Need Wood-banner
Advertisement

Need Wood-bannerHIV Disclosure: Should I ask or Should You Tell?

I know I’m a little late on the subject but I just got through reading my back issues of this magazine and I can’t believe the bull crap you wrote about disclosing HIV. You totally let HIV positive guys off the hook. I can’t believe you actually said it’s more important that negatives ask than positives tell. 

Need Wood-banner

HIV Disclosure: Should I ask or Should You Tell?

Hey woody!

I know I’m a little late on the subject but I just got through reading my back issues of this magazine and I can’t believe the bull crap you wrote about disclosing HIV. You totally let HIV positive guys off the hook. I can’t believe you actually said it’s more important that negatives ask than positives tell. 

 Earth to woody!  Positive guys have the moral obligation to tell people whether asked or not. I’m surprised at you. Since when are you afraid of hurting someone’s feelings? Anybody who gets HIV these days willfully gets it. You can’t plead ignorance and you can’t plead innocence. I say quit coddling positive guys, Woody. Tell them what they need to hear: If you go home with someone you must tell them you’re HIV Positive. It’s time to stop thinking with your d!*k and be more concerned about spreading the disease than spreading your seed.

 — Still shaking my head

 Dear Shaking:

 First off, I did NOT say positive guys shouldn’t disclose.  Listen to Dr. Brad Thomason (my ex-boyfriend, of all things) for my reasoning.  Thomason is a psychologist at the Center of HIV Educational Studies. (By the way, we broke up after my parrot exposed his infidelity.  Every time I came home the parrot kept saying, “Give it to me hard before Woody comes home.”) Anyway, Thomason works with a lot of HIV patients and you wouldn’t believe the horror stories they tell him about disclosing. That’s why he believes—and convinced me–that it’s more important for negatives to ask than for positives to disclose. It’s not because negatives should shoulder more of the burden. It’s because it’s so much easier for them. I’m negative.  What’s the worst that can happen to me if I tell someone my status and ask for theirs?  There’s very little likelihood anybody’s going to reject me (most guys are negative). 

Now, ask Thomason about the HIV patients he sees after they disclose.  Many go through the emotional wringer—from getting cussed out to being abandoned, to getting beat up. “What is merely awkward for a negative person to bring up,” says Thomason, “is dangerous for the positive person.”  My own experience with friends supports his contention. Some HIV’ers are so emotionally vulnerable they feel like walking piñatas. It’s one thing to get your candy cracked open by a big stick in bed, but it’s an entirely different thing to have it done on your heart. I have a friend with HIV who dated a “keeper” several times before telling him. The words of his stinging rejection still ring in his ears: “I’m not dating anyone I have to bury.” My friend burst into tears. “I felt like damaged goods.  But then I got mad and thought, damn, I should’ve told him, ‘most couples don’t die simultaneously, you ass, so no matter what, somebody’s burying somebody in a relationship.” My point with these sad-sack stories is that positives take a whole lot more emotional and physical risks disclosing than negatives do.  Psychologist Thomason’s first underlying principle is that each person is responsible for their own health. I agree. If you won’t take responsibility for your own health, you don’t have the right to bash somebody who won’t take responsibility for it either.

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here