Being Positive About HIV

There have been some headlines recently about people who do not disclose their STI status and infecting other people, and in general, HIV has a negative connotation. When I read this article on how the author does not blame anyone for his HIV status, I was intrigued. From my own experience talking to friends, if they are diagnosed with an STI they blame someone, even if it’s only themselves. However, Kirk Grisham isn’t angry at anyone.

Grisham also points out the importance of both communication and condom use. He says, “When I used to get tested at the city clinic, they would tell me that people stay negative by disclosing their negative status. Having a conversation is paramount—negotiating whether and how you want to use protection, talking about the last time you were tested and asking the same of your partner.” Communication is difficult! With practice, it can become easier, but some of these topics can be tricky to work into conversation. I don’t ever remember a whole class devoted to communication in school, or even just a few lessons here and there. However, communication is so important, not just for protecting yourself and your partner, but in every day relationships.

The article also includes stories from three individuals, and how they have protected themselves and made communication part of their lives. As for condoms, I wrote about how to include them in your sex life previously, and Michaela just posted about cute cases for condoms. How difficult do you think communication is? At what point do you talk about STIs and protection with a (potential) partner?

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About Holly Moyseenko

Holly Moyseenko is a sex educator living in Ohio. She is an advocate of positive and healthy sexuality. Holly currently works for a non-profit health organization as a health educator, and also teaches workshops that focus on many topics within the realm of healthy sexuality. In her spare time, she also is an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, gardens, reads anything within reach, drinks copious amounts of tea, and naps with her two dogs.

  • Chrissy Bradley

    Well honestly I feel it’s very important to tell you partner about any STD or STI you may have, to me the earlier the better, I wouldn’t prolong it, I would say depending on how comfortable you feel with your partner I wouldn’t delay it. For me, I found out I was positive for HIV through this online website http://getstdtested.com/all-about-std. Their good, so once I found out I contacted all my ex partners and told they needed to get tested but the hardest was telling my current boyfriend, so he got tested & he was negative, which was such a good thing. I’m happy for him, & happy he still wants to be with me.!!