I hope that you are well. As always, I enjoy your site and the advice that you give so I am reaching out. Here is my dilemma. I am HIV Undetectable. When dating, I oftentimes wonder when to disclose to my dating partner. I don’t want to mention it too soon and scare him off. I also don’t want to wait too late, especially if it’s a “deal-breaker” for him. Do you have any advice on the right time to disclose HIV status so no one is wasting their time but giving a fair chance for things to develop?
-Soon to Be Late
Dear Soon to Be Late,
Thanks for writing to me and showing some love for my site. Like I always say, the positive feedback helps energize me to keep this train going. So again, thank you.
Now I’ll start my advice off by saying I can really only imagine the challenges you may face when dating. Although it’s 2020 and there is so much information available on HIV and methods of prevention, there are still a lot of people not sure how to date someone that’s HIV Undetectable. Unfortunately, anytime there is ignorance or a lack of understanding, there is also fear. And fear is exactly what you may face in the dating world.
Having said that, remember two things. First, your business is your business. You are entitled to keep your medical history private. Not everyone needs to know it, nor are you obligated to share it with every Tom, Dick, and Harry. The second thing you want to remember however, is you owe your future sexual partners the truth about anything that can compromise their health. Every potential partner you have deserves the opportunity to make his own sexual decision once he has all the facts.
So what should you do? I advise you to date people as you did before you knew you were HIV Undetectable, with one stipulation. Take sex off the table until you’re ready to disclose your status. And when you’re ready, have a face-to-face conversation (or at least a phone conversation) with this person and explain your situation. While it will probably be a tough discussion to have, you have to have it. Be prepared to talk about what it means to be HIV Detectable and methods of prevention for him, and brace yourself to answer any follow-up questions he may have.
Suggestions going forward
- Keep this thought in mind, if you’re ready for sex than you’re ready to have the conversation.
- I know you’re worried about sharing too much too fast and guys leaving, or folks leaving if you don’t share fast enough; but remember, your goal shouldn’t be to be with any ole body. What I mean, is you want someone ready to love all of you. And as long as you’re truthful, your status won’t be the stumbling block to finding true love you think it is.
- Also, if you plan to be on the Ciara and Russell Wilson track, then I’d advise you to share your status once you two have achieved a level of comfortability and intimacy in your relationship where you two have shared secrets from Pandora’s Box without fear of repercussion. Only you’ll know when that moment occurs. (Hint: it usually happens when you two start sharing secrets that only a handful of people know.)
As always nothing but love,