Dear Luckey:Is It Cool To Disclose One’s HIV Status?
Love the site! I have a serious question though, and I know you can answer this! I have a friend, who was recently diagnosed with HIV by this guy he was dating for about a couple of months, before this he had been single for while with no sexual contact with anyone. The guy, he had been dating,is a well known porn-star that currently works for a company in Atlanta. Anyway my friend did not know about this until after the fact and he also found out that his dude was escorting on the side to support his drug habit. Of course my friend is hurt by all of this and although he was tested a couple of months ago, he is still in a state of shock. He has secluded himself from his friends and family and it angers me along with several of his closest friends. My friend is not the type to sleep around and is well respect in his community. We feel like we should go public with this information about his boyfriend to not only gain revenge of our friend but to also warn others out there. Are we wrong for that? What would YOU do? Is it wrong to disclose such information?
Can’t wait for your response!
Thank you for writing to me! This is definitely a touchy subject for me because I have a lot of friends who are HIV positive. No they weren’t whores or drug addicts, they were caught up with the wrong person. I understand your frustration though. You probably feel like your friend doesn’t deserve all of this and to a certain extent, he doesn’t.
I want to preach but I won’t because I am sure you and your friend have been through enough. I want to say that I am sorry that your friend has to go through this but know that with good health and spirits (and meds.), HIV is not the death sentence it used to be. Yes he has to be extra careful with his health but it’s not the end of his life. It sounds like he has a great support system *wink* so he will be fine! Just be there for him and encourage him to seek a support group or an agency that can help him deal with his diagnosis.
As for his ex(?) boyfriend, He was definitely an ass for not telling your your friend that he was positive. I will say this though, It’s not easy disclosing that type of information to just anybody BUT I believe that if one is going to have sex with someone, they need to be man/woman enough to tell them. EVEN if the other person decides to walk away. It’s for their own health and wellness as well. Unfortunately people who are positive still deal with the misconceptions and stigma but there are people out there who are well educated about the disease and don’t mind dating someone who is positive. I don’t respect someone who doesn’t disclose their status PERIOD.
As for as his choice of the porn and escorting, THIS is why you have to get to know people and we are living in the day and age where you HAVE to get the low down on people. I don’t know HOW many men I have run into,who I find out is either doing bareback movies or doing porn in general. There were a few, I find out to be escorts as well and even have caught a few on the stroll on Cypress Street and caught their ads on Adam4Adam. The good Lord has definitely been on my side *Praise Jesus!*. We must rely on our friends (and family) to get the scoop on our potential mate. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask too many questions and trust your gut instincts. it’s no hard feelings but you gotta protect yourself. It’s not even about the porn thing, it’s the fact that you are being deceitful and that’s NEVER cool!
Your friend should learn a valuable lesson in all of this. NEVER assume that one is negative just because he tells you he is. Action speaks LOUDER then words. Get tested together. Practice safe sex if you can. I know it seems like raw sex is the new black and everyone is doing it but don’t jump off that cliff! Every thing you do in life is a CHOICE. You can CHOOSE to sleep with someone and believe their words or you can CHOOSE to get tested together and practice safe sex. Relationship is about trust anyway so that person should not have a problem and if they do, they are NOT for you! Get far away from them!
In closing I would not disclose this type of information. In most states to my knowledge, you must disclose your status if you are positive. I would seek legal advice for this and go about it the legal way. Let Miss. Karma deal with that dude and focus that energy on your friend! TRUST ME, he needs you more!
I hope I’ve helped and I will be praying for ya’ll!
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Remember, you are responsible for your OWN life!