HIV and Dating: My Experience
Let’s face it; dating in today’s world is hard on everyone. Imagine what it must be like for someone living with HIV. HIV is not something you can change to make you look more appealing, like your outfit. Generally, being HIV+ comes with a stigma that sometimes is difficult to overcome, stigma that can compel the HIV+ individual to be less than forthcoming with their status.
Keeping Communication Open
Education plays an important role when dating with HIV. Before becoming aware of my HIV+ status, I was dating someone and we decided to get tested at the beginning of our relationship. This was the test that changed my life. I learned I was positive and I had to inform my partner so he could get tested. Since we had both had previous conversations about testing, it was easier for me to disclose my status to him. We had open communication, and together we learned what we needed to do in order to get myself into care, and to keep him safe. Fast-forward 8 years and I am still undetectable, and he is still HIV-.
Sharing Your Status
I’ve always been very forthcoming with my status. I find it is easier to share my status rather than worrying about if someone finds out. HIV is something people either cannot or will not deal with – or it is a non-issue. If someone is uncomfortable with being in a relationship or dating someone who is HIV+, there is not much convincing that can be done in the short term. Disclosure for me is a necessity. Honesty in dating with HIV is the best policy. Besides, would you really want to date someone who as soon as you mentioned being HIV+ they turned away? I didn’t think so!