What’s the best way to look out for yourself? Everyone is different and it’s up to YOU to decide.
It can mean taking charge of your health by checking in with yourself, talking to friends or even seeking professional help if you’re going through tough times.
It can also mean thinking about the kind of sex you want to be having, so that you can look out for yourself if challenging situations arise. Or it could involve answering the question: “what does sexual health look like for me?” and asking yourself if your partners have compatible approaches. It can also mean equipping yourself with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your sexual health.
When looking out for yourself, the topic of disclosure can come up. Disclosure is the act of revealing certain information about yourself to another person, often referring to personal details that are stigmatized. If you are a trans person, you are never obligated to share your trans status if you are not comfortable for whatever reason. Your comfort and safety is what matters most. Don’t let anyone make you feel dishonest or duplicitous if you keep this to yourself.
Disclosure of your HIV status can be a tough conversation. Talking about having HIV can be particularly stressful in the context of hooking up, since not all guys know the science of HIV transmission and sex, about undetectable viral load and available medications such as PrEP and PEP.
Some guys with HIV might wonder if they can get into legal trouble if they don’t share their HIV status. In Canada, some people have been criminally charged for not disclosing their status, so knowing what Canada’s criminal law says about HIV non-disclosure may help you make better decisions about how to look out for yourself. If you are interested in what legal experts are saying about this issue, here is a very thorough legal guide about HIV disclosure that may be helpful.
If you’d like other suggestions on ways to look out for yourself, we are here to talk. We even offer one-on-one counselling and workshops, so KONTAK us for more details.