Since the end of the last century few diseases have evoked so much fear and concern as AIDS. While the prime reason for this continues to be the fact that a definite and complete cure has continued to elude scientists, another equally strong cause remains the confusion and misconception over how AIDS is transmitted. Being HIV positive does not mean that you cannot lead an active social life. Here are some tips for someone with HIV on how to find dates and love in a safe and healthy way.
It is only natural to wish to shut yourself from the world if you have just been diagnosed as HIV positive. Confusion and misconception over how AIDS is transmitted has created a lot of stigma towards HIV positive people, especially in dating and relationships. So the first thing you need to do as part of the process of getting back on your feet is to gather information on all aspects of your condition. This will not only help you to counter misconceptions as you get back to the dating scene but more importantly help you take care of yourself better. You will know what substances, places and activities to avoid and where to seek help in case of a medical emergency. Being well informed will thus give you the confidence to go dating and open up better opportunities.
TIP: Positive Singles has many single men and women coping with an STD and looking for someone to date
Understand that casual dating is safe
The stigma attached to HIV positive may be enough to force you to give up on the dating scene. But keep in mind the facts and refuse to give way to fears and insecurities. According to the Center for Disease Control of the US Department of Health and Human Services 1 the most common ways for the transmission of HIV infection are through exchange of specific body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk from the HIV-infected to the non-infected person. These particular fluids must come into contact with the mucous membrane, a damaged tissue or be injected directly into the blood stream for the infection to transmission of HIV to take place. Once you have a clear idea about the virus as well as what does and does not cause transmission of HIV from an infected to a healthy person, you shall be better able to avoid those conditions and have a healthy relationship.
If you are still hesitant to put yourself in the dating scene, you can start small by going online. The internet has come as a godsend for niche dating pools and HIV positive singles are one of them. There are several dating websites which cater specifically to the requirements of singles who are HIV positive. While you can sign up with these sites as a way of meeting other HIV positive singles, try and be open to those who may have an HIV negative status. There are lots of fun and attractive people who have sense enough to brush off the stigma and stereotypes associated with HIV. Even if you have found a nice partner, you can still scour these sites for interesting and creative dating ideas as well as dating events which can go a long way in making your social life enjoyable.
One of the best ways to find a date is to look for enthusiasts of a common interest or a shared hobby. Doing something enjoyable together remains an effective way of getting to know somebody and this holds true for HIV dating as well. In fact , this is especially a good idea in case where one or both partners may be HIV positive since it diminishes the possibility of unsafe activities while at the same time strengthening the bond between them. So if you like painting, by all means join an art workshop where you can come across someone who loves splashing with colors just like you do; or perhaps hang out at an art gallery on a Sunday afternoon. On the other hand if you are a keen golfer, you could tee off at a golf club or go mini-golfing at the local range. However you may need to steer clear of activities which are physically stressful like certain sports and adventure activities like bungee jumping or rock climbing. Despite being HIV positive, if a person is in overall good health, there is no reason why you cannot go swimming on the beach or hiking on a lovely summer day.
Social and cultural events
Choose a cultural or artistic event in your city or town to look for a like-minded partner. These events usually have a range of musical, culinary and recreational opportunities which are sure to offer something to every kind of personality. So if you are a big time fan of rock music, attend a concert taking place in your city and you have every chance of meeting another hard-core headbanger. Then there are other cultural events like fairs, parades, food festivals and carnivals which are all a great way to enjoy the outdoors, besides meeting another single. All such events are perfectly OK for HIV positive people to attend, provided they stick to safe foods, drinks and activities. In fact these days there are socials and dances organized exclusively for HIV positive singles where they can not only meet potential partners but can have a good time with a lover.
Get into volunteer work
Volunteering for an AIDS organization or a gay community or health center is not only a great way to meet other HIV positive men and women but also find something meaningful to do together when you are dating later. Join an AIDS walk or attend an AIDS charity benefit. Many community organizations sponsor events where you would meet other people who share like-minded values and missions.
When to disclose
If you have been successful in meeting someone through conventional means and he/she does not know of your HIV status, you will need to deal with the highly complex situation of when to disclose it. If you do it too early, you stand the risk of giving more important to your HIV status than need be; on the other hand if you leave the disclosure just before an intimate night, your partner may feel cheated and hurt. There is no perfect time for such a disclosure and it will depend on the level of companionship and attraction in your relationship as well as the personality of your partner. Finally practice all guidelines of safe sex even if you find your partner open to physical intimacy, knowing that you are HIV positive.