January/February #185 : Full Disclosure - by Jennifer Morton

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Full Disclosure

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January / February 2013

Full Disclosure

by Jennifer Morton

Deciding to tell someone you have HIV can be a difficult and daunting decision regardless of whether you just tested positive or have been living with the virus for decades. There’s no right way to do it, and each person you disclose to may react differently. The important thing to remember is to trust your instincts—it’s your choice to decide whom to tell and when.

We asked you to recount the details of your disclosures. Here are your responses:


If people respond negatively when you disclose, do they change their attitude?
Always - 11%
Sometimes - 61%
Never - 28%

Do you believe the manner in which you disclose influences how someone reacts?
Yes - 82%
No - 18%

Has disclosure gotten easier the more you’ve done it?
Yes - 53%
No - 47%

Do you believe disclosing your status can improve your overall health?
Yes - 68%
No - 32%

Top 5 factors that influence disclosure
  1. The need for emotional help/support
  2. I believe people around me deserve to know
  3. Seeing people comfortable with my HIV status helps me feel more comfortable with it
  4. Disclosing gives me a chance to educate others about HIV
  5. Keeping my status a secret negatively affects my health

When did you first disclose your status to someone?
Immediately - 65%
Never - 1%
Days - 15%
Weeks - 6%
Months - 7%
Years - 6%

79% of you feel obligated to reveal your status to a potential sexual partner.

56% of you have had sex with someone without disclosing.

Search: disclosure, health benefits, HIV education, emotional support, stigma

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  comments 1 - 2 (of 2 total)    

zeze42, , 2013-01-29 01:27:56
The last person I told, asked me to leave his house with an "I don't want that in my life," The 2nd to last person stopped talking to me. You gloss over this issue like it's a non-issue and in fact so many of us are isolated by the stigma. The only thing worse is the condescending "Oh, um, it's ok. U can live a long healthy life." F*&K YOU! SPARE ME! Sontag puts it well. "HIV+ people suffer a social death that precedes the physical one." This disease SUCKS! But 2morrow is a new day.

James, Greensboro, 2013-01-17 12:05:27
I've always tried being 100% honest & upfront with sexual partners, but how does someone remain honest when so many guys, gay, bi, dl, choose to be mean about my status, and yet head down to the local adult bookstores or post/reply on craigslist and not care about the risks they take. Plus, I prefer to be honest online in my profiles, but if I choose to go out to a cruising spot, I get singled out as the one who is poz and have been talked about behind my back. Makes me want to lie about it.

comments 1 - 2 (of 2 total)    

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