“I am undetectable, so do I still have tell someone I’m HIV-positive if it is just a hook-up?”


How important is HIV status when you are searching for your next hook up?  Is HIV status something you scan the other person's profile for?  Does his HIV status make or break the deal?  Do you put "DDF – you be too" on your dating / hook-up profiles?  Pos, Positive, +, Undetectable, or even if it is left blank, do you automatically move on?  Do you search for other Positive men? If HIV status is left blank, like the lack of a face pic, I often think the person has something to hide.  Honesty is the best policy and if you don't have that, then what do you have?  But of course everyone is 8 inches online, honest!


But what about Pos, +, Positive and Undetectable?  Are those the same thing?

HIVEqual.org chose to field a question covering all of this confusion …

Leo from Texas writes, “I am undetectable, so do I still have tell someone I’m HIV-positive if it is just a hook-up?”

Talk about a controversial topic. On one hand, having an undetectable viral load means that it would be virtually impossible for you to transmit the virus. Disclosing your status when there is no threat of your hook-up contracting the virus may still be ideal, but it is not a moral imperative. This answer may alarm some people, but in regard to the transactional nature of hook-ups, it is the truth. If he didn’t ask, you didn’t tell, and a condom was involved, you hardly deserve to feel bad about doing something that did not put him at risk. As far as what is right and wrong, the only thing that matters is that you don’t spread the virus.

On the other hand, there is a general legal precedent that disclosing your status is the right thing to do. And there are some very real legal consequences that can result from a hook-up scorned. People are funny about HIV, and if a one-night stand finds out about your status after the fact, it has the potential to cause you some unnecessary grief and possibly even some potentially serious legal ramifications. It doesn’t matter whether your hook-up asked about your status or not, the law still unfairly places the bulk of the responsibility on your shoulders.

The question of whether you have to disclose your status isn’t so much about what is fundamentally right or wrong. If you do have an undetectable viral load and he never inquires, your moral character will remain intact. But you might want to look at the issue of sex and disclosure from a different angle.

Disclosing your HIV-positive status is your opportunity to protect yourself. It is your opportunity to make sure you never have any second thoughts or lingering regrets after the sexual transaction is over. It is also your chance to find out if he is the type of guy who would have a visceral reaction to your status. If he is, then it is in your best interests to steer clear of his penis and avoid the headache. It’s not worth it. Watch some porn and call it a night.

Just to be clear, even if the sex is completely anonymous, no one asked a thing and no HIV transmission occurs, the law in some states still requires you to disclose your status. You might think that this may never happen to you, or that the people you choose aren’t the type to press charges. But you are asking me for advice, and since you are, my advice would be to not take the risk. Spit it out.

Here is another little tip. If you are arranging your sexual encounter on a hook-up app, and chances are high that you are, disclosing on the app is the safest way to protect yourself. This is a way to document your disclosure. You might think it is a little impersonal, but let’s face it; you probably aren’t on Grindr to find a husband anyways.

You do not have a moral obligation to disclose your status if there is no risk of transmission and he never asked. You do, however, have a tremendous legal interest in proving that you did disclose. It may not be right or fair, but it is the reality of HIV criminalization laws today. Disclosing isn’t about placating his fears; it is about protecting your health and safety. – hivequal.org

If I get this right, you should tell the guy for these two reasons:

1) to cover your a$$ legally

2) so you lessen the chances of you feeling bad about not telling him later on?

Are those the right reasons to tell someone you are undetectable?

Or do you feel if you are undetectable, you do not need to say anything?

What I did like in Tyler Curry's answer was that if someone asks, you need to be honest.  And we all should always be asking, yes?

And we all should treat every gun as if it were loaded.

What do you think Instincters?


Thanks HIVEqual.org and Tyler Curry  #AskTyler 


33 thoughts on ““I am undetectable, so do I still have tell someone I’m HIV-positive if it is just a hook-up?””

  1. I am just horrified by some

    I am just horrified by some of the pig ignorant and narrow minded bullshit, most of from the Americans so no real surprise there. 

    I sm so sorry to tell some of that being legally enforced to our yourself and divulge personal information will Ben a thing of the past soon as it has been likened to other historical instances where people have been forced to expose themselves and it’s considered pretty unfair. The onus will now be on each individual to look after their body. All these threats of violence after the fact……if you didn’t ask and you didn’t look after yourself then you’re an idiot. Deciding to then get violent because of you’re own retarded behaviour is just …..very American ….. 

    Really wish I hadn’t even read this crap

  2. If you don’t disclose you are

    If you don't disclose you are HIV positive to a HIV negative partner who is deathly afraid of having sex with someone who knows they are positive then you risk being killed out of the negative persons fear, rage and unwillingness to take the risk! Tell anyone would will sleep with hook up with because, being HIV Undetectable won't stop a bullet entering your brain heart, won't stop a baseball bat bashing in your skull or any other fear response to learning the ugly truth after the fact. Being HIV Positive and Undetectable MIGHT kill you in 30 years but a HIV negative person lied to about your HIV Positive Status can become deadly to you in a heartbeat! If risking upsetting HIV negative people by exposing them to your HIV positive body is your kind of edge play then don't be upset if and when you get your head bashed in! Just remember your HIV+ body is not the only loaded gun in the room when hooking up. The other person just might explode upon hearing you exposed them to a 4% risk of becoming HIV positive.

    For some people exposure to HIV no matter how undetectable you think you are is still a death sentence. An HIV negative man exposed to HIV may feel he has nothing to live for now that he is exposed to HIV Death. A man with nothing to live for won't care about killing the agent that infected him. Is any man no matter how hot worth that risk! Always disclose your status before having sex that way you insure the person you are sleeping with shares your enlightened views on HIV undetectability.

  3. Undetectable means at the

    Undetectable means at the exact moment of that test that sole vial of blood was an undetectable viral load. Your viral load changes throughout each day depending on many factors including stress patient compliance with medications and other factors. According to the CDC there is still a 3 to 4% chance of contracting HIV from a "undetectable person "



    • Stop spewing no sense and

      Stop spewing no sense and ignorance. What changes throughout the day is CD4 counts .. Viral load  continuously undetectable have over 95% to stay undetectable and statistics go higher the longer the patient has been undetectable. The other predicament bullies use is "it's supposed to be different in semen" but Swiss study states viral load would rise first in blood and then in semen and the correlation of undetectability is over 90%. The worst is that they are now discovering that the load they read in vaginal secretion can't infect due undetectable in blood .. Long suspected the same in semen hence the none recorded transmission. Stop talking like a trump supporter and educate yourself with the facts, that might help you to prevent hiv o yourself.

  4. You don’t disclose your

    You don't disclose your disease to me and expose me to it, and you'll be walking out in a bodybag. This epidemic should have ended by now. I have no tolerance for those who keep it going. 

  5. Disclose of course…but be

    Disclose of course…but be an adult and protect yourself.  It is your responsibility to not get HIV, not the guy that's fucking you.

  6. I love how all these gays all

    I love how all these gays all of a sudden have a moral compass. Guess what, the ball is in our court, and we will let you know if we feel like it. I don't ever want to put someone in harm, however if it is a hook up and it's a means to an end, then if u don't ask, I don't feel all that much to tell. Now if are we going to date or I'm dating, then no I have always told them on the third or fourth date depending on guy before we drop pants. But when ur hooking up in less than 30 mins on a sat night at 3 am, pretty much it's your own ass on the line. I'm not your mother, so stop asking me to protect your sluty ways. I'm just as healthy as the next guy. Actually probably healthier since I'm taking something that protects me from something u either havent gotten, don't know you have and/or haven't gotten treatment for. I've already gotten the worst of the worst. Stop risking yourself by hooking up and how about u get to know the person before bending over, you "dirty-hungry dish", and maybe you won't have to worry about contracting something. Stop blaming us. 

    • You’re the reason why people

      You're the reason why people don't want to be with hiv poz people. You're a sneaky scumbag. 

      • Says the person that wrote in

        Says the person that wrote in "Anonymous"ly. If you don't want to be with me that is totally fine with me. Born alone, die alone man. However, I am not sneaky. I am Undetectable and I CAN NOT give it to anyone I am in contact with. My personal info is my info and mine alone. And if you were intelligent, than you would know it is actually statistically proven to be safer to sleep with me without a condom than it is with someone who has no idea of their status and/or not been tested in 3 months. And there are alot of those out there for you. That's a fact. So have fun. And please, don't flatter urself, you are not my type. I don't do anonymous. 🙂

      • Says the person that wrote in

        Says the person that wrote in "Anonymous"ly. If you don't want to be with me, that's totally fine. Born alone, die alone. And I am not sneaky. Nor a scumbag. I'm Undetectable and CAN NOT give it to anyone I am in contact with. My personal info is mine and mine alone. And it is actually statistically safer to sleep with me, without a condom than it is with someone else who has no idea of their current status and/or not been tested within last 3 months. That's a fact. So have fun. And please, don't flatter yourself, ur not my type… I don't do anonymous. 

        • You are a sneaky nasty dirty

          You are a sneaky nasty dirty pile of filth for not telling people you are HIV positive. If you are HIV positive  and tell your potential sex partner victim then with informed concent sex with you is his funeral. But you don't tell someone you are HIV positive your next stop should be a body bag in the morgue. You are exactly why when I see HIV positive on a profile or anywhere I'm caring and cordial but I would not trust you or any other HIV positive person further than I could toss the Empire State Building on a Wednesday Afternoon.


          You and attitudes like yours is why HIV positive men only get to have sex with closet  cum dumps and others with nothing to live for and nothing to lose!

  7. People have the right to make

    People have the right to make an informed choice. This is not about being denied a nice piece of ass. Trust me on this, if I discover that a guy has HIV after the fact, by the time I'm done with him, he will wish he dies from the disease. DO NOT EVER LIE TO ME and yes, a lie of omission is still a lie.


  8. At least in the state of

    At least in the state of Florida it is a third degree felony to have intercourse without disclosing your status. It doesn't matter if your viral load is undetectable or if you use condoms. And they definitely do prosecute these cases. 

    • then you should also know

      then you should also know that new hiv infections in the sunshine state are on the rise and way out of control (correlation? Check nyc, San Francisco and then check their laws and public health approach) If you are gay in Florida you should know that there is little to null safer sex education in the gay community.

      You should also know that those laws are a miscarriage of justice, a simple travesty but after all is Florida so we can't expect much. 

      All those resources for prosecutions that don't do anything for public health should be used to get populations at risk in prep and poz people on treatment. Then you should see no new infections but that would make too much sense for the sunshine state.

      • No if you knowingly have it

        No if you knowingly have it and give it to someone, you're a criminal. You belong separated from the rest of society. You can't be trusted. Simply disclose your status

  9. I think you comparing my HIV

    I think you comparing my HIV status to a gun pretty much sums up your credibility on this issue. 

        • I think you mean irrelevant. 

          I think you mean irrelevant.  And not all are treatable.  One of my friends is allergic to penicillin and cannot fully treat or cure his syphilis so he has to have that conversation with each and every partner.

  10. Look, let’s get real there

    Look, let's get real there are so many gays who frequent glory holes, restrooms, parks, etc. for anonymous unprotected sex (BJ's or anal) who never reveal a single thing like married or status…no one cares…almost all gay men are guilty of these actions so to tell or not to tell is a moot point…

  11. Leo only needs to ask himself

    Leo only needs to ask himself one question: "If the shoe was on the the other foot, would he want the other guy to be honest and upfront with him, even if he didn't ask or forgot to ask in the heat of the moment?"

  12. As a HIV+ man I am unusually

    As a HIV+ man I am unusually very open about my status for a number of reasons-

    1) People are afraid of the Unknown i.e the facts regarding HIV and what undetectable really means, by disclosing it is an opportunity to educate the guy you're chatting to which creates more awareness and better knowledge down the line

    2) Would you really want to hook up with someone that it turned out did/does have a problem with HIV? The best sex is more honest sex and by removing that big barrier and hooking up with someone who's aware and who hasn't a problem takes any nerves off both people… Leading to a far better time.


    HIV+ guys do need to do their part but likewise HIV- guys need to learn their facts too!

  13. Are the states laws going to

    Are the states laws going to vigorously prosecute those ones who runs out in fear ignorance and rejection sharing the disclosure with half of the community and hurting employment, dignity and even safety due the ignorance and stigma attached to the illness? I don't think so. Fact of the matter is that the stated in this comment is way way more probable to happen than actual possibility of transmission from a adherent individual with continuous undetectable viral load (throw to that a no needed condom, just in case). Forced disclosure is wrong, protect ourselves and education is the key. Force Disclosure does not prevent from the virus but open venues to discrimination and stigma and offers an incentive for just not getting tested. There are studies out there proving that is safer to be with an undetectable poz than with someone of unknown status (even with protection) due the strong correlation between viremia and infectionness. Disclosure is morally correct and for the well being of the hiv+ .. It should never being used in 2016 as a prevention method and should never be criminal.

  14. Just my opinion and No pun

    Just my opinion and No pun intended here, but better safe than sorry. Undetectable is great news for anyone, but precautions still need to be taken and honesty is still necessary. The response to the question says "virtually" impossible but if the virus is somehow transmitted, the person will learn the hard way there is a huge difference between virtually and completely. 

    • Our prevention “educators”

      Our prevention "educators" have never held an honest conversation about transmission risk.  Therefore most gay guys have an extremely skewed perception of the risk.

      "Virtually" means that it is theoretically possible, but it has not actually occurred in the real world, for the 16+ years that antiretrovirals have been relatively easy to take.  With millions of person years of follow-up, per annum, there are still zero transmissions.  The ten year long HPTN 052 study concluded with no transmissions from undetectable spouses.  The PARTNER study is over to 70,000 condomless intercourse events with not even one suroconversions from the undetectable mate.  With less data reported so far, the OPPOSITES ATTRACT study has also shown the same results.  All the top HIV researchers agree that it is extremely unlikely that a person with an undetectable viral load COULD EVER transmit the virus.

      If the feared theoretical transmissions from blips caused by colds, the flu, or vaccinations were actually occurring, there would be tens of thousands of them in the medical record.  UNAIDS, the WHO, and governments around the world would not have adopted Treatment as Prevention (TasP) as their best tool to prevent onwards transmission.  Remember that our "education empty" fear based "education" campaigns have never defined a Blip, or noted that the distance between the highest most blips go (180) is eight times lower than the limit of transmission.

      The Swiss Statement of 2008 put it this way:
      "The Commission realizes that medical and biologic data available today do not permit proof that HIV-infection during effective antiretroviral therapy is impossible, because the non-occurrence of an improbable event cannot be proven.  This statement (that a person with an undetectable viral load is not infectious) has not been proven, but after 20 years’ experience its accuracy appears highly plausible.  The situation is analogous to 1986, when the statement ‘HIV cannot be transmitted by kissing’ was publicized."  Note that we now have much more information now than the data the Swiss used to prepare that statement.

      Look up "The Swiss Statement Eight Years Later" published in a Swiss medical journal at the end of January by the lead author of the 1998 paper.

      There is huge irony in the fact us Undetectable Poz guys, who Neg men are most afraid of, and immediately reject, are turning out to be the ones least likely to infect them!  "Clean UB2" should set off alarm bells, because on 20% of Neg guys get tested for HIV per year.

  15. These irresponsible poz

    These irresponsible poz puppies need to learn the meaning of the world "virtually" when they say it's VIRTUALLY impossible to pass HIV to your partner.  They seem to think that "virtually" is synonymous with "absolutely".  Even a small risk is still a risk. Ask your partner if he want's to play Russian Roulette…it's only one bullet !

    • Calling someone a petri dish

      Calling someone a petri dish says way more about you than it does about them, think about that.

      Yes, disclose, just state the facts.  Either the other person will accept them or not.  If not, then you have everything you need to know about that person.  Hold your head up high, and walk away knowing you did the right thing.

    • As my comment above your

      As my comment above your comment states, I believe in disclosure, but I also believe in human dignity. I have never been diagnosed as HIV +, but I knew more than my share who were and attended far too many funerals. HIV+ people have a huge burden that never goes away and they often have to make huge decisions about simple things in life and in many cases, live by taking medications correctly. They do not deserve to be insulted. All you needed to say was yes you do need to disclose and keep your opinion to yourself.

      • I’d rather go with a HIV+ UD

        I'd rather go with a HIV+ UD guy – and even more so if he actually told me beforehand that he is HIV+ and UD. Why? Well, because it shows that he is taking care of himself. And if he tells me this information then he is being very brave. It's caring in the first place that he is UD before having sex, but  its even more so if he tells me. If he tells me then he rises in my estimation – he becomes a guy I want to get to know more. The risk of infection to me is negligible. 

        On the other hand, for me to go with a guy who has never been tested but has slept around would be very dangerous. That person might have rampantly multiplying HIV or another / other STDs.

        And to go with someone who is knowingly or unknowingly HIV+ with an uncontrolled Viral Load would be very silly.

        So, for me, to find a guy who takes care of himself is the main thing. That guy could be HIV+ UD or else someone who gets tested periodically and appropriately. To go with someone who doesn't bother with testing would be high risk and silly. But ultimately, UD, whether he tells me or not is OK, but I'd rather be told me because that is a brave thing for him to do. 

        The actual dangerous people are the untested, the undiagnosed who are infected, or the infected who are not UD.

        The only safe people are the uninfected, and the HIV+ UD people who take care of themselves are pretty damn safe to go with, too. 


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