You may be in a long-term or casual relationship or you might just have sex with someone once. In each of these situations the decisions you make about disclosure will be different. It is helpful to think about the different reactions partners may have to hearing about your HIV diagnosis.
Some people face particularly difficult situations. You may live with your partner and be worried about domestic problems, violence or losing your home. As you think these issues through, if you feel you need some support you will be able to talk to someone in your clinic or PT Foundation.
One benefit of telling sexual partners about your HIV status is that if they are exposed to HIV when you have sex (if a condom breaks, for example) they can take treatment that may prevent them becoming HIV positive. Known as Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), it has to be started within 72 hours of the time the person is exposed to HIV and comprising them taking a very strong dose of anti-HIV medicine for a month.
Whether you tell previous partners can depend upon a number of factors such as what your relationship was like and whether the kind of sex you had posed a risk of HIV transmission and you can ask staff at your HIV clinic to contact your ex-partners and sexual contacts for you. They can do this without giving any of your details away.