Here’s How To Discuss HIV With Your Partner

cdc hiv adThis is maybe not the most romantic topic, but it’s important: AIDS.

The CDC has a new ad out — part of an ongoing series — urging gay men to talk with their partners about stopping the spread of HIV. No matter what your relationship is like, no matter how old or young, they want you to continually revisit the topic.

“Never stop talking about ways to protect yourself and your partner from HIV,” says their press release. Among the things to discuss: HIV testing, HIV status, condom use, and medicines that help prevent and treat HIV.

They even provide a few conversation starters to get the ball rolling:

  • I got tested for HIV and other stuff the first time about a year ago, have you ever been tested?
  • I don’t care whether you are positive or negative, it is not going to change how I feel about you, but we need to talk about it so we can come up with ways to keep each other healthy.  What’s your HIV status?
  • About a year ago, I found out that I’m HIV-positive.  Since then, I’ve been taking HIV medication consistently and correctly. The virus is controlled and at undetectable levels, and I feel good.  Let’s start talking about ways to keep each other healthy and safe. When was the last time you were tested for HIV?
  • You should know that for anal sex, condoms are a must.  That’s non-negotiable for me. Are you ok with that?
  • I’m living with HIV, and the fact that we are using condoms is great, but we need to make sure we do everything we can to keep you safe.

The ads are pretty good-looking, and do a great job of covering a diverse range of gays — different ages, different body types, different races, different interests. Some are in a gym, others in a bar, other walking dogs, others getting married.

And they make a point that a lot of gay men don’t consider: even if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, and even if you’re monogamous, it’s still a good idea to talk about HIV.