Should you tell your partner you’re HIV+?

Whether you’ve been living with HIV for a while or just recently found out that you’re HIV positive, choosing who to tell that information to (and at what point) is difficult. It can be even more challenging when it comes to dating, where you might be faced with the overwhelming decision of whether or not you should tell your partner. It’s completely understandable if you’re at this point and feeling anxious about it Choma. Ultimately Choma, it is very important to be upfront and disclose your status to your partner so that they are aware of the risk. #zerostigma #zerodiscrimination #knowyourstatus

Make them aware of the risk

You must first be in a position to understand and accept within yourself your current status. It’s important to go for counselling and to speak with your healthcare provider to receive the necessary treatment as well as counselling support. You must always practice safe sex by using a condom every time you have sex. Letting your partner know your status gives them an opportunity to go to their nearest clinic and get tested. It’s always a great idea to get tested together as a couple as it builds trust and grows the relationship. It’s also important to get tested regularly at least every three to six months. If you are HIV positive, you must continue to take your anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) on a regular basis and continue to see your healthcare provider at your nearest clinic.

Emotional Support

You might decide to tell your partner so that they could be there for you on an emotional level. Some people are afraid of telling their partners because they are afraid that their partner will leave them, but talking to your partner about your experiences and letting them offer help, advice or just be there could actually bring you closer and help form a stronger bond between the two of you.

It’s okay to feel like you’re afraid about disclosing your status to your partner but being in a healthy relationship also means being honest with your partner about the things that might affect them. A healthy relationship is also one where you’re able to trust your partner to support you and not stigmatize you. Remember to always practice safe sex and to take your ARVs. Choma, you are worthy and deserve to be loved regardless of your status.

For tips on how to disclose your status to your partner read:

How to disclose your hiv positive status to someone you love

For more dating tips read:

Dating while living with HIV

You can also read:

When you’re born with HIV

Stress Management and HIV

How can I best protect my HIV- partner from HIV

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).