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Tuesday 27 December 2005
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Love, lies and disclosure

Dear Diary

Its been years since the first time I disclosed my HIV status, but even now my heart races when I think about having to tell someone who has no idea, despite my life story already being so public.

Maybe its because I am constantly worried about whether complete strangers could be as understanding as my family and close friends when I told them six years ago.

Or could this persistent fear be a natural reaction to the lingering sting from a past rejection?

Making known the story of my life with HIV/AIDS has been the bravest decision I have ever had to make.

The reactions to my public disclosure range from sympathetic, to desperate, sad and even scary.

Too many times have I heard of individuals engaging in unsafe sex in order to hide their HIV infection from partners. And their partners, I imagine, are so afraid of hearing the truth that they would rather risk infection.

I suppose its all in the name of love and that great fear of going through life alone and without the joy that love can bring.

I've been told that love and truth often walk hand in hand. But if the need arises, could we actually learn to love a lie?

I would hope not. Because with the rate of daily global HIV infections, that would be the quickest way to wipe out entire populations.

It seems that while some people may not love the lies, they have certainly adapted well to living it. Even if its for the short time while it takes for reinfection to speed them along to an early grave.

No surprise then that a recent call from the very person who planted that sting has forced me to assess my own maturity in terms of putting the truth about my status out there.

I realise that had I chosen not to disclose my status to this person I'd hoped would be my life partner, he would unwittingly have become infected too as I hid the truth and drowned in guilt as I learnt to love my lie.

But not everyone is built to carry around the same amount of guilt, and while life's decisions can be tough, the right ones have a greater impact on how happy we are.

Henry Ford said: "Whether you decide you can or can not do a thing, you are still right."

But its very easy to be that philosophical when you don't have the burden of disclosing your HIV status weighing you down.

Forever Positive

Hayden Horner

Previous Entry :: All Diary Entries :: Next Entry
Diary Entries
Beyond the Borders of HIV/AIDS Treatment Strategies
HIV/AIDS Feminisation: A new wine in an old bottle
Antiretrovirals - The Wind Beneath My Wings
The Mis-education of HIV/AIDS Clinicians
HIV Prevention 101: Ignoring the Church's views on condoms
Stigma and HIV/AIDS: lethal bedfellows
In remembrance of our women and children
Maids, madams and the "terrible thing"
Internet love and inter-related HIV-prejudice
Previously eyes-wide-shut on HIV and religion
Love, lies and disclosure
Black pot and blacker kettle
Things better left unsaid on the bus
Food for thought while waiting to die
Test results not all good
Diary speaks back
The truth about disclosure
Dangerous myths and damaged angels

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