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Main Forums => Living With HIV => Topic started by: riseandshine on July 03, 2019, 05:47:35 pm

Title: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: riseandshine on July 03, 2019, 05:47:35 pm
Hello everybody,

I hope you are doing great, I'm a 27 years old international student living in France, I've HIV since 2014 and being undetectable from the third month I started taking ARVs.

Two months ago, I started dating a guy, at first I had no expectations, I admit I'd always felt attracted to him but I wanted to be friends with him at first. The night that we decided to meet I went to his place and we had great talk, he told me that he liked me and that he wanted to keep seeing me.

We have been seeing each other ever since but we had unprotected sex one night as we were both drunk, I wasn't sure at first that it happened or if it was just my imagination, I was so scared and I tried to tell him but I couldn't, I know it was a huge mistake, last time that we went out I asked him if he remembered us having unprotected sex and he told me that he didn't remember but he thinks not which was my biggest fear.

Right now I'm on holidays and things are getting more serious and I can't help to think about that I need to disclose my status to him, I'm so scared to lose him because this big mistake. I haven't been with anyone since my diagnosis so this is something completely new to me. I know that I'm undetectable and that there is a zero risk of transmission plus I have no STIs because I did my check up when I met him.

If anyone was in a similar situation, please let me know how you managed this.

1. How could be a good way to disclose it after we have had both protected (once) and unprotected sex (once).

2. I know that there is a high chance that I can lose him as well, so I would appreciate as well if you can let me know how to prepare myself in case he ends up being hateful and hurtful. I don't want to be in a dark place again.

Yours sincerely,
riseandshine
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: kentfrat1783 on July 03, 2019, 10:49:00 pm
Hi,

Do you know what the laws state you need to do in France if you are positive? 

I live in the US and by law, I have to disclose my condition to any of my sexual partners.  That part freaks me out.  I have been getting more comfortable with my condition but still scary.  I still think if I get another sexual partner (other then my current partner) I'd want him to go to my next Dr appt so we are all on the same page.

Now the reason I asked do you know the laws in France as if you disclose now, and France has laws stating you needed to disclose prior the guy could bring charges against you.  I'm not saying he would but some may if they got scared.  Nor am I saying this to scare you but is a reality.

Now my hope is in today's society they will know better that it is a manageable condition and not a death sentence.  If there is no law then I would disclose as soon as possible.  If there is a law, then I'd first seek guidance on what to do. 

I'm sure it isn't the answer you wanted but just my initial thoughts.

Kenneth
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: harleymc on July 04, 2019, 01:42:33 am
If you've had an undetectable viral load for more than six months then there is no way that sex was 'unprotected'.

You really owe it to you two to inform your partner as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Jim Allen on July 04, 2019, 06:41:25 am
Yeah, disclosing tad more difficult after the fact.

1.
Disclosing, my way of doing it is face to face, starting with I have a manageable medical condition that is not a concern but wanted to share it, blah blah blah so i start at the beginning and work towards the taking meds and, being undetectable part and what that means. Most people will have no idea.

Keep in mind you can't control peoples reaction, just the message you deliver. Also he might know nothing about the topic and, have questions so be mentally prepared for that.

1.a

You might want to probe how he feels about the topic ahead of time.
Perhaps bring up "He, did you see in the news blah blah blah on HIV, I found it interesting"  See how his attitude is.

You could use something like the recent news about Mickey who was cured of HIV the other-day.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325653.php

2.
Dating well rejection is always a risk for many reasons when trying to date someone.
Overall I've never had really had bad reactions to disclosure, with the exception of one person who thought kissing me was a concern and, she panicked  ::) ... a few "No Thank You" though sure, there are simply some people who don't want or can't handle a partner with manageable conditions, best to find out sooner rather than later is my motto.

BTW:
Was reading this a few weeks ago this Court of Cassation decision in France on the topic.

http://www.hivjustice.net/storify/france-highest-court-confirms-that-people-living-with-hiv-with-an-undetectable-viral-load-can-never-be-prosecuted-as-the-risk-of-transmission-is-nul/

Also plenty of threads to draw from, as example; 
https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=69238.msg
https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=70676.msg

Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Jim Allen on July 04, 2019, 06:44:05 am
Oh and, welcome to the forum.

Best, Jim
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: riseandshine on July 06, 2019, 10:18:24 am
Thank you all for your replies,

I do know some things regarding the law in France, even my doctors told me not to worry as I've been undetectable for years so there is no risk and that if he wants to come with me to my next appointment they will be happy to explain everything to me, even if we want to start taking PREP, which they think is not that necessary after the U=U, but if it help us to be more confident we can do it, I will tell him about my medical condition, regardless of his reaction, it's my moral obligation. Of course it's scary and really difficult as it will be my first time experiencing it. But it will be an experience from which I am and continue to learn.

I do agree that there still is so much stigma that surround us and it's heartbreaking, as it not only creates HIV stigma but internal stigma. I just hope that we will make some progress regarding this in the next couple of years.

Finally, thank you so much for your advices on how to disclose my status, it really helps a lot and I am more calm now. :)

Yours sincerely,
riseandshine
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Expat1 on July 07, 2019, 03:34:04 pm
You want to disclose, you already had sex. 

Best option now is to tell him  you're  going to get an HIV test.  Go get it and then show  him you are postitive. 

Tell him he should also get tested.  He gets his results.  Share.   Then show  him an undetectable viral load test dated after the disclosed test. 

Show  him the U=U stuff. 

Good luck.

Problem is in some places you can go to jail if you do not disclose prior to sex.   

The criminal justice system hasnt matched up with science yet.   
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Mindless on July 08, 2019, 10:45:24 am
You want to disclose, you already had sex. 

Best option now is to tell him  you're  going to get an HIV test.  Go get it and then show  him you are postitive. 

Tell him he should also get tested.  He gets his results.  Share.   Then show  him an undetectable viral load test dated after the disclosed test. 

Show  him the U=U stuff. 

Good luck.

Problem is in some places you can go to jail if you do not disclose prior to sex.   

The criminal justice system hasnt matched up with science yet.

Not my business but why lying? Besides, U=U is only valid after 6 months of being UD, so showing a recent test would have no meaning in that regard (it would have after 6 months if still UD).

My understanding is they both were drunk when the episode happened and he had already been UD for more than 6 months. So, why not simply explain the U=U stuff first and then admit it was a mistake made while drunk?

If the relationship is meant to last the other person would certainly understand IMHO.

Hugs
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Mindless on July 08, 2019, 10:58:03 am
Sorry Expat and all... thinking twice maybe I shouldnít have written what I did after reflecting on my personal behavior. Maybe I will explain in another post/thread, this is Riseandsun thread
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Jim Allen on July 08, 2019, 12:00:45 pm
I think the lying suggested is simply due to legal fears although not sure if this concern applies to France where the OP lives.

Considering the OP wants what seems to be a long term relationship, personally I would find lying and, particularly creating such an elaborate lie about being newly diagnosed a bad way to start, but that's just me.
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: mecch on July 12, 2019, 06:16:20 pm
I don't like Expat1's complicated and dishonest option. With all due respect.

If the guy potentially had unsafe sex with you, then he's been making this choice before. 

My suggestion would be to say, I think maybe we screwed bareback and just so you know, I'm poz and undetectable.  What about your situation. Do you have any questions?

Maybe you should decide what your M.O. is - your general operating plan and stick to it.  Lots of people are screwing no condoms without a lot of questions, nowadays.  Lots of people are not doing that. Where do you stand?
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Expat1 on July 12, 2019, 08:27:20 pm
My suggestion was only based on the fact that a number of people who do as the OP did, are sitting in prisons in places like Florida.   I don't know the laws in France.

In a place like Florida he could be looking at significant prison time.   They can't change the past, but he makes decisions about the past that could affect his future.
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Expat1 on July 12, 2019, 08:37:01 pm
By the way mindless, nowhere did I say to lie.   

If you think it is tell him you're going to get tested.  I think I would really go get tested again.  ELIZA and show him the results of that new test.

The other alternative I would have is to forget about him.  Walk away. 
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Mindless on July 14, 2019, 12:06:05 pm
My suggestion was only based on the fact that a number of people who do as the OP did, are sitting in prisons in places like Florida.   I don't know the laws in France.

In a place like Florida he could be looking at significant prison time.   They can't change the past, but he makes decisions about the past that could affect his future.

I had no idea about the criminalization going on in (some) of the States... Also I have no idea about France situation but if thatís the case, that would make things even more complicated than they already are. But at least thatís something that should be easy to clarify checking on Internet resources or talking to a lawyer: if you may go to jail for having unprotected sex (though being UD) then thatís something to take into account of course.

M
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Mindless on July 14, 2019, 12:08:10 pm
Interesting, very similar case here: https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=72732.0 (https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=72732.0)
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: stylus19 on July 14, 2019, 02:04:43 pm
I would go ahead and tell him now and present all the information about U=U. Give him some time to process it and let him know that you are sorry. It will be better to do it now that the unprotected sex has happened only once and he will be more understanding.

I am in a somewhat similar situation right now with keeping my status a secret from the man that I love for almost 7 months. It's a really hard situation and I am sorry you are going through this. Hopefully, he will understand. If you do tell him, please let us know how it goes!
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Expat1 on July 14, 2019, 11:29:10 pm
Excerpt from an APA paper:

 A former partner, with whom I had a contentious relationship, filed charges against me for allegedly not having disclosed my HIV positive status when we first met.

Over the next few months, there were harassing calls by my accuser to turn myself in, threats towards my friends, and a search warrant left at my home. Eventually the police arrested me at work in front of my co-workers.....

.....I spent my savings to hire a lawyer and ultimately accepted a plea bargain, rather than risk a 10-year sentence. I served six months in prison for a conviction under Louisiana’s “Intentional Exposure to AIDS Virus” statute and was obligated to register as a sex offender for 15 years (the minimum level of registration in Louisiana). On my Louisiana driver’s license, underneath my photograph, it says in large red capital letters “sex offender.”

Today every person living with HIV in a state with laws that criminalize HIV is just one misunderstanding or disgruntled partner away from finding him or herself in a courtroom. A minor infraction of the law or negative encounter with law enforcement while HIV-positive could lead to a felony conviction, a lengthy prison sentence, public shaming and/or registration as a sex offender. My situation is not rare; there are hundreds of reported and unreported prosecutions in the South and all over the U.S. similar to mine or worse. My message is not just about what happened to me. It is about how easily HIV or criminalization of this disease could happen to anyone.

https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/exchange/2017/03/hiv-criminalization

Worth a read.
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: riseandshine on October 05, 2019, 10:24:32 am
Hey everybody,

I hope you are doing well, just a quick update. I did disclose my status to my now boyfriend when I came back, it was really difficult, I won't lie and it happened when I didn't expected and actually told him the whole story and about U=U. He was shocked at first and did asked me about why I didn't tell him sooner but explain it was fear. He told me, this wouldn't be the reason why we should stop seeing each other and that he would inform himself and get tested. Now we are a happy couple and not scared of HIV anymore, specially him which shocks me but I guess it's a good thing. So my advice to those scared to disclose, I do thing it's better to do it before you get too attached, you never now how the other person is going to react. I know for us is hard but we have to remain strong, we have been after our diagnosis and we still need to keep that mindset that we are and always will be fighters.

Yours sincerely,
riseandshine
Title: Re: Scared of disclosing my status to my date
Post by: Jim Allen on October 05, 2019, 03:01:16 pm
Glad to hear things worked out 👍