Ask GayDemon: Undercover and Undetectable

I’m positive with an undetectable viral load and my new partner is negative, and I haven’t told him about my status. I know from the partner study that I pose what’s showing to be no risk of transmission (though final data isn't in), but I feel awful about him not knowing and I have no idea how to tell him.
-I've Got a Secret

You haven't told me why you haven't told him your status. The fact that you know he's HIV- must mean he told you, since it's insane to assume someone's status. So either you actively lied to him at that moment, or he didn't ask and assumed you're negative. Or some other combination of silence and assumptions or misdirection or straight up lie. Either way, what kind of relationship can be built on a foundation of poor communication, and possible outright lies?

All of Donald Trump's marriages, that's what.

You also haven't told me if you have no-condom anal sex or if you share needles or any other high risk activity. Like voting for Donald Trump is totally high risk.

I guess you feeling awful about it probably means you're not wanting to hide your status from him for some nefarious purpose. So you're really just sabotaging what may otherwise be a potentially solid relationship.

My assumption then is the issue is HIV stigma. You're afraid he'll break up with you if and when he finds out. But that may be the least of your worries. He has every right (not that he needs justification) to break up with you because you aren't being honest.

I broke up with someone once because I found out he was a sex worker. And he accused me of being sex negative. While I may not have dated him in the first place if I had known he was an escort (no, he didn't charge me), I didn't get the chance to decide. I was lie negative.

So your new partner may be perfectly fine being in a sero-discordant relationship. He may already have been in one. You should be more worried about building solid communication and connection than on feeling trapped in silence and self-imposed stigma.

If you've gotten signals from him he would never date someone who is HIV+, then just dump him. Still a good idea to communicate your status after the fact. You have nothing to lose at the point and it could be a wake up call to him to not assume someone's status.

Navigating a sero-discordant relationship (one more purely sexual or a full-on love relationship or some combination) requires honesty and clarity and vulnerability. If he does break up with you, it may be the lies that pissed him off and that will be more reason than ever for you to be open sooner.

If you're going to negotiate the specific sexual activities with him, as safer sex precautions, communication is key.

Ask yourself what's stopping you from being honest. Seems it's something in the fear/stigma/paralysis column. Go for the true risk: honesty/vulnerability/intimacy. You may be undetectable as far as viral load, but be detectable as hell as far as your heart.

You may as well act now. I hear they're developing a hand-held HIV status detector. It will also detect love. And quarters buried under the sand. May as well act now. Feeling awful doesn't help your health any.

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