stuck in an asshole. And take responsibility for you own damn actions.

  • I believe in buyer-be-ware; if you take a risk, you know the potential consequences. It’s no different than “accidental pregnancy”. We all learned in Biology class that if you put Part A into Part B, you get Part C; I feel the same applies here to infectious disease.

  • OMG! The paranoia in this thread is ridiculous. The CDC has an invasive policy to know what we do in our private lives? People should say what they are, not the government? Government should not be involved in people’s lives? Oh never mind, it’s like talking to San Francisco Liberals. Pointless.

    Of course I would tell my buddies that I tested positive for something and they should get tested and treated. Anything else is bullshit!

    If I don’t have the integrity and balls to tell my partners, yes they should fing out somehow, even anonymously. You shouldn’t be having sex if you’re not man enough to tell your partners what’s up.

    Yes, it’s a buyer beware world in all things. Too many people can’t be trusted.

    Intervention and partner service websites? Excellent if functional. Anything that helps. Even our invasive government.

  • If past experience with governmental bodies is any indication? The government can’t be trusted!!!

  • First to clarify. Iceland has socialized health care and every single HIV positive person in Iceland (including foreigners who live and work there) receive free medication and health care. So the statement by (Skeptically) is very misleading.

    Second, you will see no heterosexuals state their STD status on any websites. Only gay men have chosen to stigmatize themselves so publicly. I believe all men should reveal status to those they intend to be intimate with. However, for us to state such private matter publicly is the way the rest of the world keeps us down and we as gay men have bought into this nonsense.

    Third, if you choose to have unprotected sex today it makes no difference you had a negative test the day before so such statements on profiles are silly at best. Having unprotected sex is common (e.g. bathhouses).

    I tested my hypotheses by asking several men on A4A if they would have unprotected sex even if I stated I did not know my status and an alarmingly high number of men were willing to take that chance (over 40%). I created several profiles of various ages and ethnic backgrounds and results were pretty much the same regardless of age, ethnic background, or status statements. Even those who said “safe sex only” were quick to change it if they thought I was a younger hottie (as some of my profiles showed to be) coming after them.

    So if you really want to be safe no sex or protected sex is the ONLY two ways to go.

    Finally, I am a man who has in my 25 yrs as a sexually active gay man had only a handful of partners, two of which were long term partners for 14 and 8 years respectively. And I am positive. Positive men are not sluts, careless, etc. etc. My latest ex partner cheated on me and gave it to me. Those things happen. I have forgiven him for his ignorance and stupidity. But I ask those who are not positive not to judge. And by all means show compassion and kindness instead of cruelty and mean spirited words all too common in our community. You are lucky to be negative…for now.

  • I don’t see the big issue with the government getting involved. I’ve been poz for 10yrs and I not only have it posted on my profile, I also tell people up front of my poz status. Sadly MANY men on these sites refuse to post that they’re poz, or that may have been infected etc. Granted if you dont want to catch anything then a) put a rubber on it or b) dont have sex at all. Still if people were to just be honest about what they have and dont have.. then others wouldnt have to get involved.

  • Ok…. First I don’t think anyone should be allowed to disclose someone’s status UNLESS it is that person…. Now what bugs me is men and women older,my age and younger than me out there having unprotected sex because ” the condom doesn’t fit ” ( look for a bigger size ) or ” because it feels better that way ” ( then you have to suffer the consequences that come with unprotected sex )…. Like what happened to me a few days ago some guy asked me ” hey you wanna hook up ? Onl thing is I can’t have sex with a condom only BB you would be ok with that right? ” I then responded ” no thanks I don’t like my meat RAW I like it COOKED meaning I use condoms all the time.. ” he then replied ” so if someone put a sock on it would u kiss it ? ” I said ” if someone went to the bathroom and didn’t wipe would you still hookup with them ? ” he replied ” you figure that out lol.. ” I just told him he wa nasty after that last comment… I answered him in a nice way and wasn’t rude until he made the comment about the sock that was when I lost my cool… I mean I have friends that have tested positive because of jerks like that and it pisses m off when someone only cares about getting their rocks off rather than the safety of others… So I stress to all my friendsand family be safe , use condoms and GET TESTED!!! I do all the time jet to make sure everything is on the up and up…

  • Interesting article and questions. Me, I personally believe in honesty. Before I hook up with anyone, I’m fully honest about any possible issues. I am poz, I do play safe, and I have it listed in my profile as being Poz. I also make sure to bring it up and make sure the person is aware, and that they don’t have an issue with it.

    As far as allowing for health services to contact members via a website, if their partner(s) are diagnosed, I agree with it. It can be done in a way that retains a degree of anonymity, and allows the person(s) impacted to choose to take action on their own. No one can ‘force’ you to seek care for a health problem, but a wise person will.

  • In Kansas at least, the two that are reported and followed up on are HIV and Syphillis. For those citing HIPPA, they aren’t breaking HIPPA protocol when they do it; the phone after they’ve verified that it’s you goes: “Im just calling to let you know you may have been exposed to XYZ and should get yourself tested.” They do not reveal the source or any identifying information; they are simply stating that you may have been exposed. In my case, I got called about syphilis and set up an appointment for the next day.
    At the end of the interview, I asked if I could know who had indicated me; she wouldn’t tell. The same came from asking what town they were from; it didn’t matter. Any identifiable information is withheld. When they do these interviews, they’re going 3 “tiers” out: there is the original case and they follow up with all of their partners; they then follow up with each of their partners; then they follow up with thos partners. If every person had 5 partners with no repeats, that’s 125 people affected by one person. Personally, I’m thankful for the KDHE and all state DOH for playing a part and being able to contact people.
    oh, and my results? All came back negative.

  • I have seen this from a different light. For 23 years i was in the medical field as an EMT. people will tell you some things but not the important ones even if you are trying to save thier lives. I don’t see goverment getting in the middle, but I think we all need to fess up if we have something as not to spread it.

  • In a perfect world, the individual who in infected wil share this with their partner and give them a choice in life. However, this is not the case so the government and laws are brought in to help govern what people cannot do themselves, which is telling the truth. This seems to be the case because most victims end up becoming victimizers. It’s true the saying that is “hurt people, hurt people”. Good article by the way. It makes everyone think. It ultimately becomes a decision in morales.

  • I don’t knpow if I would tell. It is for that reason that I treat everyone that I might get intimate with as a hiv+ person. This includes me using my own condoms.

  • yes if i tested HIV+ I would tell whomever i was with… or going to be with…. I mean come on let’s be honest…

  • After I tested poz in NYC, I informed 2 of my fuckbuddies and my partner. They all tested negative. For various reasons, I told DOH only about my partner and first they called him – which I was told they would do. Imagine our horror when they showed up at our apartment in Jersey City to PHYSICALLY inform him 2 weeks later! I have to believe that this was a mistake because I was assured by my counselor that this is not the normal practice. So I endorse the practice of informing partners via a website without names being used.

    I now say “anything goes” on my profile and my private pic is of me barebacking. I play only with guys with similar status and we discus our HIV status beforehand. But I wish A4A would take a leaf out of the European websites and give 2 more options under HIV status – “undetectable” and “on ART medication”. It somehow feels easier to disclose this way, rather than choosing “positive” which does shut you out completely from even poz dudes who are on treatment. Its also way more honest than hiding behind “anything goes”. Come on Adam4Adam help us poz dudes out here and introduce these options!!!

  • I think that is a good idea. In fact, I wouldn’t mind a mandatory testing and some sort of an “ID card” that shows proof of being free of ANY incurable disease a person may have. This will clear any doubt of people lying about it. I’ve heard 3 stories from close friends of mine who contracted HIV because either their long term partner was cheating behind their back, they were being promiscuous with a “good guy”, and just being plain dumb.

    I say protect those who protect themselves. For those who think it should be left up to the person to tell whoever they’re with if they are clean or not then either you must be infected or think you’re impervious to viruses. People will lie through their teeth about some thing as simple as their age so they will definitely hide their status, especially if it means being rejected by partners.

    Then again…for those of us like me who are smart and use condoms REGARDLESS of how much you trust your partner or how long you’ve been with them are significantly less likely of contracting a deadly disease. So I guess it’s ultimately up to the person deciding to go raw if they want to risk it or not, BUT as I said, some one who KNOWS they are infected and doesn’t say anything OR lies about it are probably the most vile of “human beings” there are along side the child rapists and murderers.

  • Come on people wake up or maybe grow up. If you are going to rely on someone else to tell you the truth in an anonymous encounter then you really need a reality check! It’s always someones else’s fault anymore. Take responsibility for your own actions. If you are having unprotected sex you are bound to catch something maybe not HIV but there are plenty others around and some of those are not curable either (herpes). So what would all you legal disclosure folks who won’t accept your 50% of the responsibility do? Perhaps the minute someone tests positive they should be tattooed with a mark or better yet taken away to an island like a leper colony! Wake up it’s 2011 people!

  • This may sound harsh…but I don’t trust anyone, regardless of what they claim their status to be. I wear a condom and keep everything as clean and antiseptic as possible…..and I get tested regularly. While I am responsible for my actions and decisions, and would contact my partners if needed, I KNOW that I am the exception, unfortunately…so, I believe that an “anonymous” contact with that information would be the next best option for the cowards and irresponsible among us.

  • People are always talking about HIV, what about other std’s like Herpes, which is very common among the population. Many people don’t disclose about their std.

  • I just spent a year in Europe and, people over there still believe that STDs can be avoided by… having safer sex! Imagine that! Why is it that in the US we believe that the way to avoid STDs is by asking someone if they’re “clean”? What happened to being responsible for our own actions and realizing that ONLY YOU can protect yourself?
    Folks it’s pretty simple: if you want to avoid catching stuff, USE A CONDOM. EVERY TIME. It’s that simple.
    And to answer your questions, Stephan from A4A, partner services are great. Just make sure that any DOH profile is very clearly labeled as such and find a way for us members, to trust that those profiles are not just created by pranksters or jealous ex-boyfriends. Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

  • Honestly the government shouldnt be in peoples lives as they are. I do believe that you should notify everybody that you are with of the infection. As far as the govt is concerned i thought this was a free country which should mean that the govt should keep their noses in the white house or the state capitol and not worry about others but i also see the other side of the story as well, HIV is an infection that distroys one’s immune system and can lead to death. so i can def understand both sides of the story

  • The efforts of partner notification make it easier for partners to get tested for potential infections. In NY, the doctor treating the infected patient for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea can even write a prescription for the partner, without seeing the partner for an office visit. Unfortunately, compulsory reporting leads to many people NOT getting tested for fear of public humiliation or breach of privacy.

  • if i had the disease.i would for sure tell the person im with, to me it wouldnt be fair to have it and not tell the person,it is irresponsible and you are putting someone health at risk

  • I think the intervention is not a bad idea. i understand how some of you feel about the government though. However, recently i asked someone his status and explained that i dont mind if who i date is poz there just needs to be extra precaution. he said he wasnt, even though i was understanding. lucky for me i stumbled across his hiv medicine before i did anything dangerous. its just too easy for people to lie.

  • If you trust the US government to do this properly and not to misuse the information then you are a fool.

    I clump people who blindly trust their government into the same group as foolish people who blindly follow the advice of their doctor without doing research and getting a second opinion.

  • 1. Yes I will tell, my profiles all have I am + on them. I know when, who and how I became Poz and I was the one irresponsible by playing with someone I know was poz unprotected.
    2. In addition to above, I have been in situations where DOH have had to be used just to locate someone, I have told anyone prior of any std I tested for when I could and was grateful for having someone who could notify others I couldn’t. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it is a means of working to control the spread of infectious diseases. Hopefully no one person or group ever tries to use any of the listed information from ANYWHERE for anything facetious, but we all know it is always a possible, patriot act, just sayyy’nnnn
    3. I liked the comment about poz/undectable. Sometimes I wonder just how many people understand the prejudice there is in our own community toward poz persons. Yeah, we all are responsible for having contracted any disease, except a very few, but you don’t need act or treat us as lepers. It really makes me question just how educated you really are on the disease or you might be friendlier opposed to the I don’t even want to speak with you any more for any reason attitude. Thank you for letting me air that frustration openly. I have been on both sides of the coin in finding out I had an STD and when possible I informed my contacts and sometimes I had to let the DOH do the informing with a few times of using DOH to get someone to get treatment as well as having received a few of those calls because I was not in the same location as the person having to notify me of something they had contracted. I live in a state that presses charges for not telling status, I don’t think it is a bad policy, but maybe needs looked at carefully on how it is used, it can be a bad thing in some instances, but what can’t when used wrong. If anonymous profiles are needed to spread and inform statuses privately within systems, then it is what needs done, but the largest prevention would be mandatory education in the school systems. I know there are schools that will not allow the subject to even be mentioned in the school system. That is an ostrich with his head stuck in the sand approach that puts those young men and women at risk, as we know from the stats that sexual activity is now beginning in the 13 and 14 yr old more than ever, they need educated now, not after it is too late. The general public needs educated more also, it seems a lot of information has dropped out of the scene anymore. I seldom see anything about HIV infection, information and/or prevention anywhere other than these specific hook up sites. Why isn’t there more in the dating sites too, just say’nnnn
    I feel sometimes we have gone back to the period of not knowing anything about this disease killing us and all the fears, but this is 30 years later and we know so much more there should be no one who does not have knowledge about HIV and its spread and prevention. We, as human beings, should be taking responsibility for our selves, but as we can see in how we treat the earth, how can we expect us to treat one another any differently? What a disappointment, but, by smiling and accepting one another as we are can make a difference. I believe in a concept I know. All people are created equal members of one human family. We don’t have to agree, actually I like that I can agree with you to disagree with you, but we could accept each other for each others uniqueness, we don’t have to approve of one an others actions, but we don’t have to be oppressive because of them. Just my thoughts after 18 years of being poz, open about it and living in a place accepting my status is not an issue, but visitors seem to have many, hhmmmmm…. ??
    This is another no win situation until there is a cure and there is no money in a cure as someone said, just say’nnnn….
    Thanks for the mentally stimulating subject and providing me the opportunity to express my thoughts.

  • The health department having your HIV status is no different than broadcasting your information on the nightly news, across the internet, on billboards, or to your boss at work.

    Once the health department has your information, it is no longer private and can be misused.

  • I think that this is a marvelous idea. You can’t always rely on people to be honest or tell the truth.

  • I wished it were both. I think the government should make that information available. I wished everyone would be honest about std status. My life will forever be different because I was lied to by my partner. He swore to me that he was clean and had no std’s. Three years into our relationship I find out from an ex of his that he was HIV positive. All he could say was that he was scared to tell me. I feel so much anger towards him. He was my first boy friend. He gave me my first gay relationship. My first guy-guy kiss. I came out of the closet and admitted that I was gay to the world after spending most of my life living the way I thought the world wanted me to live. I gave him my everything. In return, he took away my health and life. He treated my life as if it were just a piece of rubbish that could be discarded and forgot about. It still feels me with this horrible feeling when I think of all the times he told me he loved me yet at the same time giving me death. I also feel so much heart ache for others after me. I know he’s done this to others. I also know he’ll never stop. So yes. I wished the government would step in. Because I know for a fact that my ex love isn’t the only monster out there.

  • vaguely remember something about abridging freedoms out of fear and losing the freedom with gaining safety. If we were to insist that all who tested positive were forced to get a tattoo to that effect we would probably be offended. The less the government gets involved the better for all. I believe in personal responsibility and sanity.

  • I think honestly the privacy is an unfortunate but necessary sacrifice. Look at all the other barebacking/anon/HIV articles and you’ll find some people who are so apathetic about their status and the people they sleep with that it’s almost sociopathic. (what am i saying? ‘almost’?)

  • I truly believe the notification of a sex partner of any life changing infection should be done. Where I have a problem is the vindictive sex mate who lists you even though they never were with you sexually. I have had the displeasure of recieving such a phone call, and had to get re-tested because they did not believe I never had sexual relastions with this person. So the concept is sound, the practice needs work.

  • As a person who has been able to remain HIV neg, I appreciate knowing if a potential sexual partner is HIV pos. I then make slightly different decisions about how far I will go based on that information. But I also know the difficulty of being honest. Years ago (pre-HIV discovery), I caught a case of gonorrhea after a week of too-many-partners. I called each one (fortunately knew names and numbers) to let them know what had happened. The first whined that he had just gotten treated for a gonorrhea infection in his throat! I didn’t figure out until later that he had infected me because he hadn’t waited the required amount of time for the penicillin to work its magic!

  • On the subject of criminal charges for someone who may infect someone whether knowingly or unknowingly, a recent case in Canada a judge ruled that hiv is not an automatic death sentence any longer which paves the way for people not being charged for murder for infecting someone….read this on the site http://www.poz.com. here’s the text of the article…

    Canadian Judge Rules HIV Not an “Automatic Death Sentence”

    A Canadian judge has ruled that AIDS is no longer an “automatic death sentence,” the National Post reports. After a preliminary hearing, Ontario Court Justice David Wake dismissed four charges of attempted murder against Steven Paul Boone for knowingly transmitting HIV. Wake said treatment has advanced to the point that death is no longer an “inevitable consequence or even a probable consequence” of HIV. Boone will still stand trial on 21 sex and assault charges involving eight men. The ruling comes only two years after a Canadian court convicted Johnson Aziga on two counts of first-degree murder for knowingly transmitting HIV.

    Another point anyone that is getting tested regularly should request a copy of the results so they can prove their status….If a guy can’t produce a set of results to back up his NEG status DON’T BELIEVE HIM!!!!!!

  • Of course one should tell the person they are having sex with or not going to have sex with. It is their duty to do so, then it would be left up to the other whether they want to have sex or not. Yes yes yes. All should be honest about their HIV status plus others.

  • Its a very simple issue between doing what is right and what is wrong. If you have to think about telling someone your status, especially if asked then making an excuse why you should not disclose, then its definitely wrong. That just means you are a scum bag with no morals, no sense of doing what is right and only adding to the problem. You are intentionally committing harm to another person which is should be classified as an assault.

    If either party does not discloses their status then you should assume they are infected and then just take your chances. That would be common sense.

    Just be a fucking man, tell the truth always, get tested regularly and disclose!!!!

  • I totally agree with Eric, who left a comment on 07/20/11, time: 20:46. Unfortunately, people think with their dicks as opposed to their brains. I’ve heard so many excuses why gay guys do not wear condoms, “it doesn’t feel natural”, “I can’t share my fluids with my partner”, etc. So you would rather contract a virus (not just HIV) and possibly suffer the concequences.

    One other thing, HIV is not a death sentence. So this classification of “attempted murder” in some states needs to be revised. HIV is a very treatable disease, but I’ve grown tired of the ignorance of some of these indivuals.

    Protech your ass, instead of letting someone else do it for you! I believe it’s called, “Being Responsible”.

  • Don’t let the government know who is…give them only statistics…otherwise…we’ll all be in a gas chamber…just like the jews.

  • Let me continue…of course…In all my profiles online…in conversations…I disclose my status. Therefore…if someone claims to not have known…he’s a damn liar!

  • I completely agree with “J”.

  • Dan…I so agree with you…how can someone contact another from this site?

  • Rich..I agree…I should have a card saying I’m POZ. At the same time…you talk about “me” as if you never in your gay life practiced uprotected sex. So, “me” is the one who is better than the one with the “card”

  • Amen, Brad! And..let’s not forget…straight folks have std’s, too!

  • Micheal, I know you are a phsysician…however…I was diagnosed in 1998. If you are a physician, educate the mothers, son, daughters the importance of what WE witnessed! And, my friend, we are still witmessing….I will miss several of my friends at my 25th high school reunion next month!

  • Gary…don’t ask…assume everyone you meet is poz…you should never have unprotected sex!!!

  • it’s relaly funny how many people commenting are negative….

    as a poz man, I choose not to disclose, but i ALWAYS have safe sex…It’s not hard to have safe sex, and I feel so fucking dumb now that I have it and have to practice it all the time ….people find out, and all of a sudden they treat you so differently, like you’re so god damn slutty but in reality, you get lied to (like I have) and just that ONE time, and BAM…..What so you rather would have unprotected sex with someone they don’t know about, but you woulnd’t wanna have safe sex with a poz man, than what the hell are condoms for?

    as far as the whole “it’s my responsibility to tell”? fuck that! sex takes two people, it’s your responsibility to ask that question if you are really concerned….be an adult and take care of yourself and protect yourself.

  • if I ever was infected with HIV, I would tell my partner(s) that i am HIV poz. Nobody wants to be infected with a deadly virus thats going to slowly destroy you.. However I wouldn’t want the gov’t telling people or places about my Status; it would make life so miserable. About the “Buyer be ware”: It’s not fair for me, because this is actually what I am going through.

    I took the risk of barebacking with a guy who claimed he was “clean”, and after sex he told me he was Poz. I immediately sought for PEP, and its been 2 months now -i’m still negative. People need to get checked if they fuck around all over the place. Bareback is not worth the risk of being infected. If i had known the guy to be poz, i’d be gone for good. Rejection is what people with HIV fear, and they’ll continue to hide their status.

    Thanks to services some sites offer for free, I was able to get free testings and medication. I’m now awaiting my 3rd month to test if i am Poz- i plan to take one every month for the next 7 months or more.

    See how people who knowingly have HIV affect their sex partners when they hide their status? It’s something that people will continue to do.

  • The need for anonymity can be shown from the bile and misinformation in the comments above. The fact that people use status or a “Valid Test” to substitute for safe choices is ridiculous. Assume that everyone is HIV+ and play safe, or try to “guess” and take your chances.
    The new regulations about disclosure have driven a lot of folks to not get tested, so, in their minds, they’re still negative. During the most infectious time, a person can still test negative. All of this information is available, but lazy men ignore it…at their own peril.

  • Either I mis-read the blog or the majority of commentors did. I thought the article was about advising a sex partner that you may have UNKNOWINGLY infected them with an STD. I am POZ — it’s in my profile — though there’s invariably some negotiating when I meet a potential partner as, even now, there are still alot of misconceptions regarding what’s safe, etc. But the point is, in my situation, I and my partner are informed in advance relative to HIV.

    I thought the issue was advising someone that they may have contracted an STD — which, yes, could include HIV, but I was thinking more like syphilis, gonorrhea, etc. — because you were not aware you were infected. Clearly there’s a moral obligation to advise the person but whether or not “the government” should become involved I’m not sure. I have had at least one episode (involving gonorrhea, not HIV) requiring that I work with the local health department and that seemed reasonable and justified. Something larger does raise concerns over abuse of databases, etc.

    Some other observations:
    1. Yes, safe sex is important. However, I am aware of at least two STDs — chlamydia and syphilis — that can be spread by what might be termed intimate but not necessarily sexual contact. Further, hepatitis — though not an STD as such — is even more easily spread.
    2. Like it or not, safe sex still plays a role even when both partners are HIV+. I had unprotected sex with a POZ fuck buddy and got gonorrhea; again, HIV isn’t the only risk.
    3. This business of “non-detectable” is, sorry, absolute horseshit. Positive is positive. “Non-detectable” — which I am — is not some magic “get out of jail free” card that protects either you or your partner from having to assume the same standards of personal responsibility as you would with someone stating simply “POZ.” Frankly, thanks to modern science, most anyone who is HIV+ is more than likely also non-detectable but that doesn’t make the terms interchangeable; “non-detectable” offers a false sense of security when the risks, ultimately, are the same.

  • I think it is the person right to tell or not to tell if they are poz or not.I have alway’s told but there are a lot of men that don’t tell,which is not a good thing,But honesty is always very inportant.
    I can understand why men don’t tell with all the stigam around being pozitive.
    Let me ask you something,just how many men do you think come out of the military that are poz.?I don’t know but the answer but I would bet my disability check that there are some,and how many of those men do you think they have infected because of the stupid “don’t ask don’t tell law”.I know that has been dismissed but not yet so the cycle keep’s on.

  • I have never been contacted through this website and a good friend of mine on here was diagnosed HIV+, and we had played before.

  • I tell. I always tell, regardless of whether there’s the potential for sex. It’s about stopping the stigma. Poz close to 30 years and the attitudes have changed somewhat, but not quickly enough. I still have people who find out and will no longer associate with me. All I can do is move on and continue letting people know they really need to be aware of who they’re sleeping with. I don’t look sick and a lot of other people don’t as well. And they’re not telling. Gotta stop the fear and shame associated if you want to stop the spread.

  • I believe there should be a law stating that, if a person is infected with any non-curable contagious disease, they should have to tell the sexual partner even if they are not asked. The law should be equivalent to felony in the violent crime category. By not informing someone, it is the same as attempted murder.

  • This article is about telling past partners of their possible exposure to HIV or an STD. It is not about whether you would or would not tell a prospective partner or whether people should be listing their status on hook-up sites such as A4A. When someone is initially told that they, themselves, have tested positive for HIV or that they have Syphillis, their world is so overturned and they are left in shock. Literally. Disease intervention specialists fulfill a very necessary role; they help ease the burden of guilt that people do experience at the thought of having surely exposed their past partners and the fear of retaliation if they were to tell them. The anger and the vitriol displayed in the article’s ensuing thread is a testament to their need. People are getting beaten and hospitalized for trying to do what is right and attempting to tell others on their own without support. DIS perform a critical job in assisting newly infected people inform, anonymously or with guided assistance, those past partners who may have been exposed in a proven, effective way. Thanks Stephan for writing this article.

  • I agree w/ timothy… there are alot of guys out here who are infected and isn’t being honest w/ their partners and it’s not fair to most of us who isn’t infected and/or looking to become infected.

  • I agree that this is a great initiative, however I must say on the other side as well.

    The most invasive part of my diagnosis was the NC Health Department badgering me about a list. I was told I was positive, and I was OK with that. My only issue is how after acknowledging the case worker after her statement, and I asking “what’s next”, she said we needed to make a list. That’s great, but rather than be completely concerned with who else MAY be infected and educating them on HIV/AIDS, it is much more important to educate and provide the appropriate resources to those who are newly infected.

  • I stopped reading the comments after the first person suggested that anyone who hooks up with a “random guy” takes a risk and therefore should understand contracting HIV is always a possibility.

    As someone who is very sexually active and has made some horribly dumb and risky choices, I recognize that it is pure luck that I tested negative recently. I am so thankful for that. And I can never truly understand the heartbreaking pain felt when those who have not been as lucky as myself are told the news that they are positive.

    With that said, I find it disgusting that some in the gay community see no issue with putting other guys at risk WITHOUT making sure their partners are 100% aware of their status. Even if it says it in your profile, and even if you mentioned it in an instant message, and even if he wants to be barebacked (which tends to lead to the assumption that person is positive), it is YOUR MORAL obligation to look that person in the eye prior to sex and tell them your status. There is simply no justification for not doing this.

  • I guess I am somewhat confused by some of the posts. All make sense and I, for one, totally feel that one should NEVER have sex or intimate contact with anyone without telling them FIRST that they are HIV+. I guess my problem comes from the fact that if a person intends to go bareback when someone tells them they are HIV- (and truly believe they are) then I am not totally sure who the guilty party is. Bottom line (no pun intended) we are responsible for our own actions. If we play unsafely, then we are taking the CHANCE that the person we are with, who may claim to be negative may only be assured of that from their last test. And, therefore, they are at risk of being positive with every unprotected sex encounter they have had since that last test. I see lots of guys declaring they are negative and the tests, themselves, date back months. Not sure what good that really is if a person has led an active, and even occasionally, unsafe sex life. So…saying you’re negative really doesn’t mean too much unless all of your sex is safe from your last test AND you get tested regularly. Even safe sex carries a risk.

  • After reading all the various comments what I find to be the most interesting is that the majority of comments focused on HIV status. While HIV is a concern within the community so are Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Recent stats will show that syphilis is increasing in alarming rates within the community.

    I agree no one has the right to disclose anyone’s HIV status without their consent. I have been contacted by the DOH as possibly having been exposed to an STD. Confidentiality of the + person was maintained (believe me I asked) and all I was told was that I may have been exposed and I was offered services. I did get tested and luckily I was negative but I was offered pro-treatment so I didn’t develop the disease. Though I wasn’t happy that I had been exposed (because that meant that someone lied to me) I was glad that the DOH was there to answer questions and provide the needed testing and treatment.

  • […] of the most popular blog posts in the last year (“Would you tell?” and “HIV status in profile, what’s yours?“) involve disclosing your HIV […]

  • Depends what type of “infection” were dealing with here. If you test positive for something like gonorrhea, then honestly, I don’t think the government should go around telling your sexual partners that you tested positive for such a thing, since its alot of effort, and very easy to treat once the person notices. HOWEVER, if you test positive for HIV, the government SHOULD go ahead and contact all of your recent sexual partners immediately, since that is not a disease that should be played around with at all, and can go unnoticed for many many years if nothing is done.

  • The health dept dont tellvthe person who tested pos. They just say someone tested pos for whichever std and gave ur name

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