Misconceptions About Potential Sex Partners Who Will Accept An HIV Status
Thank you for your contribution to HIV disclosure to potential sex partners.
I am a long term survivor of HIV, with many years of experience with disclosure. My style of disclosing to potential sex partners is by doing it almost immediately, to get it out of the way to avoid further, unnecessary investment in a situation which will end in rejection.
I have learned, through trial and error that there is no way of knowing how anyone will react, regardless of their level of education, their own experiences, their relationship to me in the past, their own HIV status or the place they call home. There is no formula, no three step process for successful disclosure or particular characteristics of individuals that would, on the surface, lead one to believe that rejection could be avoided. When I disclose the reactions I receive are beyond my control.
Here are are some indicators that made me feel comfortable enough to take the risk of disclosing, all of them ending in rejection. I included a couple of examples where the potential sex partner did accept my HIV status, but for reasons explained briefly, it was not a good idea to pursue a relationship with them.
A doctor because they were in the medical field and understood the disease and could demystify the fear.
A well educated person who had the potential to read and get informed about HIV.
A person who had an HIV-positive person in their family or circle of friends.
A medical professional who worked in the field of HIV.
A person from a small community who had not been influenced by stigma and discrimination.
A person living with HIV themselves.
A friend since childhood who did not know my HIV status until I decided to disclose when the relationship took a romantic turn.
My best friend’s brother.
A person who had a more serious chronic medical conditions than HIV.
A person who accepted my HIV status but later my laptop mysteriously disappeared.
A person who accepted my HIV status, but he was, in fact, gay and not into having sex with women.
I will continue to disclose but I will not rely on any of the above mentioned indicators to ensure a successful outcome.