I was 28 and he was just hitting It was my first steady, long-term relationship, and we did what I used to think of as "grown-up" things. Like having Sunday football parties or fighting in Home Depot about what color to paint an accent wall in our living room. We made complex weekday dinners to distract ourselves from the fact that we were both pretty bored with each other. Of course, I wasn't really grown up, because I had never even been tested for HIV at my yearly checkup at Planned Parenthoo where I went for primary care.
It's embarrassing to admit that now, but I really did ignorantly think sex was all fun and games. For me, "dating," was basically a euphemism for casual sex. I had no type, no goal, really, and a bad one-night stand was just as much as fun as one that turned into a mini-romantic fling.
I naively thought I was invincible, that one day a hookup would lead to true Disney princess-style love, and never assumed that HIV would have anything to do with my life.
After my diagnosis, Matt and I stopped making dinner together, speaking to each other, and sleeping in the same bed. He was negative, and had been getting tested his entire life.
We broke up within the year. There was a positive ct to my HIV, though I didn't know that then. It woke me up and made me realize what I needed and wanted from a partner.
Matt never been a good match for me, really; my diagnosis just shined a spotlight on that.
The only bad thing about breaking up with Matt was the realization that I would have to start dating again. But when you're the kind of person who equates dating with dinners, drinks, and casual sex, HIV can put a real damper on all that.
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I naively thought I was invincible, that one day a hookup would lead to true Disney-princess-style love, and never assumed that HIV would have anything to do with my life. Dating after a breakup is already hard enough. Not only was I still trying to figure out what living with HIV meant, I couldn't just do that whole "put on your high heels and get back out there" thing that most newly single people do.
Dating with HIV, seriously or casually, is hard - even though it doesn't have to be. I am HIV positive, but it is undetectable, which means I am one of the estimated 30 percent of the 1. Undetectable means is that the amount of HIV virus in my blood cannot be detected by a lab test.
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When a person goes on treatment - I take one pill a day - undetectable is the goal. Staying on treatment and keeping my viral load at undetectable levels means that I'm going to lead a long healthy life.
Even better, it means that there's no risk of sexual transmissioneven if I don't use a condom though I'm better at that now, obviously. But many people are still unaware of this development in HIV treatment or are unwilling to accept the science because of the stigma that surrounds the virus. In the LGBTQ community, the absence of risk when it comes to sleeping with an undetectable partner, and using a condom to prevent other STIs, is much more widely accepted and normal, though still tough.
Jan 09, Dating is complicated, especially when you live with HIV. But you can get through it, just like me and so many others before me. Face your fears .
But as a single heterosexual woman, I have the added challenge when dating of convincing men, who are often just as naive as I used to be, that they can be intimate with me.
It feels like I have to twist someone's arm to see past my HIV viral load. You can sleep with me, I swear! That's why I initially avoided the entire conversation when I tried to get my groove back after Matt.
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For a while, I either didn't disclose my status at all or disclosed way too late for a number of reasons. Shame and fear was a part of it, but even more so I think there was a part of me that wanted to pretend that HIV hadn't happened to me.
That I could go on bad Tinder dates and laugh about them at brunch with my friends, get set up with friends, and pick up a guy when I was out for the night, just like everyone else. Not disclosing my status at first led to a lot of heartache and unnecessary hurt for both me and my partners when I did eventually give them the "bad news.
The 'bad news' was less about their risk of getting HIV and more about how I had deceived them, which is not an especially attractive quality in a mate. Not only did it lead to drama, but it was also dangerous at times.
I got lucky for a little while and seriously dated a man for about a year, though I had initially lied to him for two months about my status. He forgave me and we worked through it, like grown-ups, and had a good time getting to know each other, but the insecurities that came along with the initial deceit led to more baggage than was healthy for either of us.
We broke up, but still fall into bed together now and again, as one does with ex-boyfriends.
Feb 15, However, there are many ways to significantly reduce risk of transmission, even for an uninfected person in a sexually active relationship with someone who is HIV-positive. Many studies have been conducted on serodiscordant couples, meaning that one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative. Jul 27, Just because someone is living with HIV doesn't mean they expect their partner to be an expert on it. But understanding HIV and how to prevent exposure is . Jan 25, Dating with HIV means actually dating, taking things slow, and getting to know someone - as well as knowing that a man actually wants to get to .
It was messy, but my relationship with him taught me that being HIV positive doesn't have to be a barrier to intimacy, physical or emotional, and being scared to disclose hurt others more than myself. To reduce condom failure, try the following:.
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HIV can complicate relationships in many ways. Not only is HIV highly stigmatized, but it can also be difficult to manage.
However, under the close supervision of a good physician, you and your partner can be safely sexually active. If you need more help or want to talk about risks and options further, reach out to your health care provider or your partner's HIV specialist. All materials on this website are copyrighted. All rights reserved.
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Dating someone who's HIV-positive. Neither partner has any additional STIs. To reduce condom failure, try the following: Only use water- or silicone-based lubes. Never oil-based ones such as petroleum jelly, cooking oil or shortening, or hand-lotion as they weaken the latex and can cause breakage.
Keep condoms away from heat or direct sunlight. Check the expiration date and the package. Condoms that are too old or expired, or have packaging that appears to be weathered or deflated, need to be thrown away.