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Author Topic: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation  (Read 3298 times)

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Offline kellybryana

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  • Posts: 96
Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« on: August 15, 2011, 07:15:14 PM »
I am moving at the end of the month, and I don't know how I feel about disclosing to my new future room mate. I know I don't need to tell anyone anything necessarily, but I look forward to forming some sort of friendship with the person/people I will be moving in with, and I know that I will disclose at some point or another. I have been looking for a room to rent in someone's home or apartment and I know HIV is a touchy subject...

Since becoming positive, I've had varied experiences with disclosure. Most have been warm and accepting. One of my "friends" is scared to hang out with me because she is afraid I might infect her. A couple of my coworkers avoided me for a little, then came around after a couple weeks. One of my coworkers still thinks I'm joking, even after I showed him my medication (not the bottles, just the pills). My mother asks me if I'm ok, and how I feel every time I speak to her on the phone...

The new room mate thing is a big question mark for me though. Does anyone have any experiences they can share with me about moving in with a new room mate and disclosing their status?

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 07:46:16 PM »
As you ponder worst case scenarios of disclosure beforehand, please ponder the scenarios where this person discovers pills or takes a phone message or reads an envelope.

Roommates have a more intimate relationship than almost any friends. You need, for your sake, to make certain you are moving into a safe environment. Nothing worse than living with that tingle of paranoia or fear in the back of your head. And nothing worse than being unfairly homeless or strapped with a lease you can't afford.

Personally I think it's important for your own safety and security to disclose to her now. Worst case on the outside, you have to find another place - while you have a place to sleep.

Just my two cents.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline karry

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 07:48:00 PM »
Since I was diagnosed (4yrs ago) I have shared my apartment twice with different people, and I never saw the need to inform them of my status, because I felt it was not necessary.
I will only inform my room mate if I wanted to have sex or get into a romantic involvement with them.
Karry
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 07:57:32 PM »
I think you would want to disclose just for your own peace of mind.  It can be awkward bringing up the subject in certain situations no doubt.  You will know if and when the time is right but I would certainly disclose. 

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 08:05:07 PM »
Since I was diagnosed (4yrs ago) I have shared my apartment twice with different people, and I never saw the need to inform them of my status, because I felt it was not necessary.
I will only inform my room mate if I wanted to have sex or get into a romantic involvement with them.
Karry


Thats only effective if you know that your roommates know how HIV can and cannot be transmitted. Some seemingly savvy people still think we pass it in food, or using a shared bathroom/bathtub.

I don't understand how playing with fire like that can bring about a feeling of fundamental security and safety, let alone camaraderie.

Then again, this might be why I dont post here much.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline karry

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 08:20:52 PM »
Thats only effective if you know that your roommates know how HIV can and cannot be transmitted. Some seemingly savvy people still think we pass it in food, or using a shared bathroom/bathtub.
I don't understand how playing with fire like that can bring about a feeling of fundamental security and safety, let alone camaraderie.
Then again, this might be why I dont post here much.

I was only expressing my opinion as I believe everyone here has a right to their views.
Keeping my status to myself when I believe its necessary is not playing with fire. I feel secure enough to know that just because I have HIV I dont have to shout to all the earth that I have it, but can disclose when I deem necessary and when I feel ready. Sharing my living space with someone does not warrant disclosure from me.
Sad to learn that you dont post here much just because others are free to express themselves.
Karry
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 08:29:40 PM by karry »
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2011, 08:35:12 PM »
Hi Kelly:

Here are things to take into consideration when making your decision because the two scenarios below have very different suggestions:

1) If you are moving into someone else's home or apartment and that person's name is on the lease or mortgage - than, I definitely think it is important to have this discussion prior to moving in.  You would not want them to find out and it cause undue friction that might lead you to have to move out.  While they couldn't "kick" you out for being positive - as they are still bound by laws that protect against housing discrimination - they could find a host of other ways to get you out or make you very uncomfortable staying there.

2) If the person is moving into a place that you own or that you will be renting (with your name solely on the lease) than I would say - disclose when you feel comfortable disclosing.

When I had my condo in Hollywood, FL --- I had 3 different roommates over a period of 3 years.  The first was there before I was positive - but I made sure that I let him know before he moved in that I was gay (as he was straight) --- he was very open-minded, gay-friendly and had no issues with it ---- if he did, it would have been his choice not to move in, as I was the owner of the condo.

Second roommate - I told I was gay about 3 months after he moved in --- he had no issues with it.  Right before he moved out to get a place with his girlfriend closer to his job - I found out I was positive - I told him and he was extremely supportive - and he was actually kind of a "redneck."  We are still friends to this day and stay in touch.

Third roommate knew I was gay when he moved in and told him I was positive as well - he was also straight with a girlfriend; played the harmonica; liked classic rock; smoking his weed and drinking his beers -- he also had no problem with me being gay or positive.

I think a big factor is whether you are moving into someone else's place or if you will be the one whose name is on the lease --

Hope the above helps -- I think honesty about being positive when you are going to be sharing a place with someone is extemely important - but it is also an individual decision. 
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Nestor

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  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2011, 08:58:19 PM »
Keeping my status to myself when I believe its necessary is not playing with fire. I feel secure enough to know that just because I have HIV I dont have to shout to all the earth that I have it, but can disclose when I deem necessary and when I feel ready. Sharing my living space with someone does not warrant disclosure from me.

I agree.  I told the roommates I was living with at the time when I first tested positive.  Of course finding out that I had HIV was a big thing and as I my roommates were my friends I naturally wanted to talk with them about it when I got home.  Since then I have never told any of my roommates because there has been no reason to do so: having HIV hasn't usually been that big a deal in my life.  If something happened that made it become a big deal I probably would tell one of my current roommates because we're pretty good friends and telling him would be natural. 

If I were to tell a potential new roommate up front: "there's something you should know before you move in here--I have HIV!"  I would feel, first, that I was giving someone permission to reject me as a roommate because of a medical condition, and secondly that I was making a melodramatic issue where one does not need to exist. 
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline surf18

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  • Posts: 525
Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 09:05:35 PM »
Me personally would not say a word. There really is not any reason too. buttttttt you have already shared this info with people so its different, because say a co worker knows but your roommate doesnt? Its like the roommate should know as much as a co worker as one would assume the roommate will be closer to you than a co worker maybe?
but if it was a clean slate and you were like me and i told your parents then i would zip my lips. having hiv taking your one pill a day leaves you zero reason to tell her. do you wanna know if she has herpes? does that info have any effect in your life? no it proably doesnt.

Offline kellybryana

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 02:40:06 AM »
I am going to be moving into a room in someone elses home. I do get my medication in the mail by a courier service, so its possible that they could answer the door when it comes. Thats the only way they could find out though without me telling them. I'm confused! My mom doesn't think I should tell my future room mate(s). She says that its just something they don't need to know. I kind of feel like its a part of who I am now, and I'm not ashamed of it. I'd love to get more opinions!

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 02:50:38 AM »
I am going to be moving into a room in someone elses home. I do get my medication in the mail by a courier service, so its possible that they could answer the door when it comes. Thats the only way they could find out though without me telling them. I'm confused! My mom doesn't think I should tell my future room mate(s). She says that its just something they don't need to know. I kind of feel like its a part of who I am now, and I'm not ashamed of it. I'd love to get more opinions!

The answer is obvious.

Keep your status to yourself until you know your housemate better. If you get along well, disclose. If not, keep shtumn.

What if they find your meds? Well that's just part of the excitement of being alive. ;)

MtD

Offline kellybryana

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 03:01:13 AM »
Touche Matty.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 03:46:31 AM »

Offline spacebarsux

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  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2011, 04:01:56 AM »
Should you disclose to your new room mate?

I would ask myself these questions first:-

--Do you feel disclosure is necessary at all for you to live comfortably with someone? Will you be more at ease living with someone if they know about this aspect of your life or that is not a factor?

-If the prospective room-mate is a stranger to you, do you think it is beneficial for you for your room-mate to know about your status before you build some sort of rapport?

-Are you good at/comfortable with hiding meds etc without it getting mentally annoying/stifling for you?

« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 04:17:42 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline surf18

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 07:25:39 AM »
meds by fed ex could be anything. people these days take pills for everything. tell them its your anit crazy pills.hahha
really though meds by mail are nt  a red flag to anyone,quite commen. most insurance companies give co pays if you do a mail service. im sorry i just dont see any upside of disclosing this to a non romantic partner.

Offline AsherS

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Re: Disclosure with moving into a new room mate situation
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2011, 04:35:25 PM »
I know how you feel.  I'm @ the point in my life where I try like crazy not to bring it up.  Although if it comes up in a conversation, I do feel it is important to talk about.  Not saying that I just blurt out my status to everyone.  But, you will be living with this person & you should know how they will react before everyone gets too deep.  They may be fine, they may be poz, they may freak out, who knows.                                       My mom wanted to talk to me through a rolled up car window....   Good luck. Ash

 


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