Some lifestyle adjustments are necessary, and it might not all be smooth sailing, but the most important thing is not giving up on having a rich love life just because you have HIV.
As you know, an HIV diagnosis can raise some concerns about sex and intimacy. The first thought is always that your love life is ruined and you get that ‘forever alone’ moment, but as you research further you’ll see that HIV dating is a real possibility, and not only that there are entire communities that will welcome you and help you navigate your love life after the diagnosis. Some lifestyle adjustments are necessary, and it might not all be smooth sailing, but the most important thing is not giving up on having a rich love life just because you have HIV. That said, let’s see what can be done to ease the transition into this new chapter of your life.
We are out of the dark ages
The 80s are behind us, and although there is still a certain stigma when it comes to HIV, it’s far from the discrimination that was present at the very beginning. And not only that, with the medical breakthroughs the mortality rate for HIV has dropped significantly and the new treatment programs within the World Health Organization, have been effective. With all this in mind, the attitude of the society towards HIV positive people has also shifted, enabling the infected individuals to live a far more fulfilled life. This includes the love and relationship part as well. Not only will you be able to have a love life, but you can also even consider starting a family if you take the proper precautions. So, don’t let the diagnosis get you down, you are still you and you deserve to love and be loved.
Make sure you are open about your condition
This is the hardest and, at the same time, the most important aspect when it comes to dating when you are HIV positive. When you meet someone you would like to get to know better or even have a relationship with, it is essential that you open up about your condition. This type of conversation is not pleasant nor comfortable, and it can result in rejection, but at the same time, it is important because the other person has the right to know. You can also take the time and explain how there is no immediate danger if you use protection and are both responsible when it comes to being intimate. Even if you decide to date within the HIV community, the part about responsibility and protection remains the same, there are different strains of HIV and you might contract a new one which requires a change in medication and can lead to complications. Being open and forthcoming is the only way to start a relationship when you are HIV positive. That way, both you and your potential partner are clear on what the situation is and are free to make up your mind whether or not you are willing to proceed.
Don’t let HIV define who you are
A lot of people, when faced with this diagnosis begin to identify themselves with the disease and forget that it is what they have and not who they are. Your life is still yours, and you should make sure you don’t throw it away. Do the things you want to do, don’t give up on your friends and hobbies, and most importantly, don’t give up on the search for that one ideal partner to share your life with. Having HIV today is far easier to navigate than ever before, and you can lead a long and full life even with this diagnosis. And if you feel down, make sure you seek either professional help or find people within the HIV community who can help you cope with the initial shock and lifestyle changes. After you get over that, it will be a lot easier to move on with your life and regard this disease as something trivial that you need to be aware of, and not something that dictates your life choices.
Discovering you are HIV positive can be terrifying, but with the right support system, you will manage to get over the initial fear and get to lead a rich life filled with love.
This content is sponsored by Stefan Simonovic.