One guy puts all the responsibility for disclosure on poz guys. Another writes off a friend for getting HIV in the first place. It’s time for some truth-telling.
Things are hot and heavy, and all the clothes are off. We’re dirty-talking up a storm all the way up to the brink, and right before I head into the final furlong, he stops me for a second then changes his mind. We do the deed and he leaves.
Then it hits me, what if he’s HIV positive and didn’t tell me? Help!
–Talk Of Orgasm Led Accidentally To Exposure
Dear TOO LATE:
Even if we all agree that everyone should disclose his HIV status to sex partners every time, let’s also admit that it’s difficult. And hello, there’s definitely no use being flabbergasted if you never directly asked the question.
Yes, poz guys should disclose their status, and so should neg guys to the best of their knowledge, but let’s not kid ourselves. Only you can protect you, and that means having “the talk” before the dirty talk. Man up, put it out there, and get back to what you really want to talk about.
You ask, what if he’s HIV positive and didn’t tell you, maybe even lied to you by omission. Let me ask: What if he says he’s negative, and doesn’t know he’s actually positive? You are still in charge of your own status and behaviors.
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with HIV, and I couldn’t be angrier. I haven’t spoken to him since he told me, and I’m considering just letting the friendship die on the vine.
I mean, it’s a terrible tragedy and all, but it’s not like he didn’t know how to prevent it. Don’t I deserve friends who are smarter than that?
–Still a Touch Indignant with a Grain of Moral Anger
True friends love each other unconditionally, and they stick around, not bolt in tough times.
I assume you’re scared and not a jerk, and that’s understandable. Your buddy is going to be OK once he gets a handle on his situation, so the only “terrible tragedy” to worry about is leaving him stranded.
Whether you approve or not, there are reasons guys might stray from safer sex. Condoms can be cumbersome and distinctly not sexy. The heat of the moment, safe-sex fatigue or recreational substances might also influence decision-making. Maybe your friend is even depressed or feeling too unworthy to bother with safe sex.
You’re right about one thing, though: Be angry. At HIV, not at your friend.
Daddy loves his boys. He knows the answers you need, and you’re going to get them. Reach out with your burning questions via our editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Hey, Daddy” in the subject line. Warning: Advice in this column is intended for entertainment and novelty. Proceed at your own risk. If you’re in trouble, ask a professional for help.
A version of this column originally appeared in February 2016.