Image credit: Marcelo Chagas from Pexels
HIV may have been a death sentence during the ‘80s and the early ‘90s, but in this day and age, lots of people live very happy and fulfilling lives even with HIV. Add to that the new developments that have been introduced when it comes to PrEP — such as the sale of a generic form of Truvada in September 2020 — and you could say that the quality of life for people living with HIV has improved.
That said, prejudices and misconceptions about the HIV-positive still abound, making several things difficult for them, most especially dating. There are probably more than a few HIV-positive people who have seen their dating prospects dwindle once they come out with their diagnosis. That’s why you really can’t blame them if they’re a little more touchy when it comes to being in a potentially romantic relationship.
If you’re seeing someone HIV-positive or looking to start a relationship with someone who has HIV, it’s best to have certain things in mind so you don’t end up fumbling the relationship before it even starts.
- Keep in min they’re probably as anxious as you
Yes, you may feel a little anxiety if you’re dating someone HIV-positive for the first time, but you also need to keep in mind that they probably are just as anxious as you, perhaps even more. After all, they’re already face prejudice from people they’re not in a relationship with because of their diagnosis, so they’re going to feel even more anxious dealing with someone they’re looking to get romantically involved with. Don’t think that you’re the only one that has questions or concerns about the relationship.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
In line with number one, don’t hesitate to ask them about things that you’re anxious or worried about when it comes to the relationship. They probably already regularly face a lot of invasive questions from people they aren’t in a relationship with, so a question from someone they know and possibly love won’t seem as bad. Sharing your concerns and asking questions is a better way to go about this relationship than making assumptions about the other person because they’re HIV-positive.
3. Let him take the lead when it comes to revealing his status
When it comes to disclosing HIV status to other people, the person with HIV should be the one to decide when and where to do this. It’s not your decision to make when it comes to choosing who should know a person’s status, so don’t just mention it to your friends without the other person’s consent. Think of it this way; if he shared something deeply personal about you without your consent, you’d feel betrayed and angry as well.
4. Keep in mind this is a relationship between the two of you and not the rest of society
Once people find out that you’re in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive, tongues will surely be wagging. The HIV-positive person you’re dating may probably be used to people talking about them, but it’s going to be a new experience for you. What you need to do is tune out all of this white noise and always remember that this relationship is between the two of you and nobody else. If you’re being treated right, of the other person is faithful, and they make you feel loved, what people think shouldn’t matter.
5. Don’t be afraid to show affection
This should go without saying, but in case you all need to hear it: You don’t get HIV from hugging, kissing, or holding hands. If you feel the urge to do this with the person you’re dating, don’t let fear stop you from showing your affection.
To all our HIV-positive Adam4Adam blog readers, are there any other things you wish people kept in mind when they start a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section below!
I am in a relationship with an HIV positive person. We found out he was positive 5 months into our relationship. He was devastated, afraid, and thought I would leave immediately. Leaving him was not what I ever thought about. Instead, we discussed our options and focused on how to keep him healthy, me negative, and our relationship alive. That was 9 years ago. Today, he is a healthy undetectable HIV positive person and I remain negative. I agree with the author, ignore the white noise and gossip. If you have met your soul mate and he is positive just… Read more »
I find your blog on the 5 things to keep in mind when dating an HIV + Person. OFFENSIVE AND WRITTEN FROM THE POV OF A PERSON WHO HAS NO ACTUAL FACT OR MEDICAL DATA TO ENLIGHTEN OR EDUCATE. unless… and I quote… “Once people find out that you’re in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive, tongues will surely be wagging” is tongue wagging a symptom, a concern or something anybody should worry enough about to make the top 5 reasons to keep in mind. Your blog should be titled How to Love an HIV Leper. Leper Definition: 1a… Read more »
Douglas, maybe you should read it again, there’s nothing “mean” in this article, just tips for guys who are dating or wish to date positive guys.
You may not have meant it to be mean, but if you’re getting feedback from actual people who are HIV positive that what you wrote is offensive, you should listen and try to see where they’re coming from, rather than double down on your words. I’m not HIV positive and even I found how you wrote this post a bit off-putting. Imagine if someone had written this about a person of color
one person did…others if you read properly have commented normally or thanked me.
Nothing offensive in that post Nick. My best friend is poz, my uncle was poz, I’m surrounded with poz people at work.
Just wanted to write about that subject to help my folks out.
It seems the writer was perhaps speaking to the many folks who may still have limited experience or awareness of what life is like for a person living with HIV; those individuals still exist. The ignorance and stigmatization still exist. Thus, it is great to begin a dialogue about this issue – dating among serodiscordant individuals, even in the time of U=U and PrEP. I’m grateful for the brief educational points, and stirring up a discussion. I’m just as grateful for your response, Douglas. You are part of the discussion, and great for people to read your perspective. Thank you!… Read more »
Hey, man. Chill. Obviously hit a nerve there. Where does your hate come from? I understand none of us are whole. Give yourself a break. I think it’s pretty provincial of you to assume every Gay man’s experience is the same as yours. I’m guessing you live in a large city on one of the coasts. If not correct me. It’s pretty obvious that you know nothing of the day-to-day experiences of those not living in your enclave. Many Gay men fear for their jobs, losing their family, their children, even being beaten up or killed. So please keep your… Read more »
Amen I too live in a small town in Alabama… you see the crazies every direction you turn.
You should have proofread your comments before posting: too many spelling and syntax errors in addition to uppercase letters turning into sentences. Quite obviously you are extremely angry; however, this article is not insensitive nor mean spirited. This article reminded me of a relationship in which my other half brought up his HIV status and hoped I would be understanding and not reject him. I followed common sense and let this man into my life. We were together for 5 wonderful years and still remain friends as his life and mine have moved forward.
Unfortunately, in 2021 the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS is still very real, intense, frightening, and infuriating. Were there a couple of points that could have been softened by the blogger? Sure. However, I do not feel that the writer was out of line nor incorrect in anything stated. He did not incite fear or encourage harassment. As the husband of a man with AIDS, I have personally felt the fear and “tongue wagging of others when they ley learn I am not positive and he has has AIDS. The ridicule, judgement, and utter disbelief that I would even… Read more »
Well, I’m neg and so is my BF. But we do have an open relationship, as both of us see others at times. If for some reason my BF became HIV poz, nothing would change on my part. I would love and care about him no different than we are now. I think my BF would get really worried and devastated, but I would help him through it and do everything I could to help him emotionally and medically. I see no reason it should affect our relationship, friendship, or sexuality. I’m sure he would do the same for me… Read more »
And for the love of God, STOP using the word clean to define your status. It’s rude, cold, condescending, and implies people that HIV are dirty. Well, they are NOT. HIV is a disease, plain and simple. I was with a + guy for 16 years, and I never contracted HIV from him. I am on PrEP now. It’s our jobs to educate and protect ourselves. If you are with someone that is HIV+ and they are undetectable, you will not get HIV from them!!
(based on my own) I have TWO BAD experience with HIV boyfriends. The only thing i can say is that the medicine they take they mess with there mood/mind. But I’m just Over to never ever have another HIV boyfriend in my life. The really left scars in my heart those two persons. I’m just done!
But do not leave anyone to hurt your feelings is not worth it (No vale la pena)
HIV Boyfriends? Maybe HIV+ boyfriends.
Juan I know exactly what you’re saying I have some HIV+ friends who take medication The medications are not the panacea everyone claims they are The medicines don’t work for everybody They affect moods and can cause other health side effects It takes a lot of trial and error by a doctor to find the right medicine for each person and then that person must stay on the treatment regiment or it might stop working and they’ll have to start all over One of my friends in the late 90s, early 2000s, was so sick from the medication that he… Read more »
I was a divorced, custodial parent when I met my great love who was HIV+ and died of AIDS-related complications in 1995. We were together from 1989 until his demise in 1995. AIDS was an untreatable disease throughout our relationship. He was actually my upstairs neighbor; we slept together nightly. He was routinely around my children and they each loved the other dearly. After homework, dinner, family time, and everyone being put to bed by 9pm – The Hyacinth Foundation was my therapy. They counseled me via telephone nightly and were invaluable. I scrutinized newspapers and clipped articles in the… Read more »
Wow, thanks for sharing your very touching story, Eric. I have an uncle who died of AIDS-related complications around that time and his name was Jean-Robert, so it made me very emotional to read it. Have a great week and I’m sending you good vibes 🙂
Why is the blog only concerned with the needs and feelings of the HIV+ person? Everything concerning HIV is always about positive people and making them comfortable . Nobody cares about us HIV- people. The message seems to be just shut up and date positive people. We have feelings and opinions and problems with the disease too even though we don’t have the virus.
But nobody cares about us.
Probably because of douchebag attitudes and comments like yours.
You’re response is typical of the irresponsible “I don’t give a fuck who I fuck” type I’m 57 years old and remember when the epidemic first started in the early 80s I was sexually active already as a teen too But I stayed informed and careful and am negative to this day But two generations have grown up with this disease and In spite of all the knowledge, the science, the treatments, the preventions people are still getting infected Why? Because of callous attitudes like yours who won’t take it serious Your type, so quick to disregard other opinions, have… Read more »