Dating With HIV
Dating With HIV
Brett Grodeck (Author, The First Year - HIV) gives expert video advice on: Do I have to tell my date that I am HIV positive?; How do I tell a date that I am HIV positive? and more...
Will my partner leave me if I have HIV?
There are no guarantees about any relationship between people. Whether that's a partnership or a marriage or a friendship. People are people and they react differently to different news. In the situation of an intimate relationship with two people, where one person tests positive for HIV and one person tests negative for HIV, there's a whole host of issues that may develop. It ultimately depends on the strength of your relationship. A person who is HIV-negative being in a relationship with a person who is HIV positive, that's a difficult reality. Sometimes living with an HIV positive partner works, sometimes it's too much stress, and it can be stress for either person in the relationship. There may be fear--on the person who is HIV-negative, there may be fear of getting HIV or anger at the other person for stepping outside the bounds of the relationship. For the person who is HIV-positive, there may be intense shame or guilt, or feeling that they might pass the virus to someone else. But, ultimately, it depends on the strength of the relationship before you test HIV positive whether it will survive.
Should I stop dating if I have HIV?
Initially, when you're first diagnosed with HIV, you may need some time to take out and sort out things for yourself. During that time of sorting things out for yourself, going out on dates may not be the most productive endeavour for you, so you may want to take a little time off. In the long term, you should absolutely get back to dating, going out, and having fun. There's no reason why at any time your HIV diagnosis should at all stop you from dating, intimacy, and romance. HIV diagnosis is absolutely not a reason to stop any of that. You've got a full and healthy life to look forward to after HIV diagnosis, and it includes healthy relationships with other people.
Should I only date other HIV positive people?
You don't have to limit your dateing to other HIV positive people unless you want to. There is certainly among HIV positive there is a lot more compatibility, in terms of no one is afraid they're going to be infected. It's never a good thing to have unprotected sex, not just because of HIV, because of HPV, because of herpes, because of hepetitas and a host of other conditions that can degrade the quality of your life. A lot of men partake in what's called 'barebacking'; having unprotected sex only with other HIV positive people. If someone your having sex with has unresistant virus, that virus can be transmitted to you and cause your own drugs to fail. now a lot of people who still engage in this behavior, that's they're decision. Personally, I think there is something intuitive about preserving your own health by not introducing other types of infections. It's what keeps you healthy. I have been HIV positive for twenty years, and I don't bareback because it just is not intuitive, it doesn't make good sense for health in the long term.
Do I have to tell my date that I am HIV positive?
It depends what you mean by date. If your meeting someone for dinner that you want to get to know over the long term, probably in your interest to talk about the realties of your health situation. If you define date as going to a bar and picking someone up and having a one night stand, and you behave safely, you don't engage in unprotected sex, there is not a whole lot of rational reason to tell a date. Having sex, telling a sex partner if your engaging in protected sex with a condom is one thing. Opening up to a person who you want to get to know and have a long term relationship with is quite another. These are only things that you can determine as you get to know other people. It's certainly akward when you've been on three or four dates with somebody, when on date number five you say that your HIV positive. That's an akward moment, but in terms of a one night stand, it really doesn't matter what you say but how you behave. Protected sex is protected sex weather you disclose your status or not. It matters what you do not what you say.
When should I tell a date that I am HIV positive?
In most major cities, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, even Washington D.C., disclosing that your HIV positive is not necessarily a huge shocker. We've all heard about it. When you get out of the major cities, discussion of or disclosure about HIV is probably less common. So it may be more awkward between you and another person if you do disclose it in a social setting. I find that people are sometimes more comfortable disclosing right off the bat, as of matter of fact. That way, you don't find yourself sitting in bed with another person and then disclose the news. You disclose early in the evening when you first meet, so there's an opportunity to get out of the situation if they feel uncomfortable. The best time to disclose your HIV status is not when you have your clothes off when you next to someone but rather well in advance of that. When both of you can think rationally without the awkwardness of being so close the moment and then delivering what is a bombshell for many people.
What is 'serosorting'?
Serosorting is seeking out other people who are the same HIV status as yourself. If you're HIV positive, you're going to find more compatibility with someone who is also HIV positive. If you're HIV negative, you may be only comfortable with dating people who are also HIV negative.