6 Jan 2013

Health : When Should You Tell Him You’re HIV-Positive?

Category: Health

 

I work in the HIV field and I have spoken to several men who are HIV-positive and asked them when they would feel it’s appropriate to tell a guy that they like and probably like them about their HIV status.  I made sure the question included the idea that it was before any sexual activity had occurred. I also want to mention that I asked the question of men that have dealt with their HIV long enough to accept it and had come to terms with their status however that meant to them with their own personal comfort level.  It seems like the dating pool is extremely limited for HIV-positives.  It feels like there aren’t as many open-minded or enlightened guys out there as it is, let alone one that may really have the ability to see the total qualities of another person, regardless of health status.  Those men are out there, but they seem few and far between.

A few guys said they prefer to wait until the other guy gets to know them first to let them see some of who the whole person is and not just a person with an infectious disease; maybe two or three dates.  Okay, that made sense to me; however, I also thought that it could be a deal breaker in advancing the relationship if the guy has reservations about HIV and dating a guy that is positive, assuming the other guy is negative. 

Most guys I spoke with that are HIV-positive said they prefer to let the other guy know their status right off the bat.  This helps to weed out the guys who for whatever reason won’t be interested in pursuing any romantic advancement with someone who has HIV.  The reasoning behind this approach was that it saves on emotional investment and possible disappointment if there is an issue.  Personally, I feel this is likely the best approach.  I think it would save a lot of possible heartbreak.   Unfortunately, it’s hard enough to find people that have all the information regarding what really is safe regarding HIV and what isn’t.  A lot of people, including those infected, aren’t always as educated about HIV as they could be.  There are no public service announcements or “Know the Facts” spots on TV about HIV, sexual activity, or human behavior in general (at least not in the U.S.).  We continuously have to look to ourselves for guidance and support.  Is this a topic in other nations, too? I would think it must be.

Now, I understand that this has an idealistic and Pollyanna outlook.  There are a lot of people out there that won’t disclose their status for a number of reasons:  issues of stigma, social rejection, feelings of guilt, anger, meanness, not caring, don’t want to know their status, just to name a few.  Those specific topics will come up later…I know there is a ton of shit to say about each of them.  And I’m not going to preach about how everybody (positive or negative) should be using protection no matter what.  Let’s assume it goes without saying.  I also know that many positive men will only date other positive men in order to keep the playing field level and remove the issue completely.  It’s a valid point but again, it’s another topic.

I want to hear from the positive guys out there about what has worked and what hasn’t with guys that are negative.  Share some of your experiences to possibly exchange better ideas and also to give the newly infected guys who are struggling with this topic some “how to” tips and to know that romance and relationships are still options for them.  What do you look for? How do you decide the best approach, etc.?  I’d also like to hear from the accepting guys out there that are negative and have no issues dating a man with HIV.  Let people know that you do exist and that there is consideration for the whole person.  When do you want to know and how do you react when someone you think you’d like to get involved with shares his HIV-positive status?

David Beck

126 comments for Health : When Should You Tell Him You’re HIV-Positive?

  • I make sure that the status is disclosed prior to the first date. I have not had much problem getting dates, my age is more a factor than my status. THAT does not make any sense to me, but it is true. I say be open and never let the first date happen until this all important question is open and understood.

    I assume that every one is positive, and handle myself in accordance with my assumption, regardless of whether he claims to be positive or not. After all, most people get tested once a year at the most and that is simply not enough.

  • I agree… throw the status out there and get it over and done with. If they still have interest, or are enlightened enough, they will continue to hang around. If not, you cut your losses and can move forward. A relationship should really not be based on status, but on the relationship of the people involved. It is the human connection that is important, not someones counts!

  • I am negative, and have no problem beginning a relationship with a positive man. To me its about the person. be up front right away though, gets it out of the way for others who don’t want to pursure

  • pursue I meant

  • wow great post sadly people who are hiv postaive get avioed at all cost by gues who are once the fidn out the ten say no way wich really sad that guy who are frear them like the havet he pleg and stuff i have seen happ to some ym freinds who are hiv postaive thatthere all really good peepople and to be frank i would not care if some who was intrested in me was hiv postaive that as ling there totly honest then yess why not tht im niot hiv postaive here but i did date some who was up intell there death sadly he no louing alive and stuff i think verry funny that people look at me and asasume o i muset me hiv postaive case i was involed with sime whio was that like i sasid i usue ti hiv and aids out reach were i live andstuff

  • I have felt & having dealt with HIV/AIDS my whole life that honesty is the best policy. I have only been POZ 8 yrs. now, but even if I was not to have recieve it, to me, it still is the best way to be. I understand why you might not want to be up front right away with the person you might be interested in (notice I said person), but to find out after the first couple of dates or more is the thing that would and does turn me off. Why must you hide what you are or have?

  • I am negative, but I am not opposed to dating or even just fooling around with a positive guy as long as I know we will be safe. I would prefer them to tell me before it escalates to the bedroom. My roommate is a straight guy with HIV (he got it doing BB gay porn) and he has difficulty finding anyone that would even like to go out with him. I told him its because of his approach. He blurts his status out before giving people a chance to know him first which is not the best idea in my opinion. I think it’s best to at least go out a few times and see if there is a connection beforehand.

  • I just was diagnosed positive 4 months ago, and still not wanting sex. the thought of infecting someone else makes me physically ill. Before I found my status to be positive, I had dated, briefly, a few guys that were poz, but they broke it off for the same reason I don’t want it.

  • Be up front right away with you status.
    I don’t care how thick your skin is it hurts getting dumped.

  • I prefer to be honest and straight up tell guys about my +hiv status
    Prevent drama and gives them the chance to bail out and miss on a good guy or stay if they are not ignorant.
    Is very difficult to date even positive to positive guys
    Now a days guys in general dont want serious relationship instead they want to just have sex with many guys as possible!
    Is really pathetic!

  • While one may certainly wish that more negative guys were willing to enter into relationships with positives ones, starting off with the implication that those who aren’t willing to take that risk are “unenlightened” is ludicrous and entirely misplaced. We are constantly scolded for taking HIV too lightly and reminded that there is no such thing as entirely safe sex, and yet the “enlightened” thing to do is to treat it as no big deal because positive men are finding it harder to date? Sure, there are medications and other precautions which make HIV far less dangerous, but it’s still currently an incurable and highly contagious disease that can have serious health and lifestyle effects. If some guys find all of that too much to deal with, that’s perfectly normal and not in any way worthy of ridicule. As long as guys are in full possession of the facts, it’s entirely their decisions to make without any judgment from anyone else.

  • I am HIV negative and I’ve dated several guys who are positive. One became a significant relationship where we ended up living together. In every case the guy told me right up front that he was positive. Being given this information made me trust and like them even more. It told me they were comfortable enough in their life situation to deal with the results of sharing this piece of themselves and they cared and trusted me enough to let me make the decisions necessary for me.

  • I prefer to tell partners my status as soon as it feels like there could be a sexual attraction. Having been diagnosed in 1990 and I’m still healthy, I don’t feel I have anything reason to feel ashamed. If a person isn’t interested in having sex then I’m completely cool with developing a friendship.

  • Asap

  • I always tell guys up front and I’ve had reactions anywhere from “hey, that’s not an issue” to “I’m sorry, but I can’t deal with that”. After nine years of living with HIV, the rejections don’t bother me anymore. I’m disclosing my status before an emotional attachment develops. But I’ve also found more guys who are accepting than not.
    We also need to realize that some positive men are also not comfortable dating negative men simply because we do not want to risk passing it on to someone else. It’s certainly not a one-sided issue.

  • Hey David,
    I found this topic to be very interesting. There are two guys. I used to like this guy, after 4 months of talking and going on a few dates I told him we should take it to the next level. He said its not going to work. I said what’s the problem he said ‘Im HIV positive”, I said why that should matter. He said it shouldn’t. The thing is he is a very cute guy but he don’t date as much, I wonder if because he has HIV. He said he’s non detectable and knows a lot about HIV. I said coo we don’t have to have sex like that, I just like being around you. Over the next few months we talked less and less until we didn’t talk at all. That was a few years ago.
    After that I started going out with this guy we dated for a few months. We were both negative than we stopped talking. About a year later we started talking again he said he wanted to get back together and the he said “you problay don’t want me no more” I said why? He said because” I’m HIV positive now” I stopped and said I still like you and im pos friendly. This last Christmas a spent the night with him and hung out with him after a year. We didn’t have sex just cuddle he gave me a gift and everything. Now these old feelings are coming back. We kind of stated dating again. I feel like hes the one. I don’t bring up, him being positive but I feel like we should talk about it more. I was wondering how I should tell him that we should talk about it more if we are going to be in a relationship. Do you have any Ideas David?
    Thanks Omar

  • Immediately. This is something that shouldn’t wait, it may not be easy to do but it should be told asap.

  • Poz/undetectable here…and the fact that you don’t even point out the difference only makes me furious. I disclose right up front. I can’t control HIS reaction, but I can control how I deal with it.

    To be brutally honest? The fact that so many sites do NOTHING to educate with a medical person about true “risks” – safe and condom-free sex starts the problem. The fact that the community allows the disgusting “disease free expect same” stigma is also a major barrier to break.

    My experiences point out one thing – in the larger gay communities (urban or otherwise) the men are far better educated and “poz-friendly”. In other areas the stigma is far too great, men lie about their status (ever here of a moral compass guys?!!)that I feel like I’m the minority within a minority within a minority.

    A competitor site I finally shut down over their flat refusal to allow poz/undetectable as a status. “it would be too expensive to program”…BS pure and simple.

    Thanks for the blogpost and anxious to read other men’s perspectives on the topic. At some point I hope you open it up to negative men (those that are tested annually, not just “assuming” they are)

  • Interesting topic. Let me say that as of my last test, I was non reactive for HIV. I’ve dated seriously a few guys who were positive. It’s not an issue for me. I would frankly prefer to date someone who wasn’t dealing with HIV, it does create a small amount of stress in a relationship. While not something that I would break up with a guy about, it does need to be talked about. It is important to talk about boundaries, what kind of protection etc that will be used. Honestly for myself, I’ve always been more concerned about giving my boyfriend the flu, then contracting HIV from him.

    With that said, I would feel weird if it wasn’t talked about before going to bed. At this point in my life, I basically bring it up with someone first. I feel it’s important to know, not that it changes anything; I still use condoms or such even if the guy tells me he is also negative. But I would have issues if the guy told me he was negative, and lied about it. Then it would be more of a trust issue rather than an issue around HIV.

  • Personally as a HIV+ guy things can be very difficult when dating. I find it more difficult when meeting a guy in person because of the fact that I’m VERY Private and protective of me and my personal info. With dating on line, its out there, in your face and if a person chose to speak, then that’s fine.

    I think what makes its so hard is the fact that as men, we tend not to handle rejection well. With meeting a guy in person, one never know what that reaction can or will be. In the back of your mind you are always thinking “how is this person going to respond once they know?” Interesting enough, I find more guys out of my state/city willing to date who are Neg, than I do in my own city. Only problem is, not sure if I would like to be in a long distance relationship. (Can’t win for losing lol)

  • i just wanted to say im negative. but if im attracted to a guy, his status doesnt bother me. i always use protection, yes. but if im attracted to him, nothing else matters. i know there arent many guys out there who judge people by their status, but i wanted to let people know im not one of them

  • half these guys on here lie or dont know there status…smh

  • I’m a young 40 yr old. And came out in the 90s in NYC. HIV/AIDS was a silent stalker. I’ve stood by so many caskets & visited & volunteerd at St Vincent’s Hospital (now closed) in the heart of the vill. That being the case I’ve long since realized there’s a person a spirit n a soul beyond a virus status. I’m more respectful of those who have the respect n coourage to share their status. I’ve held so many friends status a secret thrue the years. I also know far to many people that are poz and still living reckless bcuz they feel the worst has already been done. To that I say don’t discount a guy becuz of his status hold him accountable for his present n future actions. So many of us have been young n irresponsible. Few have been blessed n fortunate to still b negative (I am neg). I’ve dated n loved 2 poz men 1 told me after a few months (we never had unprotected sex prior or after disclosure) the other I found out due to his drug use n hospitalization. I’ve always tried to b responsible for me and caring for others. If you’re not headed into a exclusive relationship its not necessary to have full public disclosure just b responsible (no at risk behavior). And if it seems like you’re potentially falling in love (mutually) by all means you owe it to him & the love that you have to be honest & responsible. After all love does conquer all!! If u believe in it!!

  • I am HIV negative, but I dated a man for two years who was HIV positive. We had dated and been sexually active for 3-4 months before he told me, though. While I was surprised (to say the least), I didn’t consider ending the relationship over it. In retrospect, however, I wish he had told me earlier. I think he waited too long to tell me, but I understand why he probably did. As you mentioned, there is sadly still quite a stigma attached to HIV.

  • I simply believe in full disclosure right off the bat. With that being said, I also ask questions to test their knowledge about HIV. I find that the more the guys know, the more likely they are willing to get to know me, not the HIV. I’ve also experienced that the less they know, the more unwilling to get to know me. Many times, they are enlightened after I tell them facts about care, safe sex, and stigma. Some of the time, they tend to want to remain ignorant and it’s the sudden deal breaker. I’ve also noticed these are the same guys that will also participate in rather risky behaviour. These are also the same guys that eventually become HIV positive and become such angry and hateful people. They blame the person that infected them, and don’t accept responsibility for their own actions until they have come to terms with the illness. It’s amazing how uneducated many are, especially younger guys and girls. HIV/AIDS is barely even talked about in school because it has to do with sex for the most part, which is still so taboo to talk about, but we sure are out there doing it, and throwing caution to the wind. Ultimately, I make sure those around me are educated and informed. This goes for potential dates, friends, family, and select co-workers. It all goes with how you talk about it without fear and with confidence.

  • I would be ok with dating a HIV positive guy as long as we were always safe and I know some guys who are positive are against that and that’s fine that’s you’re choice but even if I was with a guy who was negative I would still use protection. I guess I’m one of the few in the category that are ok with HIV positive guys.

  • I was diagnosed April 2005, and have been a healthy undetectable ever since. The first couple of years were tough, b/c I felt every potential future guy would reject me because of my status and I would never have another romantic relationship, let alone have sex. As I became more comfortable with myself and realized it wasn’t the end of the world … and began noticing that more guys are positive than we think … I started dating again. At first, I would wait until after several dates and hanging out with the guy, then I would ask how he felt about dating someone who was poz. OR, if the guy tried to have sex right away, of course, I always halted that train and disclosed right away. The responses were always mixed – I’ve had everything from “oh ok, that’s cool” to “oh wow, I didn’t know, sorry to hear that but we can’t do anything” to “oh I’m poz too but I was scared to bring it up”. Of course there was always heated debated with that last example because I would always ask them, “when the hell were you going to tell me!?” Even more odd was the guys who said they were negative but would take off the condom during sex. (???) Anyway, I began to realize the longer I WAITED to disclose, my feelings got involved and I was potentially setting myself up for hurt that way if the guy wasn’t open to my status. So, seven years later, I disclose up front no matter what. It saves me any hurt or disappointment, and guys appreciate my honesty in the long run. That’s my approach, but a close friend of mine says he would never take my same approach because he doesn’t want any and everyone to know he’s poz. I understand that too, but I prefer the transparency over waiting to disclose and having a guy I’ve developed feelings for to walk away.

  • You begin this post stating that you “work in the HIV field” and have “several men who are HIV-positive…” “Several”– only several? Based on the language you use I question this and I am deeply concerned at any education that you offer. You call men with HIV “HIV-positives” as if they are a thing and not people. You go on to further backward and stigmatizing myths that are too numerous to list and.

    This entire post reads as if it were written 10 years ago and by someone with little experience or knowledge of the subject. The entire post should be re-written. I don’t know who gave you this opportunity to blog but they should be regretting that decision.

  • I am an open slut and knowing that it can take up to 3 months for it to show up in a test, I had always put “unknown” in status on sites and when ever asked in person. truth in advertising as it were. As soon as I found out I was Poz, I contacted every sexual partner I could and told them in person. It all went well, they said they are all Neg and thanked me for telling them. So I must have got it from a 1-night-stand that I never saw again. Still play with most of them to this day.

    After contacting others, I updated my status online and put it in every ad I place. That way the decision is up the the other guy what risk they are willing to accept if they decide to use me.

    That said I have run across a few guys that post that they are Neg yet when I make sure they know I am Poz (amazing how many guys seem to not read profiles), they say they are too. I make an off-hand comment to the effect, “oh sorry, I thought you were Neg…just wanted to make sure you know that I am Poz is all” Usually they don’t even respond to the gentle prodding about what they are posting. So all of that said, assume that everyone you are having sex with is Poz and take whatever precautions you decide.

  • Since you specifically asked for comments from positive guys and positive friendly negative guys I’ll respect that and withhold my comments. However, I hope you will blog about negative guys and how we feel about positive guys who want to date and be accepted so I can sound off then. Thanks.

  • I have NEVER or will I EVER let a guys HIV status be a factor in my dissision to be with him or not…

  • I am honestly not shocked that no one has commented on this. But i will comment as a negative individual who has dated a positive individual! It is alot more work to have a relationship where one is positive and one negative. But it is possible! Being the negative person in this case, and also stating the fact that we never had anal intercourse, it was something we wanted to wait on, we where still able to have a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, with him wanting to precede farther sexual, but at the same time afraid of what could happen, he decided to end it. Remember it takes two!

  • Also, there have been guys that have told me they would love to use me but because I am Poz, they just can’t. I explain that I am undetectable (according to my doc, as long as I am undetectable it is highly unlikely I can pass it on, but there is a risk, no matter how small), and they can take whatever precautions they want when they use me, but I respect whatever decision they make. Some decide to go ahead and use me, others don’t. And I am ok with that.

  • I am negative but I have dated HIV positive guys before. I believe it should be brought up before sex or anything thing serious but it is hard to bring up most of the time. The guy I dated that was HIV positive didn’t tell me for 7 months into the relationship but we always had protected sex. His friend actually told me he was positive and that upset me more then him not telling me. I get tested about every 3 months and with him I told him my status and he lied to me. After the truth was out he told me he was afraid to tell me and I understand that and forgave him. It did scare me and it did make me do a lot more reading on how the virus is spread so I think it was a good over all situation. I learned from it and the fear and ignorance on my part is gone so I would date another HIV positive guy.

  • Having HIV does not define who you are as a person, it only identifies what you have. With that being said, I was with my ex for 10 years who is HIV full blown AIDS. When he told me a few months after we met he was Positive, he let me know I could walk at anytime, I stayed because I fell in love with him. He is Healthy to this day and non detectable. I am negative.

    Educate yourself. I have always been somewhat educated, but hope more now than ever. I’m going to be honest. I myself am not sure if I could do it again. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, just not sure. But I would like to know from the get go if one is Positive. Yes it was a lot to deal with, with my partner, at times he did not want to have sex in fear of infecting me, he never came out and said it, but I could see it in his eyes. My partner went through a lot in a year and a half, I stood by his side every step of the way. I did what I had to do for Love.

    Guy all I’m saying is, if you are attracted to a guy, it shouldn’t always matter what there status is. Talk with each other to know how to move forward with the situation at hand. Remember to Educate yourself, not only for the fact of dating someone who is Infected, but as a whole for those who have several partners.

    Lets all do our best to stop the spread of this Infection. To many innocent people dying because of lies.

  • I have been positive since I was 18. And it’s been a huge learning curve. I have found that the easiest way to avoid any issues / resentment / fear / or heartbreak is to be open about it at the first conversation or meeting. A lot of guys do not understand it, but are willing to learn about it, and others who just aren’t, probably are not the best guys to date or hookup with.

  • I would always disclose and not wait…but my age and heaviness are also against me…yes, I wish guys could get to know me for me and be more understanding…but with gay men it is your looks that attract first..your availability for sex comes into play…and then it is more often a “slam bam” situation…do I really want to go back to being a whore??…nah, I’m too good for that..too bad you’ll never know…

  • Being positive, initially I had lots of reservation disclosing my status upfront, but as you said in your post, it avoids emotional heartaches and drama later on…. I was nicely surprised hen I disclosed my status to two persons that both had a sexual interest in me, they being negative; they were accepting of my status that it did not make a difference. I was overjoyed but even more so, they both were made aware sooner than later….

  • I never told my boyfriend I am HIV+, and we are been together for six years. I don’t feel confartable talking with him about this because he always has negative coments about people with HIV, so is a subject that we never speak. I have a friend that is HIV+, so he is the only person that knows about my situation. I think I am able to keep it in secreet because I am very healthy, so I never get sick.

  • I usually meet men online, so I include my status in my profile. I’m completely upfront about my status on the off chance that I meet someone in a bar, or where ever. It’s not as if I wear my positive status as a badge of honor, but I want guys to be informed, and I also want to avoid any sort of legal ramifications just in case that guy tests positive after a sexual encounter and tries to claim that I did not disclose. That being said, I 9 times out of 10 I date or hook up with other men who are positive. It’s much easier to have the conversation with someone who is positive also. It’s harder having a conversation about using condoms with positive men.

  • Astonished : Dear Astonished, me Dave, gave this opportunity to David to write about this subject that I find very important, and the only thing you came up with, is NOT giving your opinion, but criticize what he wrote. FYI, David Beck is poz and yes he works in an organism that help poz guys.
    So be careful with what you are saying… and think before.
    And I dont need anybody to tell me what to do on MY blog, I can write whatever I want. If you wish to start your own blog, feel free, and good luck!
    Dave

  • I am neg and poz friendly. Because I am oral only, poz is not an issue with me. Several HIV/AIDS medical experts have assured me that infection through oral only sex is virtually non-existent.

    I’ve had three poz boy friends. I am still neg.

    In the beginning I took the time to educate myself. Just because someone says he is neg means 1) he is indeed neg, 2) he doesn’t know – he may have tested neg before he sero-converted, 3) he is lying.

    Finally, and this is most important: I alone am responsible for my health and status.

    It really bothers me when I see a twenty-something young man who is poz. We DO NEED an education program for both poz and neg sakes!

  • I always think before I speak.

    “…organism that help poz guys…”? Obviously neither of you can write well.

    I did criticize David’s opinions because they are antiquated and backward, far behind current education– whether he is HIV-positive or not– and do nothing to claim the ground that so many others have gained by their tireless efforts. His, and your, inability to form well-crafted language is obvious.

    The CEO of MISTER. has been engaging in an ongoing, thoughtful public discourse about the state of being HIV-positive. His name is Carl Sandler if you’d like to read up.

    Best!

  • I think is someone is HIV+ they should tell the others ASAP if they plan on having sex.No sex, no need to tell. I also believe there are too many ignorant guys out there. I hear them talking about how it’s ok to have oral and multiple partners and not worry about HIV. Well, what about all the other STD’s ? How long will it be before you encounter a drug resistant strain ? Do you really want to miss a few days of work to get tested and treated if you get infected ? I don’t see anything wrong with having a single sexual partner. It would be the best way to enjoy sex liberally and not worry about STD’s. I think most men have multiple partners because they simply do not have the ability to make a relationship work or worse, they may be addicted which I think should have some kind of clinical intervention. Be safe guys. Protect yourselves and do no harm unto others. Peace and love !

  • I just found out i was poz 3 months ago. I always tell the guy upfront & see if they want to keep chatting.There is alot of guys that just stop chatting after they find out.If I had been told that this guy was poz I wouldn’t be poz now.It’s hard to find a good man that will accept u the way u r..I’m 42 & have a great job & would love to find a guy that is open to being in a relationship & have things together, but there are a lot of shallow guys in this world.. WE are gay we should stick together & love eachother..

  • Date one. Its not fair to him or you to build something up hoping when its time hopefully he will understand. Its not the 90’s anymore ww know protection and more about it so we know the risk and the saftey part. But not tell him on date one!

  • i’ve been poz for about 28 yrs.lost my partner/buddy to aids about the same time i found out i wuz pos. raped,well technically raped by another bigger guy when living in the city (N.Y.)GRID wus what they called it way back then..i found out about it when my buddy died (25 yr.old brilliant guy, a poet, yeah poet …)he went fast, as they did back n ’85…i figured out that the less sex i had..the better..in fact i still do..but living in caif. now i find myself sexually active…hate condoms, also hate the attitude surrounding hiv…i only play w/otherhiv+ guys now…but bi-polar guys have been the bane of my existdence now…especially bi-polar guys who also r poz..
    but i do mention my status when lucky enuf to find someone special…

  • It’s amazing how this is the only “disease” that carries a stigma. The only “disease” that attaches and positive/negative status connotation. Status infers change, in any direction (neg to pos and vice versa.) When are we as group going to realize that we have voluntarily lined up to be picked off by Big Pharma, and our own government due to our “status”. I would say education has failed after thirty years, Doug. (I’m convinced as I just worked with an entire group of twenty/thirtysomethings who ALL smoked cigarettes like chimneys. How long have we been told and “educated” that smoking is bad?) Education has failed, because is it very vague and doesn’t happen to us. The images from the 80’s 90’s are just those – images. No one knows any one who’s like that anymore. We’ve just traded off into ARV’s and Vl tests, regimen and routine, Dr. visits and other side effects – and again, hazy protein and inhibitor explanations into what a fragile and insidious this “retrovirus” is. It will always be couched in “we believe” vs. “we know”. No one knows, and no one will say for sure.

  • I will only wear the HIV BRAND when they invent a test that actually means something! Very high false positive results!

  • if you surf on this websites, you will see lots of guys with so called their personal racial preferences, or , no asians or black racism, a lot of them are either hiv positive or unknown status, what you drew from that? they deserve it!

  • I can tell you that over 80% of the guys on this post are liars. On this site, most of the neg guys and ‘safe sex ‘ only ones all want bareback sex. Fine, its their choice but come on and stop the deciet. What bothers me more than anything is the rampant discrimination in our community and site like Adam4adam should ban the CLEAN word in people’s ad. Only gay people use that phrase and ask that question: Are you clean ?! Do disturbing to say a little baby with HIV is dirty. Back to the issue at hand, Doug summed it up – we are all responsible for our health. Everyone should assume POZ in everyone and ask the question. If someone lies, then thats on them. But why should a POZ person have to tell anyone anything?! ASK!!

  • While I agree this is an important topic, I would like to state from the get-go that the ONLY acceptable option is to be honest and up front with EVERYONE you are intimate with about your status from the start, including telling them if you have any doubts but haven’t been tested — anything else is just unfair to your partners and any other partners they may have and you are putting their health at risk. I am an HIV negative man and have been with and dated HIV positive men, including one who I was with for a year and loved vey much. It IS difficult to wrap one’s head around the concept if you are negative and not exposed to the proper information but it is possible to have a wonderful relationship with one partner being poz and one neg. For this to work you HAVE to educate yourself continuously on all the various medical findings regarding the conditions and activities that do or do not allow the virus to transmit.

    The guy I was with for a year told me of his status a few days after we started spending our nights together and AFTER we had sexual contact including safe anal and oral to completion where I swallowed and got some semen in my eye. When he told me the next day I didn’t know whether to haul off and punch him or give him a big hug — I was VERY pissed at him for possibly exposing me without telling me, although knowing a bit about him and his life’s trials I was also sad for him having to deal with that on his own so young (I found out he had been exposed when he was 16 living and hustling on the streets of Portland because his parents had kicked him out for being gay). Needless to say I chose the latter course of action and hugged him after giving him an earful about how irresponible and immature of him it was to not be forthright with me prior to intimacy. Normally I would have asked him early on about it myself but we had met on myspace and we both lived out in a small community in a group of islands and he was so young and innocent (I thought) that the LAST thing that entered my mind was that he could possibly be HIV+, and of course he was ashamed about it and didn’t think I would accept him if he told me so he was too scared to let me know up front. I may have decided to move on at that point and date other people if we had been in a city where there were more options and if I hadn’t already started to grow fond of him, but as it was there were and are very few guys availible out where I live and he was much to cute and sweet to let go, so I decided then and there to accept his HIV+ status and figure out how to make things work between us. In the long run things didn’t work out between the two of us for various reasons, and part of that was certainly the stress (on both of us) of the possibility that he might infect me (he was the top and I was the bottom, and frankly I really wanted to be with him without protection but could not because he was poz and not on meds).

    There is alot of research coming out now that HIV meds not only help those who are infected but can also help prevent transmission of and/or infection with the virus itself. There are alot of reports saying that an HIV+ man who is undetectable cannot pass the virus on to a negative partner even through repeated unprotected anal sex. There are also certain drugs starting to be prescribed and administerd to HIV negative men as a profalaxis or preventative measure, and I have read that they may be ovver 99% effective at blocking the virus — but these drugs are VERY expensive still and most people can only get them through special trial programs or if they are lucky enough to get them covered under insurance. If you are an HIV negative man with an HIV+ partner and he is undetectable the statistics show you are far safer than an HIV negative man still on the dating scene having sex with multiple partners who SAY they are negative.

    There are several different vaccines in trials right now in major cities. There has also been one man in Europe CURED of HIV as a side effect of a breakthrough treatment for Leukemia because it involved stem cells from a man who happened to have a natural immunity to HIV, so naturally there is research into further developing this as a cure.

    The point here is that education and information is the answer. HIV is NOT a death sentence and it IS preventable and getting more so all the time, and also there are more and more guys out there who have dealt with it than there used to be and the stigma is fading. Take responsibility for yourself to get tested regularly and find out whatever you can about HIV and it’s transmission and talk about it with your partners and potential partners. Be proud of who you are, have respect for those who you are intimate with and be honest and upfront with them about your status right from the start so that everyone can make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary drama and heartache – believe me it’s better that way.

  • I would like for a guy to tell me if he is HIV Poz before we have sex. A guy’s HIV status is not necessarily a deal breaker for me. However, if I view his status as evidence of his overall pattern on irresponsible behaviors, then it is a deal breaker. The manner in which he became positive is also important in my eyes. I think it’s worse if he caught it because he was letting random guys nut in his ass compared to if he was infected by an unfaithful partner.

  • Waiting for the other person to start liking you and developing feelings and complex emotions for you before telling them is just rude and disrespectful. not only are you toying with emotions but might be wasting someone’s time and setting yourself up for failure. if youre positive the matter of fact is you are and no matter how much the other guy likes you this is a life changing decision not to be taken lightly. if youre on a first date and youre mature enough then this topic/health over all should be discussed appropriately.

  • AS a almostb 53yo man who found out I was positive when I was 25/26 so going into my 28th year soon, I ALWAYS TELL UP FRONT AND ITS BEEN INCLUDED RIGHT UP FRONT IN MY PROFILES for ALL to see and R-E-A-D!! even after chatting somoene up I again ALWAYS ask, did you READ my profile, “oh no I didnt” I hear that alot, WHY the FFFF if you want to meet someone thru a profile you dont want to READ the whole thing and get info on someone or ASK A FREAKING QUESTION, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS upfront and at the very beginning of the conversation!!

  • I say as soon as the first date or first encounter. It’s better to get the rejection out of the way because most guys nowadays won’t touch a HIV poz dude because of ignorance or judgement or not wanting to deal with the idea that HIV exists. If they aren’t deeply retarded or stunted as a human being, they’ll look past a status and to the person you are. If they look past your status, then i say date them. If they don’t, then no use crying over spilt milk.

  • As a poz/undetable black 25 year old I feel that it is hard to find dates I was diagnosed in March of 2011 even when I was negative it was hard because I didnt have wash board abs or most of the guys just wanted sex…I did meet someone that same year in July who I am still talking with we are just taking it slow I told him I was poz after we got to know each other after about the 4th time we met and yes we were sexually active before then he took it well(to my suprise I was excpeting the worse) and we are still talking I feel that you have to act on your instinct weather or not to tell the guy up front or wait to get to know one anorther….

  • also, not to shit in anyones corn flakes but the part where he spoke about HIV-Positive intolerance rang true, hate to say it but a lot of gays aren’t as open minded about a lot of things, HIV status… race…social class…effeminate men. For a group that’s supposedly all encompassing, the “community” (IMO) needs to really do some soul searching, i feel we’ve lost our way quite a bit, or we should at least stop calling ourself a community.

  • also, Kudos to you for writing this article… we really should talk about the things people don’t talk about.

  • I’m neg and I have no problem dating a guy that is Poz. My look on life is this. Everyone need someone to love.

  • This is an interesting post.. I’m negative right now and try to stay that way.. But at the same time I don’t have any issues dating someone that is positive, I am just more aware of being safe. I can say my experience has been that I am usually the one to bring up the subject. I don’t have any expectations that someone should disclose their status unless asked. In a perfect world perhaps this would be the case but it comes down to personal responsibility. Unfortunately today sex will always carry some risk, but I am comfortable with making decisions on the level of risk that I am willing to accept.

  • I’m poz and have been since April of ’05. Until it happened to me I had a rather idealized perception of how accepting my local gay community is.

    Here in a small Midwestern city that I call home, the level of education with everyone has gone way down since the awful days of the 1980s when sexual education was all but mandated in response to the epidemic.

    I can’t speak for other parts of the country but I’ve found in my limited travels to larger metropolitan areas like Minneapolis/St. Paul, Des Moines or Kansas City, MO that the guys were much more receptive and friendly towards me compared to my hometown.

    Back here, I know a fair number of gay poz men and a few of them usually don’t disclose unless they’re specifically asked by their prospective hook-up. The same goes for protection. Their ready excuse is that sex is a two-way street and if the other guy doesn’t care enough to protect himself, then why should the poz guys burden themselves?

    I don’t condone that attitude, but I understand totally where they’re coming from.

    I would have thought that after nearly eight years of living openly as a poz gay man that I’d pretty much be used to wishy-washy rejection by the idiots online who’re too lazy to read profiles or others who get virulently nasty about me wanting to have any kind of sex with anyone, but unlike most of the guys here, I’m still badly bothered at times.

    To put it another way, the local attitude is that so long as gay poz men abstain from sex, they’re noble suffering angels, but the very second anyone finds out how utterly human they are and that they want sex like anyone else, then they’re suddenly vile, evil, disease-spreading monsters that should be castrated and locked up.

    It’s a hell of an existence here.

  • For poz there is pretty much no hope for love on line. my most meaningful relationships formed offline. the ignorence of gay guys in this world is maddening. the constant rejection and name calling (“disease ridden bitch” comes to memory) makes me not want to disclose my status. also those who do disclose their status tend to be “anyrhing goes” types of guys. i’m 25 and been poz since 12 and i already know i will be alone. thats my truth…

  • Interesting conversations…..some more than others…if everyone used the appropriate protections, maybe it wouldn’t be so much an issue. I have a non-positive friend who asked me (positive) whether he should be involved with someone positive. I told him that the positive people who care about others will tell you their status or use the appropriate protection. That positive folks who are on medication in general are less likely to infect others than positives not on medication. I warned him that the folks most likely to infect him are those who have not been tested or do not know their status because approximately 10-20% of them are likely positive and their virus is highly infectious. Conclusion: Risk is everywhere and truthfulness is normally better than ignorance.

  • To Mike who has the BF who doesn’t know he’s poz: It’s guys like you that scare the fuck out of me. You intentionally hide your status from someone you’re in a relationship with all because you claim to stay healthy. What happens if the virus gets stronger or you catch a cold or the flu and your viral load increases and your BF gets infected. THEN you’re going to tell him that not-so-little detail about your status? You’re fucking with someone else’s life there and it’s NOT YOUR RIGHT.

    I know of a guy here in town who has compiled a list of guys who are verified poz from having posted their status on one or more sites. Interesting enough, these same guys are claiming they’re negative here at A4A. I’ve seen the list and it’s horrifying. Lying about any health issue of this magnitude, be it HIV, Hep C, Herpes, etc is wrong. So for the guys who say they make a full disclosure — good for you. And for those of you who hold off…why? Why are you lying about something this serious?

    My former roommate became poz in 2001 because he wanted to try being the center of a bareback gangbang “just to try it”. When he was diagnosed as poz, he decided to not say anything to anyone. In the process, he infected his boyfriend and one other man (a random hookup)…who happened to be married to a woman, and who ended up infecting her — and their unborn child. All because he chose to omit his status.

    You can call me narrow-minded or whatever, but I will always maintain that full disclosure is the way to go.

  • As one of those “safe neg guys” who won’t fuck with a guy upon discovering that they’re “Poz”, I know that Dave didn’t specifically ask for my opinion, but I’ll say it anyway.

    I grew up in a place where HIV was DEATH. There was no treatment, no Poz/undetectable, fuck government funding. You either had it or you didn’t, and if you did your friends and family had to watch you slowly deteriorate. Last I recall on the immigration front, if you tested positive for HIV you would automatically be denied passage into the the US. Have that message drilled into your head for half of your life and tell me if you wouldn’t have the same irrational fear toward getting sexual with a guy you knew to be HIV+.

    Have I ever had sex with someone that was Poz before? 100% yes, most likely, and I probably enjoyed it, but I didn’t know. It’s one thing for me to assume that everyone is poz and lying, and just practice safe sex. It’s another for me to knowingly get intimate with someone who was positive. Condoms break.

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for a guy who’s upfront with me about his status, and I hope to be more open about the matter one day. Also….. it’s hard enough being black and gay in America; adding HIV to the mix is just setting oneself up to be a walking statistic.

    I try to be more understanding on the subject. I’ve read books on how it’s insensitive to ask how someone got infected when they reveal that they’re poz to you; so I don’t ask anymore. We all go through growth at different points in out lives, and this is one I struggle with. Honestly when I think about HIV/AIDS my only thought is: “I wish it was GONE. Erased from the planet.” It’s caused way too much pain.

  • I’m tell everyone I know. I live my life out loud, and that includes my poz status. I feel it’s important to be a positive example of a life-lived-fulfilled. Sure, I’ve been shot down because I’m poz, but that’s the moment I take to educate the guy. I see no reason to not use this opportunity to answer any questions honestly and with no judgment.
    I’ve had quite a few neg fuck buddies, with zero poz consequences. I’m all about open dialogue.

  • I am Hiv positive… I got it from an Ex who was open about it. I saw who he was aside from the virus a caring, loving, and a successful man. However he was not on meds and his words to me were “you’re eventually going to get it we might as well get it over with.” I did research and my searching always led to “the uninfected will always become infected.” I never found anything on HIV poz men on medication and how healthy they live and how their partners have stayed uninfected. Aside from that he didn’t want to be on medication. He said “my doctor says I’m as healthy as a 20 year old.” Him being 33 when we met, and I was only but 20 years old. So I believed that those words meant we will be together forever so let’s get you infected. I was young gullible so I did it. I let him infect me… After being with him for 2 years I realized he was not as good for as I thought he was.. He was unfaithful and gave me another set of STDs. I left him…

    Since then I have learned to grow up real fast, but the funny thing is that I accepted the virus much faster than he ever did. I got on medication then he did… I have built up some tough skin because people can be really mean and ignorant. I was beginning to become bitter and depressed after I left him… Thinking he was the only one who would love me with the virus since he is the one who gave it to me. Tried dating and would tell people right off the bat.. A lot of them felt so sorry for me saying things like “such a waste” “so beautiful but wasted goods.” I think you get the gist.

    I am about to turn 24 and it has been a year now since I broke up with him and I date occasionally but what I do is tell people fairly quickly. I don’t tell them so they can choose right away if they want me or not.. But to give them the choice if they would like to make me a part of their life…I also pick and choose who to tell. One should always know if they feel an interest or not. That way you save yourself from unneeded ignorance. I know myself worth and getting to know myself more and more.. Still have tons to learn and it makes me very excited to see myself grow.. If a man comes along the way that will be amazing and I will assure them I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe from the HIV virus. Assure them that I take full responsibility of the virus I live with. Take my meds every day, keep up with my doctors’ appointments, keeping a healthy life style. Not just for him but for me. People who are HIV poz don’t realize its not just meds but its also our diet that helps our meds fight against the virus to keep us at that undetectable level.

    I am such a cheesy true romantic, and look forward to the day where love from a significant other comes into my life. But until then I have my own self love to keep me company. So if there is anything to learn here is not to know when to tell people you are POZ, but to always be true to yourself, know yourself worth, love, and strengths, that way you’re always in a good place with yourself if rejection or acceptance comes your way. Remember there is nothing better than your own acceptance. Also your conscious will be clear and you’ll let the people you encounter whether if it’s just sex or love have the choice.

    I hope this Helps!

    -Pedro

  • I have so much respect for all of you guys. Thank y’all very much for your honesty and bravery..

  • I’m negative, and when I’m with a man for a while, I like to fuck w/o condoms. Yes, there have been poz guys, still are, with whom I could date and easily settle down. But how do you negotiate skin2skin loving, if you’re concerned about the skin you’re in? or want to flip?

    it’s a mind-fuck, even with condoms.

  • all interesting stuff. i have always been careful and never liked anal sex.(that alone cut my dates to a few)so i opted for casual oral with many men.now that i am in my 60s and was tested last year and neg i decided to do more(oh boy healthy ,fit,handsome and ready for anal sex) as someone said my age is a killer write from the start.now that i have taken a few chances at risky sex i feel like i am sick or will be any day.and yes i have dated guys who waited to say they were poz.that hurt the most and they were the ones to end it not me.so i guess its all screwed up.no one answer.if i live 10 or 15 years more somewhat healthy thats cool.we all will get older and we all will die from something.i have many friends and have lost many loves and now i am lucky to get a date.Yes,young guys like me but they like my money more. too bad….i have learned that love starts at home.love yourself first anything more is a gift.thnx

  • I believe that by being honest and upfront, we can change the minds of so many people who discriminate to begin with. So many times I have been told that my honesty about my positive status is admirable because a lot of guys out there aren’t honest or educated on their own statuses at all. Maybe we can’t change everyone’s mind but at least we can start doing away with ignorance associated with fear of the unknown.

    Also, how do people not want us to be upfront? Being poz, we are all the more susceptible to criticism and rejection. We can be the hottest guy with the best personality but still get rejected because of this. I believe that by letting people know from the get-go we are protecting ourselves from the possible rejection later, AS WELL AS the guys we are pursuing. This is assuming there are men with hearts out there who feel terrible in their conscious about letting go of a great guy who happens to be poz.

    We all have some control over what turns us on and off but it is such a shame to deny oneself the experience of an amazing person (in any sense) just because of fear and stigmas. I can definitely see why it is hard to deal with, but it can sure be worth it.

  • My friend is poz, we’ve been together for almost 3 years. He didn’t tell me for the first 2, I guess I/we were lucky, we didn’t practice safe sex and I’m still negative. When I finally found out I was disappointed that he hadn’t told me and he thought his status would make me run away. I can’t say what my reaction might have been if he had told me the first few times we were together, I didn’t know much about HIV at the time. I probably would have gone on my way and left him. I think it’s best to let a person know early on in a relationship, if it’s a deal breaker you haven’t invested a bunch of time and emotions, you don’t loose so much. We all need to be more educated on this subject.

  • Whenever I see a profile that has the word “pig” in it, it’s usually followed by the word “poz.” What is the relationship between those two words?

  • Disclose first and let the other guy decide…I know I am a great guy and hiv isn’t who I am. If the other guy can’t deal with it that’s his problem not mine. There aren’t any public service annoucements about HIV issues today and most people are largely left with the impression the media portrayed about HIV in it’s vey early stages…..Once the “glamour” and the “headline” status of reporting the “gay cancer” was exhausted the media dropped the issue.

  • It does need to be said immediately. It’s not something you can mess around with, it’s an infection and we need to put an end to it from being viral. If you intend to have sex with someone it should be made clear what your status is and to always protect yourself from them.. and vice-verse.

    By the way to the poster above me, you can get infected from giving oral as much as you can pass it from receiving. Do yourself a favor and take your advice. Get educated and tested.

  • David, HIV/AIDS has been around for 30 plus years now. If after 30 years of this disease affecting our community and we’re still talking about “When Should You Tell Him You’re HIV Positive” means that we need more E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N about how HIV is spread and how to protect yourself from contracting the disease. And I don’t mean an occasional article, but an every day consistent message.

    The fact that young men are still becoming HIV positive at alarming rates is absolutely DISGRACEFUL! There was a time, not that long ago, when the HIV/AIDS was a death sentence and our community was screaming at politicians and healthcare providers about the lack of education and funding. What happened to educating our youth about the REAL dangers of risky and unsafe sexual practices. It is no secret that if you fuck raw, whether it be a top or bottom, you are putting yourself at risk for contracting HIV. The message should BE about PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION!!

  • I’m negative and my ex-boyfriend is HIV + and his status never interfered in our relationship. I wasn’t looking for a poz guy; it just happened and I’m glad I gave myself a chance to meet this awesome man. It’s not my job to judge someone for his past. A great friendship developed soon afterwards we met and when we were sure about our feelings for each other he decided to tell me before we had any intercourse. We enjoyed a very healthy sex life always taking the necessary safety steps. Even though we’re not a couple anymore, we’re still good buddies. I might add that his status never was an issue for ending the relationship. I don’t think that will an issue in the future for meeting other people regarding their status. Oh and for the record: I’m still negative.

  • As a person who has had hiv for 19 years, i have seen a broad spectrum of reactions. When I was diagnosed, hiv was still a death sentence and garnered punitive reactions from practically every community. Now that it’s viewed more as a chronic illness and with the advancement of treatments that make it impossible to recognize physically in people who take care of themselves, attitudes are changing. I agree there should be more open education about the disease and how to prevent its transmission. Concerning dating, I treat my status the same as I would any other area with the golden rule. Do unto others as I would have them do unto me. While I might date a bisexual guy, I dont wanna talk about your sexual history before I know you last name and your hobbies. While I might date a guy who has had an unusual amount of sexual partners, I dont want to read your partner list before I know you favorite coffee. I think is closed-minded and selfish to begin a potential realtionship with the phrase ” I’m HIV positive, so take me or leave me!” It is a given that status should be disclosed before ANY type of sexual activity takes place, but for me emotional attachment comes before sexual activity. When I know that a guy COULD fall for me, i think its fair to tell him. I would want to know that he made the decision to love me knowing my status and not that he accepts my status because he has feelings for me and his judgement is being clouded. Giving a person the chance to get to know me and see my lifestyle and how the disease affects/ doesn’t affect my life might be a tool to help make HIV more personal and not just the dreaded three letters.

  • For me i would want to know their status when i start talking to them i dislike big things getting thrown on me all of the sudden. Not that it would be a deal breaker i just want to know before hand.

  • I have said for years that dating a poz guy is probably “safer” than dating a “neg” one. This is for a few reasons, first many do not know their status. Second, many give too much credit to a negative test result and it gives them license to play unsafe, and then become infected while still assuming they are neg as the results said so 6 months ago. Yet, probably the biggest issue is if you are a neg/poz couple who is open about the fact one is poz, you will take extra care to wrap it up each and every time. It is always in the back of your mind and the “heated moments of passion” will to lead to riskier behaviors as both parties are aware that all precautions need to be taken.

  • Im not hiv postive, but my partner is. He told me the night of our frist date. we been together for 6years going strong. yes there isnt much of a sex life but we are together as we love each other to much to end it. and not once have i ever wanted to leave him because he has it, and never would. I she that he is a human being that makes me smile and happy nlike anyone else in this world.

  • If we go on the primis that we are all positive (HIV/AIDS) and ALWAYS practice safer sex then the issue of whether to disclose is mute.

    That being said, we should focus our attention on promoting condom use and dispell the myth about the advances in HIV/AIDS treatment. There is NO Cure and taking a Pill or pills for the rest of your life is a complicated issue in itself at 18,19, or 20….

  • Amazing! I can’t even believe this is even a question. Really, WHEN?? Can you say IMMEDIATELY. Period. The discussion happened years ago– its all action and responsibility now! Get with the program people.

  • I believe you should share your HIV status as soon as the discussion comes up OR if it’s obvious your relationship is getting serious! Your status like other personal information should not be shared casually and let’s face it….though we’d like to believe we’re all mature and can be confidential it is not always true. Trust but verify…..you don’t want to be injured by the inability of a partner to handle your history prematurely!

  • I’m positive and I have lost interest to even love again I can never look at a man the same way I use to I loved him with everything I had and I still got fucked over now I love only God atleast he won’t lie to me or give me something I don’t want he helped me climble out that dark whole I was stuck in.Men please just be safe and honest because being positive just is not worth it ok

  • My lover of two years refused to accept that HIV existed so he would always say he was negative as far as HIV goes. He was positive and more than likely infected me. He was a follower of Dr Peter Duesberg of Berkeley, Ca who claims that if HIV does exist it does not cause the disease AIdS. Of course most of us know this is bullshit but I got sucked into it. His health continues to decline from what I hear and he refuses to take any HIV meds. Dating someone with an undetectable viral load is much less dangerous than dating someone like him who had a viral load possibly in the millions. I am taking meds and remain undetectable. I will not date anyone without telling them . If they opt out at that point so be it.

  • I’m a little put off by this notion that neg guys who prefer not to date poz guys are “unenlightened.” You’re saying you want others to “see the whole person” but the implication in the rest is that you expect others to ignore parts of that “whole person.”

    It’s hard for single parents to find dates sometimes too. Does that mean folks who don’t feel ready to bring a child into their life at this time are “unenlightened” as well? Like it or not, a mixed-status relationship does bring additional issues to the table (including but certainly not limited to the infection of the negative partner). People need to be honest with themselves and their potential mates about what obstacles they are and are not ready to tackle in their lives. A relationship where one or both people take on something they’re not ready to take on is doomed from the start anyhow. A negative person who starts a relationship with a positive person without them both considering the issues involved in such a relationship just so they can be seen as “enlightened” is in fact proving themselves to be the opposite.

  • Brandon, it saddens me to hear that. I have a friend who lives in Toronto , he is poz and his BF was not poz until recently. There are guys out there that dont judge a book by its cover. They can fall in love with a poz guy with no problem. You should consider this :)
    Dave

  • They should tell the guy right up front, its only fair.

  • When you are dealing with other people’s health and lives, you should be honest and tell them about your status if you are HIV positive. I’ve encountered two men who told me they were HIV positive. I appreciated it, but it stopped anything sexual from happening because I didn’t feel comfortable with either afterwards. Besides, I don’t rush into anything with anyone and only have safe sex.

  • Iverod, well if we ask this question it is because there no “one answer”
    What happens to undetectable guys? Cause they cant technically transmit the virus….

  • Astonished : How many language do you speak? I speak 2.
    My first is french, so yes sometimes I make mistakes. So what?
    Try to learn french and we’ll chat more !

  • Well you should put it on your profile. And most of the people on here act like your disgusting when they see u have it. . Dumb fucks need to be better educated… my favorite line after a guy fucks me raw and is walking out the door. ” your clean right”? Lol and these are also the people ur all fucking too. So pathetic

  • I tell them before we even meet. Hell, I do it within the first few sentences if I feel that there might be something to it. I am not going to spend days talking to a guy, waiting until the last minute to tell him, only to be told he is not interested. Been there … done that. Just get it out of the way from the get go.

  • We made the mistake of not immediately disclosing until after we had gotten to know our new potential partner. We talked about it and he said he didn’t care. Next thing you know we were all in love with each other. Unfortunately us being POZ and him being NEG became a big issue as time went by. Not to mention all the other challenges of being in a triad relationship, many gay men seem to be morally opposed to triad relationships or assume it’s a 24/7 open orgy. So, he left, the stresses were just too much for him. We’re all heartbroken to this day. I wish we had handled it differently but not sure if it would have made a difference.

  • Some might not agree with me…….but have always believed in the Card I received sometime ago………..

    HIV
    DON’T ASK-DON’T TELL…ASSUME…
    You cannot tell if someone has HIV by looking at them. And you cannot find out if someone has HIV by asking them. If you are going to have sex with anyone , you should assume they are HIV positive and protect yourself accordingly ….

    Have always assumed and not upset so much when I find out otherwise. Seem people lives destroyed over people knowing … but have others do okay….. But if you assume like the medical world does that all have an STD ……you will stay negative a long time.

  • Hi buddy!

    I love that you have this post.
    I tell everyone I have no fear. I tell and get up in their face about it it’s who I am now and not afraid to tell people. If I get rejected poop to them they are not good quality people.

    I detest when people claim I’m dirty or unclean when I see “clean” in a profile I think to myself what a dirty person.

    Love Brandon

  • Two things should be remembered: 1) you don’t want to expose him and 2) you don’t want him emotionally involved with you. So never have sex with him before disclosing your condition. But definitely let him get to know you as a person, instead of a walking disease, so he can decide if he wants to explore creating a relationship with you. It’s a fine line between letting him get to know you and having him emotionally involved with you, so it’s better to tell him too soon rather than too late.

  • hi david. let me start by saying i am really happy i came across your blog. i am in the same situation right now i was talking to a guy that is hiv poz. i am hiv neg. he is 35 i am 19. he likes me i like him but i think he is scared of infecting me so young. but i told him i wanted to date and he wants to date also. i also told hm im ok with him being poz there are safe ways to fool arround and still develope a relationship.we met here on a4a and have yet to meet in person we have been talking for a while. he disclosed his status to me upfront and was shocked when i didnt hang up or tell him sorry i dont want to talk to him. my brother has been poz for 20 years is undetectable and lives a full life. i also told this guy i liked him and accepted him as he was if he was able to accept me as i was we have an agreement to get to know each other better. do you have any tips for safe play? what we can to to make things safer? please help if anyone has tips please let me know also. thanks

  • Hi Still_looking_18, I will have David answer you shortly
    Dave

  • I’m neg. but respectfully wouldn’t date a poz guy. Doesn’t I hold a neg judgment on that person. would be down for a platonic friend relationship. I’ve had one sexual relationship before. its been over 5yrs since than. I’m one of vary few ppl who actually wants to know a person well n be comfortable with moving to the next step. Always used protection. So as a neg guy I feel poz n neg shouldn’t date. that’s just me. if those ppl choose too that’s fine, there choice. condoms break, so don’t act surprised or have hatred for when youcome up poz. But I agree that it should be brought up right away. again I don’t view negatively on HIV +. But even on this site, u see a profile that a guy is poz. and he says anything goes. so still living recklessly. I think both should respect either persons perspectives .poz guys shouldn’t bash on someone for not being” open-minded””. Cuz I still believe their good ppl. those who help educate :)

  • I am HIV+ since 1989. I live in rural America. When chatting online with someone I divulge as soon as a conversation starts to turn sexual. Most of the time the conversation just ends. Sometimes I am treated to a diatribe of “How DARE I be on this site spreading AIDS!!!” On the sites where I post I have had to remove my HIV status from my profiles as I get uninvited comments telling me how horrible a person I am. The stigma is awful. I cringe every single time I see “clean men only.” Sometimes when attacked, I reply back that with me as least my honesty lets them deal with the fact that I am HIV+. I further tell them that many men either lie about their status because of the stigma attached and because they just simply want/need sex and will lie to get it. Other guys don’t know or care about their serostatus yet it is these same men that give me the most crap! I have also noticed that where you are cruising makes a BIG difference. If I go to a cruisy park or arcade, it is usually “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Nobody is asking my status and I’m not asking them theirs. I have a partner and the stigma extends to him as well. We have sex but it is very unfulfilling for me. He will barely touch me. He refuses to suck my cock or eat my ass, yet he will barefuck me. We both have issues with condoms not working for us, we can’t “feel” anything. When fucking him, I have to remove my condom in order to cum. I love him very much but the lack of sex, maybe a couple of times of year at most leaves me feeling defeated and alone. No one in my area wants anything to do with me because by simply talking to me or being seen with me they too might be considered to be HIV+. I suffer from several mental health issues and next to the picture of a wallflower in the dictionary is my picture. I have difficulty talking to men. The only situation where I feel like a man is when I’m having sex and since I rarely have sex I am left feeling that I am less than a man. I can be aggressive and get what I need on a trail in a park but am completely blocked when it comes to actually talking to someone face to face with my HIV status hanging over my head. I have attempted to desexualize my life but even when I attempt to keep sex out of the equation “they” always bring it up. Then I dutifully divulge my status and yet another possible friendship goes down the tubes. I am a sexually adventurous man who likes to try just about anything but living where I do, I cannot find anyone “like me.” Being honest about my status precedes me. The people I tell in turn tell everyone else they meet to “watch out” for that HIV+ guy and make sure and give all my details. Don’t EVEN get me started about the meth queens!!!! People think I am the dirty disgusting one but these guys who trade sex for favors, which I don’t do are somehow more attractive than I am. At one point I had to stop attending my HIV support group because THREE of the men there meth queens. Seems funny that you can even get rejected by your own “community” but these guys don’t want anything to do with me because I don’t have any crystal to share. Shunned by every gay man in my area and looked down upon by other poz guys because I don’t slam or blow clouds. Sucks to be me I guess…

  • I’m negative. I date positive guys. I know how to be safe. I want to know at whatever point we both know this may go on to something deeper. First meeting, or first couple dates (with no sex), I’d say that I don’t need to know. I usually know at that point if I like him enough and want to get closer to him. But when I start to develop feelings for him, or vice versa, that’s when I want to know. It’s terribly cliche, but for me, it’s about the guy. If I like him, I’ll go for it, positive or negative.

  • Until the day comes that people disclose all of their health information prior to dating, I will not disclose my status. It is naive to think that HIV is the only health issue that affects relationships. If the people I am interested in dating play safe, there is no reason for concern, is there? Many people lie about their status and many more don’t know if they are infected, so if they are that concerned why is it an issue? We must all play as if everyone is positive and my health is NOBODY’S business but my own.

  • This is a great topic!

    I am HIV NEGATIVE, and I guess I’m one of those few that actually care about another person regardless of their status. I have found some very handsome, sensitive, fun, HIV positive men out there and have dated a few. I am never against getting to know someone.

    I do prefer the disclosure way before the first date. To me it shows a sense of confidence and whole new way of opening up to a person. Also, men are men. And I am being presumptuous, but gay men are just way more aggressive…..If that first date happens and things are going so well and getting hot, it is only a matter of time for the bedroom activities. KNOWING would totally give different perspectives for both parties.
    Some men just don’t care about hiding things from who they sleep with. It’s scary but the truth.

    I see all these “educate” comments for this posting, and to be quite honest that word works both ways not just for one person. Love yourself first before you decide to involve someone else.

  • For what it’s worth, depending on your location, having sex with someone without first disclosing a known STI (especially HIV) can open you up to criminal prosecution.

  • It shd be listed on ur profile n confirmed they knew before u meet…..poz dl guys are idiots……I m sick of hearing them complain that dates walk out, sex partners storm off once they find out,, duh……

  • I would want to know from the very start if a potential sexual partner was positive or not. Some men can look past a health status & get to know a man before that question is put out there. I am not one of them. It’s a deadly virus.

  • I believe my status is no one else’s business unless it is on a need-to-know basis. Before you get all geared up to lynch me, hear me out.

    I DO believe in disclosing, but only after it is apparent that intimacy is (In due course) imminent. My experience is that causal gay guys (read as: Sex Hounds or Status seekers) are fairly shallow and spread gossip worse than women. Therefore it is in my best interest to weed out those who are undeserving of such intimate details of my personal life before disclosing that or any other type of personal details.

    Consider this: The average person doesn’t disclose immediately to another person events that they may find sacred or are dear to their heart without first ensuring the other party is trust worthy of such – so why would you do so with something that may (Or may not) get you labeled as something that may not apply to you (Outside of categorically correct/incorrect).

    Love me for who I am, not for what I have or don’t have. Know that I will love you for who you are and I will do everything in my power to keep you safe (Education, Protection, whatever it takes).

    I’ve dated a few guys and used this method; I’ve yet to have met a guy that has an issue with it when I tell them and explain why I waited to tell them (If not obvious, this has *ALWAYS* been before any sexual encounter).

  • the man of my dreams was pos, he told me the first night, didnt make a difference to me, i knew he was the one, he passed from a heart attack many years ago. to this day i believe its how you feel about someone, that fire in your hearts is what makes all the difference.

  • “Unfortunately, it’s hard enough to find people that have all the information regarding what really is safe regarding HIV and what isn’t. A lot of people, including those infected, aren’t always as educated about HIV as they could be.”

    Most are not educated about HIV and safe sex, especially the ones who most need to know this information. However, it isn’t due to a lack of public service announcements, brochures, billboards, etc. it is from complacency and laziness. This information is so readily available here in the states and to expect to magically appear for one’s edification is ridiculous, especially considering the fact that those who are handed this information at PRIDE events don’t read them but toss them on the ground. Ignorance is not an excuse in this day and age.

    To VAFRATBOY: No it’s not. It’s not considered a death sentence any more, nor would most individuals invest the money to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acquired HIV from person X, especially if person X has any history of any previous STI.

    To Truckercouple:
    Seriously, go phaq yourself.

  • most of the “neg” guys wo say they have dated poz guys are stone cold liars. Even if you go through many of the profiles on this site…what do they say? last tested
    DEC 2012 or D&D FREE UB2. Do you really want me to believe that you all would not do Justin Bieber, but you would date an HIV poz person…Yeah, right.

  • I’ve been positive since 1995. I’m thrilled to see all the positive comments from other poz men. I also put my status in all my online profiles, Ned I put it in again in bold caps. Because most men just see your dick or body and ignore the rest of the profile. But I have just adopted the philosophy that being with a poz man isn’t for everyone just like there are some men tat don’t like black men. It’s cool I’m content. Because I know I’m healthy and breath taking so if my status is a hang up, it’s there hang up. I tell them the truth if they can’t handle it, keep it moving. They are taking up a space that could be for someone that can handle it, and me!!!

  • Jay,
    You may want to tell that to the (few but existent) folks who HAVE been prosecuted. It’s extremely uncommon, but to say it doesn’t happen is to be plainly ignorant of the facts.

  • I have no problem with guys w/e the status they have as long as they are up front. Hell, i even slept with a positive guy for a while having him as a FWB. One thing that always bugs me, why lie about your status???

  • Also: This really is a moot point – everyone in this day and age should assume that anyone and everyone they are about to have sex with is positive (Read as: Respect yourself, protect yourself) until proven otherwise. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that you protect yourself vs to rely on someone’s profile, word, or reputation.
    It’s equally as much responsibility for a HIV+ person to let you know as it is for a negative person to ensure they take the appropriate actions to prevent from acquiring it in the first place -’nuff said!

  • Jay: Turning a blind eye to the fact that if you have HIV and you knowingly have unprotected sex with someone and pass the virus on to them, that is very much grounds for prosecution. Ever hear the phrase “with malice aforethought”? Maybe YOU wouldn’t invest the money to prosecute someone, but rest assured there are district attorneys and lawyers for whom such an act hits close to home, they’ll go pro bono to put a murderer away.

  • Absolutely, it should be approached as though EVERYONE is POSITIVE. When another person swears they are negative, they are swearing on YOUR LIFE! Actually, I find that they younger guys (18-30ish) are much more informed and therefore have a much better understanding of the risk level of each type of sexual contact. Kudos to that generation. Does that mean we are doing a good job of educating kids now? I certainly hope so.

  • Cock_Crazy: Seriously? Where do you get your facts? Do me a favor, check out the CDC surveillance page regarding HIV infection by age range. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm#hivaidsage. Perhaps you are not in the U.S. and it is a different story where you are, however, you’re very much incorrect.

    DB

  • David Beck,
    Actually Cock_Crazy seems to be right based on the numbers. Young people still account for the highest number of new infections, likely because young people are more likely to engage in risky behavior in general (for a variety of reasons), it does appear that young people are accounting for a lower percentage of new infections each year (39% in 2009 down to 21% in 2010) which indicates that the new generation coming up is likely more educated about it or has some other factor working in their favor as their infection rate, while still among the highest, is dropping with each new generation.

  • I have been poz for 7years. I have actually never been in a relationship nor even went on a date. Partly due to my own self-reservations about myself but also most guys when they find out you are poz they run. Even the casual hookup can be frustrating at times. I prefer to tell upfront so that he knows that the deal is(although sometimes that wasn’t the case) and he can or WE can decide if we pursue something or not. Its frustrating because there alot ton of GREAT MEN out there who happen to be poz but no one ever takes time to get to know us because they fear the disease. Come what may but US poz guys have to remain strong and uplift each other. I like to think bein poz has made me sexier because I know my status and I know how to take care of myself (I am quite sexy if i don’t say so myself lol). HIV is scary to most but with this disease I’ve learned that everything, every person in your life happens for a reason.

  • I tested POZ in 1984 and have been UNDECTABLE as of 2005. I feel that to this date there are many many people tat still do not want to know any one that is HIV-POZ [ not even as a FRIEND ]
    I usta let my friend know right off the bat [and 1/2 of them RUNnnnnnn like theSaton himself was on there heals!!!]

    So now I wate till it is a Need To Know, and so far they are still my FRIEND. And some are more than that [PLAY SAFE]

  • Get tested!!!! Get tested on a regular basis. I couldn’t figure out why I was losing weight so fast, but then came to the conclusion that it must be my diabetes meds working overtime. Then over the course of a month and a half my breathing was becoming difficult but again I was diagnosing myself and “they (my lungs) must be healing themselves” because I had quit smoking. I finally went to my doctor and he sent me for a CT scan and I found out I had pneumocystis. The 7 day hospital stay and tubes upon tubes of blood were drawn. Then the bombshell dropped and unbelievably, I wasn’t a bit surprised and took it well. I’ve had a partner for some 22 years and the only way I figure I contracted it was from a known poz guy that I had done dental cleanings on when I was in the military. I had stabbed myself with a dental instrument, but had tested negative several times after that. I wish I had kept getting tested, at least every year, because my t-cell level when I entered the hospital was 2 and I was anemic and about dead. Im undetectable and healthy, workout regularly and eat healthy. My HIV doc tells me that “its nobody’s business but mine”. I suppose if I was out dating, I would be obligated to reveal my status, but since my partner knows, I will stay on the advice of my health care provider. As for those who are rejected for being positive, keep looking, keep dating. Your guy is there somewhere and the small minded assholes that come into your life and judge you won’t be there very long and all of you great, wonderful, handsome positive guys out there will be better off without someone like that.

  • I don’t think HIV positive men should tell their partners their status right away for a variety of reasons. First, let’s say the person is a gossip and everyone knows gossiping is a serious problem in the gay community. I can see why HIV positive men might be reticent to tell their status to someone they don’t really know that well. I believe HIV status should be disclosed prior to sexual activity if interested in dating someone. I just don’t think a person status needs to be told to a total stranger.

  • I think people are lying about their status about being HIV negative on Adam4Adam. I believe the HIV positive guys numbers are MUCH HIGHER but people are afraid to disclose which is normal I guess. I think the guys I hate the most are the gay guys who bareback yet scream and complain about how other people need to tell them their status. Well, why do these idiots bareback in the first place they are putting themselves at risk? Anyone who has gone to a bathhouse knows what I am talking about. I believe adults need to be sexually responsible for OURSELVES. It isn’t my responsibility to tell an adult to use a condom. Of course, I am going to use protection for my own HEALTH. But, I’ve seen people with my own eyes in gay spaces who refuse to use protection.

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