When you are first diagnosed with a long term health condition like HIV, there can be a lot to take in. You will probably go through a number of different emotions and stages before you come to terms with your diagnosis. Fortunately, there is a lot of information out there about HIV and dating with HIV, but it is easy to become overwhelmed. Protect yourself and any future partners you have, by seeking advice from a medical professional regarding the risk of infecting future partners, and how you can best prevent this happening.
Here are some of the common myths surrounding dating with HIV.
If you are HIV positive you can never date again
Although you will need to make some adjustments, plenty of HIV positive people go on to find love and enjoy happy fulfilling relationships. It may be a bit more challenging, and the path may be a bit less smooth, but just because you have HIV you don’t have to live like a hermit for the rest of your life.
If you and your partner are both HIV positive you don’t need to practice safe sex
Even if both partners have tested HIV positive it is possible to be re-infected with a different strain of the illness. Re-infection could lead to ongoing health problems, including resistance to medication. Having sex without a condom could leave you vulnerable to other STDs, which could compromise your health.
Using condoms means I can’t infect my partner
Although using condoms can greatly reduce the risk of infection, nothing except complete abstinence can guarantee you or your partner will be protected from becoming infected with HIV. Your best defence is to educate yourself and your partner on the risks and decide from there.
Because I already have HIV there is no need to get tested
Having HIV does not mean you are not at risk of developing other STDs. With your immune system already compromised, it is important that you take care to avoid any potential infections.
Because I am HIV positive I will never be able to have children
It is possible for HIV positive couples to have children without infecting them. You don’t need to give up on your dream of having a family because of your HIV status.
Discovering that you have been infected with HIV can be a huge shock and it may take a while to come to terms with your illness and what it means for your health and the future. Millions of people who have HIV lead happy, productive and fulfilled lives and go on to find love – hopefully you can too!