Disclosing your status to romantic/sexual partners can have a profound affect on your mental health as a HIV+ person as we're all afraid of rejection. However it is usually the lead up to disclosing that is the hard part rather than what happens afterwards.
I find it much easier to be completely open and honest from the get-go. I always tell people I'm meeting for dates or sex before I meet them in person, because if they reacted badly I found it easier to accept that online.
Some time ago I made the decision to declare my HIV status "HIV+, otherwise healthy, viral load undetectable" on my profiles on sites like Gaydar and Squirt. I have discovered however that half the time people don't take the trouble to read the profile. The see my age and my photo and think "that's OK" and don't even bother with the "About myself" bits.
I could announce it in upper case letters surrounded by asterisks I suppose, but I am reluctant to do that because when I see that on a person's profile it gives the impression that their chief preoccupation is their HIV status and that they don't so much want a sex session as to sit and chat about HIV all night. In my case while I am happy for a prospective partner to know my status provided THEY are OK with it, it's not something I want to dwell on, it's a part of my life but not my whole life.
I've noticed this too, GayBob. At times when I've used dating apps I've listed myself as Positive Undetectable and people often miss it! I always disclose in chatting to them as well.
i hate this every time itold people i was hep c poz they whould run for the hills
That sounds pretty frustrating pete100. Have you found any helpful disclosure strategies?
It makes me want to just not disclose anything anymore. I mean if I am undetectable, why the hell should I have to disclose anything anyway? Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
AB66 I think that's a good point. If we're in control of our status and there is no risk to others I don't think we should feel obliged to disclose to sexual partners. However I do think the approach for romantic partners should be different as a part of getting to know someone romantically is becoming vulnerable and telling them things we normally keep close to our chest - I think that's important. Also when you get to know someone you eventually reach a point where they may be upset you didn't tell them earlier as it can indicate a lack of faith in what they stand for.
It's definitely a tricky thing this.
My personal approach is I don't want to have sex with nor be romantic with anyone who reacts to my status in a horrible way so I tell them early and be done with it!