What it’s like to date with HIV
There are a variety of reasons why I’ve stopped talking to man before. Despite his overwhelming good looks, sometimes, the guy just isn’t who I thought he’d be. Maybe I thought his mannerisms were off-putting, or he might’ve been a bit too feminine or too masculine for my liking. To me, these are all valid excuses.
But someone I know stopped speaking to a guy because he had HIV - I find that quite inexcusable.
The guy told her after two relatively successful dates. He didn't have to do that but as the conversation gradually shifted in the direction of sex, it was bound to come up.
I guess no ones ever told quite how to react.
Most people haven't knowingly met anyone who is HIV-positive before, and frankly a lot of people know close to nothing about the disease at all.
Astoundingly, in 2019 , about 25 percent of the UK population still thought you could contract HIV/AIDS from drinking out of the same glass as an HIV-positive person
Immediately she began to panic. She'd told me they'd never gotten to the point of anything close to sex, but she did kiss him in her room, did that mean she'd caught it? She was feeling sick the days prior, so was she now infected?
Obviously the guy began explaining he would never have had sex without revealing his status to her, and how he has a low strain which is now undetectable and untransmittable due to the medicine he was on.
However my friend, was still on the edge. Viciously browsing the internet for free clinics.
Ofcourse her intentions weren't to treat him like some wild animal, but i just don't think she knew what to say or how to react. She wasn't well informed on the subject.
As it turns out, while HIV diagnoses continues to drop, with an increase in testing and prevention efforts, more than 1.2 million people continue to live with it in the US. Even scarier one in eight people in the UK aren't even aware they are infected.
It got me thinking, with quick reactions as harshly as they were from my friend. How do you date when you live with HIV? Had he already suffered through worse reactions?
So I've reached out to the depths of the internet, finding stories that need to be shared. In hope that this opens up a conversation about those living with HIV and how they continue to make the most of their lives despite the stigma that comes with being infected.
It seems to me as though dating is hard for anyone, but dating with HIV from what I've read can seem like attempting advanced mathematics with just a foggy understanding of arithmetic. All of a sudden you're expected to discern the correct formulas to get the complex equations.
There are a range of HIV dating apps available on line, but why should your status affect who you can and cannot date.
Living with HIV means just that ....Living!
Having HIV should not prevent anyone from dating anyone, yes all reasonable steps should be taken with informed choices about safer sex. But at the end of the day, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of transmission and one of those steps should be earlier education regarding the subject from a younger age.
Gay people can get HIV, straight people can get HIV, white people can get HIV, black people can get HIV, latino people can get HIV — everyone can get HIV. No culture, class or orientation has a built-in immunity to the virus. And no you can't get it from kissing, insect bites, toilet seats, the air, sharing musical instruments, sharing cutlery or touching. And importantly, people can have HIV and be U-U which means undetectable and untransmissible.
Everyone needs to be aware of this.
No one deserves to be treated differently from anyone else, whether that's due to skin tone, sex or because of an illness. And if this post has helped raise awareness in just one person regarding this subject, then my job here is done.
For more information on the subject please click the links below: