Dating is tough in general, but being HIV-positive while seeking a mate presents a whole host of unique questions and issues. Yes, there are many HIV-specific dating sites, including HIVDating Online.com, HIVPoz.net, and Positive Singles.com, which has over 15,000 members'all of whom are positive for either HIV or another condition they specify (for instance, HPV or herpes).
Often disclosing on a website is an easy way to take the fear of rejection out of meeting new potential dates. Remember you don't have to tell anyone about your HIV status until you're ready emotionally or are about to engage in behaviors that could put someone at risk (such as sex). Some people like to come out casually between dinner and dessert, while others mark it as a serious conversation to be had after the first date but before things get serious. 'When I came out as HIV-positive on Project Runway, I was afraid of how people would react,' he told Everyday Health.'I thought about it the next day and I was really frightened of the backlash.But then when the episode aired, it was amazing how many people responded in such a positive way, and how people were so willing to share their own personal stories. Living with HIV is like living with many other chronic diseases.And also through Facebook I get so many different emails from my friends'who share their personal stories about living with HIV.' What is important to remember is that you are not alone: You are one of the nearly 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, according to 2008 data (the latest available) from the U. While you can't transmit diabetes or lupus to a sexual partner, there are effective ways to ensure potential partners are never at risk for contracting HIV from you.There's no shame in having HIV and being honest with a prospective date about it.
If he or she balks, that's just not the right person for you. You do need to come out about your status before you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Each of those states has reported proceedings in which HIV-positive people have been arrested and/or prosecuted for consensual sex, biting, or spitting, so in some states even a hand job can be a risky act if you haven't told your sexual partner your status.According to the Center for HIV Law and Policy, 36 states and two U. A report from the center documents 80 prosecutions in a recent two-year period, such as that of an HIV-positive Iowa man who had used a condom (he had to register as a sex offender and is not allowed unsupervised contact with young children, including his nieces and nephews) and a Georgia woman who was sentenced to eight years in prison for failing to disclose her HIV-positive status, even though two witnesses told jurors that her sexual partner was aware of her diagnosis.Knowing the laws is important, protecting yourself from prosecution even more so. Face it, everyone in the dating world is afraid of rejection, whether it's because we have baggage (kids, exes, trauma), we don't fit social expectations (of age, size, appearance, cultural background), we're awkward at socializing (nerdy, shy, introverted), or have one of the myriad of other characteristics that make us unique.For people with HIV, dating can be intimidating and fear of rejection might keep you from disclosing your status to dates.The experts at AIDSInfo recommend that you remember every situation is different and you don't have to tell everybody.If you aren't going to be in a situation where HIV could be transmitted, there's no need to tell your date, but sooner or later, in any relationship, 'it will be important to talk about your HIV status.