I have read a few of your comments, and I must say you give very good advice, so it is with a very heavy heart that I write to you. See my problem is this, I had been seeing this gentlemen for about four months, we have been intimate with each other for about three of them. You see I am HIV positive and have been since 1987, it is not an easy thing to deal with but has become so over the years. Except one thing, and that is the rejection when I tell someone my status. I have been rejected so many times because of it. But let me tell you, as I said I had been seeing a brotha for a while. When we had first met and started talking, the issue of HIV never came up, we went out and had some fun and drinks and before we knew it, it was off to the bedroom. The sex was good, really good, after the first time I started to feel bad because I realized I had not given him notice or a chance to make a decision on whether he wanted to have sex with someone HIV positive. It took me some time to tell him which I did on may 6th, I told him that I really needed to talk to him about something really serious, and that we should meet when I get home from work in an hour. He didn’t live far from me, only a 15 minute drive. I got home, called him to come over, but he was kind of busy and just wanted me to tell him over the phone. I didn’t want to do that, this was a face to face conversation in my book, but he demanded that I tell him, so I did.
Well as expected, it did not go well and I hurt him. I hurt myself at the same time, it had been weighing on my heart and soul for some time. I knew he deserved to know for his protection, so I did the right thing and told him. I realize it was late in the game. He got angry and called me the faggot word. I apologized over and over, even sent him a very long text doing saying I am so sorry. I am in tears, feeling sad. I want to know how he is. I have been blocked and unfriended. Now what do I do? It is hurting me and I am sure it is hurting him too. I broke his trust and maybe his heart at the same time. I will never again be sexual with anyone without informing them first. Just like I use to tell guys, and they would run from me, it looks like it has happened again. My fault I should have told him first. Now what?
Dear So Sorry,
Thanks for writing to me. Like I’ve said time and time again, I really appreciate hearing positive feedback. So thanks for letting me know that you like the advice that I give. Hopefully, you’ll still like my advice after you hear what I have to say about your dilemma.
First, let me say I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis, and the problems you’ve faced with dating because of it. While I won’t pretend to understand everything you are going through, and have gone through, I most certainly can extend my compassion to your situation. Now please don’t confused my compassion for you, with me being on your side in this scenario. Based on the letter you’ve sent to me, I’m compelled to say that MOST (not all) of this guy’s reaction was justified.
I understand that you are tired of guys not giving you a chance because of your status, but the fact remains, you’ve got to tell them. Although I think your medical history is your business, it needs to become shared business when you are preparing to take that sexual step with another person. And you didn’t do that here for three months. That’s a pretty big deal. By default, you lied to him and stripped him of his right to choose you, knowing your status.
What I’m also having a hard time digesting here, is the fact you waited so long before you finally did tell this man that you’re positive. You could have told him right after the first time you two had relations or the next day, and given him the opportunity to begin PEP meds. From my understanding, a person’s ability to take PEP is limited to three day window after one is put at risk. You guys could have talked after the first sexual encounter, he could have started taking PEP meds, then decided for himself if he was willing to proceed in a relationship with you. He may have understood that you got caught up in the moment and liquor, and didn’t tell him beforehand. But instead, you were selfish here and allowed your fear of him leaving you to prevent you from telling him what he needed to know. So in that regard, for months now you put his health at risk. He has every right to be upset.
Now where this guy is completely wrong, is calling you the infamous gay slur. That is a word that has so much power, and can cut like a knife. Even though I’ve said it once or time in jest with friends, it never feels quite right rolling off my tongue. And it most certainly doesn’t feel good to be called that. Given how angry I assume this guy is, I can just imagine how he said the term, with hatred oozing from his lips. So he wrong for hurling that insult at you.
Honestly, all you can do in this scenario going forward is wait. Like I said, you didn’t handle this situation that well, so he has every right to distance himself from you for right now. He needs time to sort things out. And overcrowding him with phone calls, text messages, and DMs will only push him away further. You apologized multiple times, so there is not much more you can do here besides be patient and pray. However not to be a pessimist, but I want you to mentally prepare yourself for the real possibility that this guy doesn’t want to continue in a relationship with you. Blocking you off social media and not returning your calls, is not the best sign. I know if I were in his shoes, I’d be done. So be prepare for that.
Suggestions going forward.
- When sharing your status with someone you are dating, NEVER do it over the phone. You are right to trust your gut and reserve this conversation for face-to-face meetings only. Telling a person your status while sitting across from them, should better help you control the narrative.
- Check out a fairly recent post about dating while positive (Dating While Positive). People who are positive find love and peace in their personal life all the time. Which is how I know the same is possible for you.
- I know you said you won’t do this again, and make sure you don’t.
As always nothing but love,