We all know how hard dating can be for everyone, but those who are HIV+ are well aware that “regular” dating is a piece of cake compared to AIDS dating. There are so many difficulties and challenges to overcome, and while the end result is certainly incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, the road can be tough, rocky and oh so frustrating. Whether you are new to HIV dating or you simply need some extra help in that department, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to HIV-positive dating.
Yes, You Can Still Date
Some people who have recently contracted HIV feel like their whole life, especially their romantic life, has gone down the drain. There is an enormous stigma on HIV+ people, even today when we know that an HIV+ person can live 100 years. That stigma can be hard to deal with and it may interfere with your love life. Today, there are over 1,2 million people infected with HIV in the United States alone. That’s a huge number. You think that none of them have a partner or a spouse? HIV+ people can and should date, as long as they bear a few things in mind.
Honesty Is The Key
It’s extremely important to be open and honest about your HIV status. Hiding your condition from your partner is unethical, but engaging in vaginal, anal or oral sex without disclosing your status is actually illegal. Therefore, you absolutely have to tell your partner that you are positive. The question is – when and how to do it?
Choosing The Right Moment
Disclosing your HIV status to your date or potential partner is one of the toughest issues in AIDS dating. There is no proven method or recipe for choosing the right time and context for letting your date know you’re positive. Some people prefer doing it right away, even before the first date. This can either work or backfire, depending on the person. In many cases, the other person will simply run away, but if there is really something there, if there is a real connection between two people, disclosure doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal-breaker.
On the other hand, some people prefer waiting until the second or third date and some wait until it’s time to engage in sexual activity. Sometimes the right moment just presents itself and you will recognize it when it comes. Whichever way you decide to go for, arm yourself with confidence, patience, inner strength and, above all, honesty.
What About Sex?
HIV+ people can definitely have sex. They just have to be careful. They don’t even have to be any more careful than the recommended level of caution and common sense that applies to anyone else. In short, that means condoms. Always, always condoms. If you are having sex with an HIV-negative person, condoms should be a good enough protection.
If a condom breaks, as it sometimes happens, don’t panic. Have your partner consult a physician who will probably prescribe some form of post-exposure prophylaxis. If your partner is also HIV-positive, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to use condoms. You absolutely do because there are different strains of the virus which can interfere with the course of infection or treatment.
Marriage And Children
In most US states, HIV-positive folks can get married without any blood tests. HIV+ marriages are not illegal. As long as your partner is aware of your condition, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get married.
As for children, HIV+ people have kids all the time. However, don’t rush into it. Get informed, learn about ways to protect your unborn child from infection and make sure to consult a good physician that specializes in HIV+ pregnancies.
It Can Be Both Tough And Amazing
As we already said many times, AIDS dating may sound like a total nightmare to many people. The fact is that it can get really tough. It comes with its own set of challenges but like all challenges in life, and there are so many, you can absolutely overcome it. And you will come out of it a stronger, better, more accomplished, and confident person.
That being said, it can also be so rewarding. When you find a truly loving, caring, and open-minded partner, both of you will grow and learn so much about each other and yourselves. It’s a special bond, a deep emotional and psychological connection marked by incredible communication and understanding. So yes, AIDS dating can also be pretty amazing.