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Teen HIV+ and dating

Aug 26, 2004

A young friend of mine is 17 and is HIV+. He has been HIV+ his entire life. Dating is just an overwhelming, dreadful topic for him to try to tackle. He frequently asks my advice on how to go about dating. How to deal with the HIV+ issue. He knows he has disclose to a partner when he is ready for sexual contact, but he can't even get to the point of asking someone out on a date. Should he tell the girl before he asks her out? If not, when should he tell her? There are so many layers to this...fear of rejection,etc. I can't imagine what it is like to carry such heavy thoughts at his age. Any advice for him? Do you know of any resources or support groups for either him or his loved ones that want to help? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Most hospitals and clinics that have any significant number of HIV+ adolescents in treatment are likely to also have some sort of counseling available to help them adjust and deal with the problems of being a teenager complicated by being HIV+. Pediatricians, adolescent specialists and nurse practicioners are usually tuned into these sorts of needs in teenagers.

Alternatively, your friend could seek help from a therapist (psychologist, social worker, etc.) who has experience working with adolescents.


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