These real impacts make disclosure of one’s status nearly impossible for many, particularly for newly diagnosed individuals who are already trying to absorb the shock of their possible death.
For some individuals it is likely that nondisclosure was tied to denial of HIV status and what the implications of that status might mean in terms of safe sex practices.
I’d been openly taking my pills in front of this guy I’d been seeing for weeks. When I said I was off to my HIV doctor that afternoon it suddenly became apparent that this was not the case.
He thought it was not polite to ask what the pills were for... (Gay man, Australia, 2005) In a 2003 book examining disclosure amongst a wide range of HIV-positive people in the United States, Klitzman and Bayer include the example of an HIV-positive man who told his HIV-negative female partner that he expected to have a shorter lifespan, without explaining why.
(Man, Michigan, United States, 2009) It is also conceivable that an HIV-positive person may intentionally lead a sexual partner to believe that he or she is HIV-negative.
Sometimes this is accompanied by an intention to ‘correct the record’ at a later date when trust and emotional connection have developed.
(Gay man, United Kingdom) Unless they totally understand the situation and are totally educated on the problem, both totally educated on the do’s and don’ts of this problem, they’ll say ‘no’ [to sexual activity] and then they’ll go...