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