HIV may complicate how you feel about relationships, whether you are alone, dating, or in a long-term couple. You may date men or women, but HIV doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to getting (or staying) together.
HIV diagnosis can bring up mixed feelings about getting involved with anyone. “I thought my love life died the day I was diagnosed, but I was wrong,” said Sidney. She navigated the online dating scene and ended up meeting a great partner.
Having HIV can change how you date. How and when do you disclose? How do you negotiate safer sex? These are the important things to consider. Then there’s the kind of person you would like to be with.
You may see yourself with a partner with HIV or as part of a magnetic couple (when one has HIV and the other doesn’t). Just like life before HIV, you’ll meet people in different ways. Some women connect with people online and end up with friends, dates, even long-term partners. If you do go online, it’s a good idea to remember that people can say they are anyone or anything, so protect your privacy with Sidney’s online dating tips.
When you are dating, disclosure will be one of the first things to consider if you figure you’re going to have sex. If you end up in a relationship, intimacy will help keep your connection strong and healthy. You may want to talk with a Positive Women’s Network support worker if you’re not sure about how or when to disclose, or have other concerns.
Don’t feel pressure to date if it doesn’t feel right. Regardless of HIV status, dating isn’t for everyone. But if you want to date, don’t let HIV stop you.