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International AIDS Conference Wednesday, July 25 2012

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International AIDS Conference Wednesday, July 25 2012

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  1. Disclosure & Dating: From early courting to intimacy for teens and young adults International AIDS Conference Wednesday, July 25 2012

  2. Disclosure & Dating Workshop Presented by AIDS Alliance’s Youth Advisory Committee

  3. Your Presenters • Jahlove Serrano – New York, NY • Dee Borrego – Boston, MA • Cristina Jade Peña – San Francisco, CA • Trell Jackson – Atlanta, GA • Yuri Velasquez – Miami, FL *For Youth, By Youth

  4. Session Outline • Explore four stages of a romantic relationship • Define challenges and barriers for HIV disclosure and multidisclosure in a romantic relationship • Provide disclosure-specific communication approaches and tips

  5. Four Stages of a Relationship • Stage 1: Getting to Know You • Stage 2: Dating • Stage 3: Intimacy • Stage 4: Long-Term Love • *The stage or phase of your relationship can help you decide when it’s the right time to discuss serious issues and when it’s the right time for you to disclose

  6. Stage 1- Getting to Know You • Definition: Getting to know each other by spending time together, exploring mutual interests, crushing, curious, going out, flirting, holding hands, cuddling, maybe kissing. • Keep In Mind: Important phase to begin building & developing trustand respectfor each other. --“Hello, I love you, Won’t you tell me your name?”---The Doors

  7. Empowering Your Self to Take Responsibility • HIV positive partner must ask self: • How is the relationship progressing? • Do I need to disclose soon? • Am I close to putting my partner at risk? • Is our relationship ready for sex?

  8. Responsibility Laws and Rights: • Varies by state, region, country • Failure to disclose HIV status to partner prior to sexual activity can make you vulnerable to criminal prosecution and/or lawsuit by your sexual partner • Become familiar with the specific disclosure laws & resources in your region and country

  9. Why to hold off on Disclosing • Haven’t established enough trust & respect • At this time, disclosure is unnecessary • Own safety • Emotionally not ready to disclose • Not ready mind, body & soul for relationship

  10. Stage 2- Dating • Definition: Consistency in time spent and intimacy together, progressing emotionally and physically, becoming closer, identifying as a couple, falling for each other, feeling in love • Timeframe: Typically, Stage when more “serious” conversation takes place (disclosure, STDs, safety, comfort level, future of relationship) ---“I, I love you like a love song, baby!” – Selena Gomez

  11. Reasons to Disclose • Physically moving closer and/or ready for sex • Emotionally moving closer • Pressure from outside forces • Partner poses questions • Just want to get disclosing over with

  12. Dual Disclosure and Identity There may be other things you need to disclose about yourself especially if . . . • You’re transgender • You’re bisexual • You’re polyamorous • You have mental health issues • You have physical health issues

  13. Disclosure & History Other aspects of your personal life to consider disclosing that may or may not relate to your HIV status • Past or Present Drug Use • Violence, Abuse and/or Rape • HIV+ vs. AIDS diagnosis • HIV status of other family members

  14. Pre-Disclosure: Things to Consider • Is enough trust and respect established ? • Prepare for rejection • Practice disclosure dialogue • Seek help from Social Service Providers, • Caregivers, Physicians, HIV+ mentors • Prepare to Get Emotional - it’s ok!

  15. Practice Disclosure Dialogue • What are you planning to say? • What would you like your partner to know about you? • What would you like your partner to know about HIV/AIDS? • What setting do you plan to disclose in? • Who do you have to turn to for support after the conversation, if the conversation goes bad?

  16. “Safer” Conditions for Disclosure ● Alone with partner in private, safe or neutral environment ● Face-to-face ● With a trusted friend or family member ● After you have had a good day together ● Before any risky behavior has occurred ● After trust and respect is established by both partners ● If your partner is asking you questions or probing ● If discussing your future together

  17. “Less Safe” Conditions for Disclosure ● In public and/or around a large group of people or friends ● Via text, email, phone ● Leaving limited time to fully disclose or answer questions ● When HIV+ partner is feeling guilty, depressed, insecure ● Right before or during sex/risky behavior ● If you have already put them at risk or had a close call ● After a fight ● When you’re about to break up

  18. Potential Emotions/Reactions • Range of emotions/reactions to disclosure • Emotions/reactions can change over time • From hours to days to weeks to months to years Optimistic Negative Indifferent

  19. Post-Disclosure: Things to Consider For Yourself: For Your Partner Give partner time Give partner HIV resources Give partner support in decision they make • Prepare to answer questions • Clarify: How open you want partner to be with your HIV status • Protect yourself: Tell partner your legal rights

  20. Red Light Green Light • Read & listen to each scenario • Would you disclose based off this scenario? • Decide; hold up selected color paper Red Paper– No, will absolutely NOT disclose Yellow Paper – Requires caution Green Paper – Yes, willing to disclose

  21. Scenario 1: Friends –turned-Lovers Meet Jamal and Courtney • Friends since middle school • Now in college • Jamal wants to date Courtney • Courtney is HIV+ *Should Courtney disclose her HIV status now?

  22. Scenario 2:Last Test Meet Angela and Shawn • Just started dating • During drive home, Angela asks Shawn: “When was the last time you got tested for HIV or an STI, and what were your test results?” • Shawn is HIV + *Should Shawn disclose his HIV status now?

  23. Scenario 3:Got Condoms? Meet Jason and Timothy • Just started seeing each other • Share a bottle of wine while watching a movie. • Kissing evolves • Jason asks: “Do you have condoms?” • Timothy is HIV+ *Should Timothy disclose his HIV status now?

  24. Scenario 4 “I Love You” Meet Tonya and Kris • Tonya and Kris have been dating for over 2 months • Kris tells Tonya “I love you!” • Tonya feels the same way toward Kris • Tonya is HIV + *Should Tonya disclose status now?

  25. Stage 3- Intimacy • Definition: Engaging in any/all risky sexual behavior, emotional attachment increasing • Timeline: May occur soon after or instead of a dating stage. At this point the partners have built enough trust to explore a deeper emotional and physical connection ---“It’s getting hot in here (so hot)” -Nelly

  26. Post-Disclosure: How to Decide to Continue the Relationship? • Do both partners “want” to make the relationship work • Do both partners have similar expectations for the relationship? • Are both partners ready to be mature and thoughtful moving forward in the relationship • Mutual understanding: Much to learn about selves, one another and how to work together

  27. Having Sex and Being Safe • ● How to prepare for safe sex? • 1. Seek professional support & ask questions • 2. Learn preventative safe sex practices • 3. Talk to each other: understand level of • comfort • ● Why practice safe sex? • - Keep partner HIV Free • - Prevent unwanted pregnancy • - Reduce risk of acquiring other STIs & STDs.

  28. Levels of Risky Behavior ● Non Risky - Kissing, holding hands, masturbating ● Very Minimal Level Risk - Protected/Safe Anal, Vaginal & Oral Sex ● High Level Risk - Unprotected Anal, Vaginal, Oral Sex - Exchange of bodily fluids (ie: vaginal, blood, semen)

  29. What Can Lead to Unsafe/Risky Sex? ● Under the influence ● “Quickie”/ Caught up in the moment ● Protection Burnout ● Curious ● Belief that risk level not high ● Pressures from partner ● Apathy toward HIV infection ● Denial ● Belief that HIV is “no big deal” ● In long-term relationship

  30. Close Calls Steps to Take: 1. Stay calm 2. Call HIV physician, clinic, center 3. Go to HIV clinic or hospital 4. Discuss severity of risk with professional and if PEP is needed

  31. PrEP vs. PEP PrEP (Before Exposure) PEP (After Exposure) Post-Exposure Prophylaxis ARVs after exposure to reduce chances of infection Ask doctor $$$ • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis • ARVs taken before exposure to reduce chance of getting HIV • Ask doctor • $$$

  32. Stage 4- Long Term Love • Definition: Committed in a relationship for 2+ years, continuing to grow physical and emotional intimacy; considering a life together (ex: moving in together, marriage, starting a family) It’s important to work together to continue “HIV risk-reduction” ---“I got you babe, I got you babe”- Sonny & Cher

  33. Emotions Both Partners Can Experience Overtime For HIV+ Partner: For Partner: Happy in relationship and loved Concern with becoming infected Not enough concerned over own health & risk Fear for your HIV+ health Fear inner circle/outside world’s impression • Happy in relationship and loved • Concern with infecting partner • Concern with rejected by partner • Fear partner will disclose without your consent • Fear partner’s inner circle will not accept you

  34. Making HIV & STI Testing Routine • Discuss why testing is important • Share how you both feel about HIV/STI testing • Decide on regularity of testing • Consider going together

  35. Safe Sex: Fun, Frisky, Do-able • Safe sex shows you care about the health of yourself and partner(s) • Know how to correctly use male/female condoms • Keep condoms nearby • Support each other in maintaining safe sex practices * Safe Sex takes work, communication & understanding *

  36. Other Aspects of Relationship ● HIV is just one component of a relationship ● However, HIV can affect other aspects in a relationship - Finances - Needs - Career Ambitions - Residency - Emotional Stability - Family ● Remember HIV will be a factor in the relationship, but should never be “everything” in the relationship

  37. Happy, Healthy and Successful Relationships Require: Love! • Commitment • Strong Communication • Patience • Belief in Relationship • Trust • Responsibility • Honesty • Understanding • Fun • Respect and . . .

  38. Any Final Questions?

  39. Questions About Legal Issues? • ● We are not experts in the legal issues surrounding disclosure and we suggest you may want to contact an expert as you go through this process. • We have developed a list of some resources for more information and to help you identify experts regarding issues in your area. • This resource guide is also on our website at

  40. Helpful ToolsResource guide created to assist youth in finding support around disclosing in their day-to-day lives

  41. Helpful Tools Created by AIDS Alliance Youth Advisory Council- 2012

  42. Helpful Tools Created by AIDS Alliance Youth Advisory Council- 2012

  43. Helpful Tools Created by AIDS Alliance Youth Advisory Council- 2012

  44. More info