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!