Not too long ago, it was pretty daunting to date someone with a different HIV status than yourself. If you were negative, you couldn’t be too sure of exactly how safe you had to be in order to stay negative. If you were positive, you were absolutely terrified of how someone would react even though you knew there was no risk of transmission. But in the era of PrEP and U=U, we are lucky enough to have all of that in our rearview mirror.
However, it doesn’t mean that everyone is up-to-date and educated on how best to navigate a new fling with someone of different status. But you don’t have to be an expert on sexual health to be open to love and sex without the fear of yesteryear.
Here is the quick and easy on how to approach dating someone with a different HIV status.
Understand that both of you have your sexual health to protect
No matter what your HIV status is, we all have our own sexual health to worry about. It is up to you and you alone to take control of your own health and take the steps that work best for you. Whether that may be HIV treatment, PrEP, condoms, proper sexual hygiene, or whatever combination thereof, everyone is responsible for their own health. As long as you are in control of your own body, there is no risk regardless of the other person’s HIV status.
Don’t assume how the other person feels
It can be easy to imagine how someone else may feel about dating someone with a different status. If you are negative, don’t assume that your potential mate is an expert in HIV and all the details surrounding U=U. If you are positive, don’t assume your date has any phobias or hang-ups about your status. Be open-minded, and more importantly, start with an open casual conversation so you can figure out where you both stand
Whatever you do, don’t overthink it.
You are not your HIV status, no matter what that status may be. When it comes to dating, chemistry shared interests, and character is what makes or breaks a relationship. Dating is a game of risk, but dating someone with a different status is not. Dating is hard enough; don’t over complicate something that shouldn’t limit you from finding the right guy.
As long as you are dialed in to your own sexual health and taking the proper steps to be healthy, his status has absolutely no impact on your compatibility. So, how do you date someone with a different HIV status? You go on a date.