Can a person with HIV/AIDS enjoy a happy love life? Absolutely!
At Avon HMO, we believe that everyone deserves to experience the best that life has to offer, even when it comes to matters of the heart. Your HIV status shouldn’t be a deterrent to this, and with the right information at your disposal, you can enjoy life’s precious love moments too – dating, marriage and beautiful babies included.
To tell or not to tell – and when to tell?
So you take a nice guy or girl out on a first date. All goes well and you are thinking of your future. The question looms – do you tell them? Now? Later? Never? ‘Good’ people are hard to find in the singles market and the thought of letting of rejection scares you senseless.
Now, it can be tempting to keep the info of your status to yourself. After all, studies like The Well Project prove that HIV isn’t transmitted by kissing, touching or hugging. Plus, you can always commit to safe sex practices like condom use and no anal sex.
However, we strongly advise that you say NO to the temptation of staying silent and YES to doing the right thing. In other words, please inform your dates and/or partners of your status as soon as you think you can trust them with this sensitive information and definitely before you are intimate!
Doing this is almost like ripping off a plaster; the quicker the action, the quicker the (potential) pain, or heartbreak in this case. And remember that it’s not just your emotional health you have to protect but another person’s too.
Another reason why he or she should be in the know is to minimize the risk of future accidents. Drunk sexcapades do happen. Do you want to put someone you claim you love – or at least extremely like – at serious risk?
Having a strong support system
Let’s say you do decide to tell, and the fact is out.
“Fact”, not a secret, because your HIV status is nothing to be ashamed of.
One of two things is likely to happen shortly after:
- Potential Bae freaks out and asks to end things. You two stop dating.
- Potential Bae accepts the news and is happy to continue the relationship.
Either way, it’s important that you have a strong support network. You could speak to counsellors, family and friends or other individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Also speak to your doctor regarding testing your partner, pre-exposure prophylaxis and safe sex practices.
Sadly, not everyone will be accepting of your status or your mixed status relationship. That is why you need to have these reliable shoulders to lean on for the benefit of your emotional health. Speak to your doctors as often as you can, commit to your antiretroviral therapy and always remember that #yourhealthmatters.