Anderson, community outreach and education coordinator at AIDS Foundation Houston."It looks different to someone you're dating over family and friends." It's been different every time for Ken Williams.Telling someone that you're HIV-positive is rarely easy. Disclosing can relieve the burden of keeping a secret, plus you'll hopefully add to your support system. Still, "This is a very personal disease and no one needs to know everything," says Guy Anthony, who is HIV-positive."You own your narratives; you own your body." "Disclosure is a case-by-case situation," says Kevin V."Having lived a public life with my diagnosis since 2011, I still get jitters before disclosing to someone," he says."Stigma is fueled a lot by ignorance, and the more I have been able to explain the condition of HIV to someone that I'm disclosing to, the more comfortable they are." Being prepared for the big talk can make the process much easier.
"Again, think: How do you want your truth to be shared and handled?In general, people with HIV are legally required to tell others if there's a chance they could be exposed to the virus.This includes, for example, someone you have sex with or share a needle with. (The rules vary from state to state, and there are a few federal regulations, too.) Aside from that, "Whether you disclose your status to anyone or not is your choice," Anthony says."You will lose friends, you will not be able to date everyone, people will not be able to see past your HIV status to see your heart -- and you have to know that that's OK." "Most fear regarding HIV is fueled by ignorance," Williams says.When you're able to answer questions and explain what HIV means -- that you're not an urgent threat to anyone, or that with treatment you can live a long and healthy life -- "You will be surprised at how people are willing to engage further in the conversation and relax a bit more around the subject." Anthony suggests you "continue to build yourself up and surround yourself with people who love you for you, and not your status." It helps to remember that any shame, disgrace, or reputation around HIV that you might run into isn't really about you, Anderson says.A survey of dating app users has found that pre-exposure prophylaxis (Pr EP) usage has not increased in Europe in the last year.