Dating With HIV

Being diagnosed with HIV can be an overwhelming experience. One of the issues many HIV positive people wonder about is how and whether they will be able to date or have relationships in the future. Although the idea may seem daunting at first, your HIV status definitely does not have to mean you won’t be able to have happy, healthy and fulfilling relationships in the future. 

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As with any health condition which could be passed on to your partner you will need to take a few precautions when you launch into the dating scene.

Disclosure:

It is absolutely essential that you inform any future partners of your HIV status before you are sexually intimate. This can be a nerve-wracking experience as you never know how people will react and unfortunately not everyone will respond in a positive or supportive manner. How far into the relationship you disclose is up to you, as long as it is before any sexual contact has taken place. Explain your situation calmly and in a matter of fact way, and give your partner time to process the information before demanding a response. It can be hard, but try not to take any negative reactions to heart too much – it may help to think of it as part of the overall process of screening out unsuitable partners.

Protection:

Protecting your partner against infection should be a big priority for anyone who is living with HIV. Educate yourself and them on the risks and the best ways to reduce the chances of infection. Always use protection when you are intimate. Latex condoms are the best way to reduce the chances of your partner becoming infected with HIV but make sure you are using them correctly so they are working as effectively as possible. Even if your partner also has HIV, it is essential that you use protection to reduce the risk of re-infection. Remember, you need to use protection for all types of sexual intimacy, including oral.

Take you and your partner’s health seriously and make sure you do everything you can to protect both of you. By educating yourself on the different aspects of your illness, and getting professional advice on the best way to prevent infection, you could safeguard both your health and that of your partner.

You may have some anxieties about sharing your HIV status with a new partner, but by being open about your HIV status and informing them early in the relationship, you can hopefully develop your trust and communication and enjoy a long and healthy life together.

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