While mandatory disclosure to sexual
partners and condom use were topics that all participants had discussed with
their doctors at the time of diagnosis, the manner in which the rules of
conduct were received, and their impact, differed among participants.

Some described it as an inherently
stigmatising and negative experience, with a sense of being treated like a
criminal. Others only vaguely recalled the discussion and cited their distress
regarding the diagnosis as a reason for not fully processing all the
information at the time.

“I believe it was
more, like, how can you survive? Will I work? I mean questions about life that
are bigger than the rules of conduct, more existential questions, I would say,
were important at that time.’

‘I think it is really bad that they don’t tell you this. Really bad.’

Those who had received exemptions from the
obligation to disclose their HIV status had generally asked their doctors
directly. Some participants were not aware that they could be granted an
exemption.

Due to fear of criminal charges, some men
kept updated on court cases pertaining to HIV non-disclosure and based their
rules of conduct on rulings from these cases.

‘As I have understood
it, a prosecutor would not move on with the investigation if the person is well
treated.’