An STD diagnosis can bring life to a complete standstill. Nearly 20 million cases of STDs occur each year in the United States. Among the millions of Americans affected, more than 70 million people have been infected with the AIDS virus and about 35 million have died of HIV. If you’ve just been diagnosed with a life-changing STD, it might be difficult to imagine what dating will look like in the future. It can be tricky for people living with HIV/AIDS to talk about their health status, making it difficult to start a new relationship or just to date casually. STD dating may seem impossible at first, but we think it can be just like any other type of relationship. The key components of a good relationship are trust, communication, and honesty. Love is no different just because of a diagnosis.
And for someone without an STD diagnosis, dating a person with HIV/AIDS can bring up a lot of fear. Of course there’s the fear of being infected with the viruses yourself and all the stigma that may be associated with an HIV positive partner. In addition to the fear of being infected and facing stigma from friends and acquaintances, other issues may include fear of financial instability when taking care of a person living with HIV/AIDS as well as how time-consuming medical treatment can be.
What’s important to remember is that HIV/AIDS is actually not the thing that determines whether a relationship will work between two people, especially if there’s a strong foundation in place. If you get along well, have fun together, want the same things, and enjoy spending time together, you may want to stay the course and see what kind of feelings develop and grow between you. You can also hold off on physical intimacy for the time being, even if you’re very attracted to one another.
HIV/AIDS status should not get in the way of happiness, especially if you’re attracted to this person on a physical and emotional level. Still, there are things you should know if you’re thinking about starting a relationship with an infected person. We suggest that you:
- Talk openly with your partner about their HIV status
- Be honest and open with each other
- Make sure you’re on the same page
- Don’t pay too much attention to what other people think; focus on your own experience
- Talk to your doctor about prevention options
The good news is that there are a lot of options these days for STD dating, especially for those dating with HIV/AIDS. The diagnosis doesn’t mean that your dating life is over, nor does it have to be a relationship non-negotiable for HIV free people. If you want to date and explore the possibilities of a relationship, don’t let a diagnosis stand in the way. And for people living with HIV/AIDS, there are tons of online dating communities specifically for STD positive singles.