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For a while, I either didn't disclose my status at all or disclosed way too late for a number of reasons.
Shame and fear was a part of it, but even more so I think there was a part of me that wanted to pretend that HIV hadn't happened to me.
But many people are still unaware of this development in HIV treatment or are unwilling to accept the science because of the stigma that surrounds the virus.
In the LGBTQ community, the absence of risk when it comes to sleeping with an undetectable partner, and using a condom to prevent other STIs, is much more widely accepted and normal, though still tough.
The only bad thing about breaking up with Matt was the realization that I would have to start dating again.
But when you're the kind of person who equates dating with dinners, drinks, and casual sex, HIV can put a real damper on all that. Not only was I still trying to figure out what living with HIV meant, I couldn't just do that whole "put on your high heels and get back out there" thing that most newly single people do.
We made complex weekday dinners to distract ourselves from the fact that we were both pretty bored with each other.I was in shock that simply sleeping with probably close to a hundred men throughout my 20s — in college, in Rome, Italy where I lived for five years, in New York City upon my return — and not being strict about using condoms could have such a serious consequence.