The first guy I ever turned down on Grindr for having HIV, my patient zero if you will, is all kinds of hot: hot in the face, hot in the body and hotheaded. We chatted a little bit more, he told me about his status and I slipped out of the conversation, just like that.Randomly in July, I noticed him at a movie theater: On Grindr and online, people lie with pictures all the time, choosing ones that distort their appearance in a captured second, but I was able to pick Miguel right out of a crowd.His picture is a symbol of habitual honesty, maybe, but also because he's so attractive, he has no reason to lie.

It's especially foolhardy considering that guys who know they are HIV-positive tend to be healthier and with lower viral loads than guys who don't know they have it and are going untreated.

The kind of optimism that assumes someone's word is as good as a hard copy of a test result is potentially life-altering.

And yet, I've turned down guys who are open about their positive status.

There have been times, especially after suffering from a weird flu-like bug that no one else around me seemed to contract, that I have been sure that I would test positive. I think I'm HIV negative, but since the virus can take three months to show up in blood, I can't really be sure.

In fact, none of us who are sexually active can be sure – except for those who are HIV positive.

Therein lies the hypocrisy in turning down a potential hookup who a) knows his status, and b) is honest about it in favor of one who doesn't or is lying about it.That kind of discrimination is motivated by fear of the known while taking an agnostic approach to the unknown.Miguel told me that being turned down for sex because he's HIV-positive is something that happens "all the time," and that "almost every time, the minute someone gets to know me, their mind changes." Exposure to a gay friend often converts homophobes swiftly; the same can be said of an HIV-positive guy meeting others who are fearful.It's somewhat reassuring that that's all it takes in many cases, but it also underlines the exponential burden put upon positive guys. Granted, I generally play it safe, keeping fluid exchange at a minimum, using condoms, opting for oral over anal almost every time, and especially with strangers.They are either in a constant state of proving themselves socially or they are sitting on a secret. (Although, as we are coming to realize, oral sex maybe isn't as safe as we'd like it to be).As a gay man in New York with an active, multiple-partner sex life, the chances are that I have hooked up with an HIV-positive guy or five and didn't know it. Even with that in mind, getting tested is never less than horrifying, no matter how regularly I do it.