If you have made a conscious decision to date someone with HIV, it is important to take the situation seriously and make appropriate lifestyle changes that can protect you both.
Science and medicine have come a long way since the HIV epidemic in the 1980s, and people are able to live long and rich lives even after being diagnosed. So, there is no reason why you can’t have a fulfilling relationship with someone who is HIV positive. However, there are some things you need to take into consideration when dating someone with HIV and understanding this condition better as well as asking the right questions can go a long way.
Let’s just go over the basics – What is HIV and how can you get it?
So, first let’s start with the definition – HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The name comes from the ability of the virus to interfere with your immune system, weakening it so that it can’t fight different diseases that enter your body. There is a clear distinction between HIV and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS, which is a condition created by HIV. You can contract HIV from someone who already has it, and it’s transmitted only through a certain group of fluids including blood, semen, precum, vaginal fluid, breast milk (but only for mother-to-child transmission), and rectal fluids, also called anal mucous. The fluids that are not on the list are spit, sweat, and tears and it is important to keep this in mind, especially if you are considering dating someone with HIV.
How does your partner having HIV affect your relationship?
This is the most important question most people ask when entering a relationship with someone who is HIV positive. The truth is, not that much. When it comes to forming a loving relationship with someone, HIV has no effect whatsoever. The only aspect of the relationship you need to be mindful of is the physical one. Exchange of some of the above listed bodily fluids can be dangerous. This means you need to practice safe and well-protected sex. In case of an injury that results in bleeding, make sure you use appropriate protection, like gloves before providing aid. So, you need to be aware of possible channels of contamination, but the probability of it actually happening is very low and it shouldn’t stop you from fully enjoying your relationship.
Planning a family with someone who is HIV positive
This is a question that will come after you have been dating someone with HIV for a longer period of time and you are ready to take the next step. Being scared that the virus gets transferred onto the baby is completely normal, as is to ask how you can make a baby without you contracting the virus. The good news is that with careful planning, it is possible to have a safe and successful pregnancy while preventing HIV from passing to the HIV-negative partner or the baby. The most important thing is sitting down with your chosen healthcare professional and discussing the options. They can suggest the best course of action and ensure that you are both safe while enabling you to bring a healthy child into the world.
So, as you can see, there is nothing preventing you from having a long, loving and healthy relationship with someone who has HIV. If you have a good understanding of the virus and are ready to make the necessary lifestyle changes, there is no reason to back down and not be with the love of your life.
This content is sponsored by Stefan Simonovic.