Dating someone new is complicated enough. What happens when HIV becomes part of the picture?
Whether a handsome face just caught your eye across a crowded room or you’re seeing someone special who gives you serious butterflies, the next steps can be tricky. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that face people dating with HIV:
Disclosing Your Status
When it comes to revealing that you are living with HIV, it’s easy to imagine facing rejection. Being diagnosed often makes people doubt their worth as partners, but you’re selling yourself short if you assume everyone else shares those doubts. HIV is not as scary as it once was. People not living with HIV are more likely to be educated about the subject and okay with the idea of dating someone living with HIV. And don’t forget that when you do tell that special someone about your status, his answer might be: “Me, too.”
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If Only One of You Is Living With HIV
There has never been a safer time to be a sero-different couple. According to the PARTNER study, among couples in which one partner does not have HIV and the other partner’s HIV is so well managed with medication that his viral load is undetectable, there were no instances of transmission. Added protection is available if the partner who does not have HIV takes PrEP. Although nothing is 100% foolproof, there is statiscally next to no chance of transmitting HIV between partners under these circumstances.
If Both of You Are Living With HIV
If you are more comfortable dating someone with HIV, there are dating sites like Positive Singles (positivesingles.com) that allow people living with HIV/AIDS or other specific STIs to seek partners who are dealing with similar life circumstances. However, it is important that you do not consider the fact that you are both living with HIV as license to abandon safer sex practices. There are different strains of HIV and it is possible (though rare) to contract another strain or “superinfection” that may prove drug resistant — not to mention any other STIs your partner may be carrying. As always, it’s better to protect yourself now to avoid consequences later.
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Last modified: July 23, 2019