You may want to keep your HIV status a secret. Particularly from someone you are having sex with. You may be are terrified you will lose him or her. Or that you will be in trouble or have other negative consequences.
But living with HIV comes with some responsibilities. Sure everyone should use condoms regardless of HIV status but if you know your status, and want to protect your partner from onward transmission, or protect yourself from re-infection from your partner who may also have HIV, than be proactive and stay in control!
Here are some tips:
- Nip it in the bud. The longer you wait, the harder it'll be. Then it will become a terrible secret that you have hidden.
- But prepare yourself first. Read up on HIV and chat to a clinic nurse for advice. Try to make it so you can answer some of the questions your partner may have. This will help put them at ease.
- If you do not know how to do it, take your partner to the clinic. Ask a counsellor or nurse to help you have the conversation. They will be able to answer all you and your partner’s questions.
Every time you have sex with your partner you will be putting them at risk if condoms are not used correctly and consistently. It’s only fair that you tell them. Honesty is vital to making any relationship work. In any relationship, it’s important to discuss HIV and AIDS with your partner. Always get tested together and always use a condom and be prepared to go for PEP (Post-exposure Prophylaxis) if condom use fails.