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Hard to Date

May 29, 2000

I've been HIV+ for 8 years now and have only dated other men, usually older (I'm in my 20's), who are also HIV+. I know this is kind of strange to say, but I have run out of people to date. Other gay men now take pretty good care of themselves and do not "look" sick, so I never know if anyone is (myself included, I look healthy). Others have died off, and most people my age were smart enough to protect themselves from HIV. Also, it's not exactly the topic of conversation during the flirting stage of meeting someone. I know there are plenty of us still around. I've tried to be friendly at my doctor's office waiting room, but that's even strange. It's gotten to the point where I do not even bother socializing and pretty much have become a hermit. Seeking a support group to meet someone sounds a little morbid. HIV+ personals haven't worked. For some reason, I attract the wrong people. Am I being too picky?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

I have no idea if you are being too picky, but if you live in a major city I find it hard to believe that you have run out of eligible men. I do think something else is going on here that is more due to your own emotional make up. What is your investment in not finding suitable partners or even friends? I agree that one does not join a support group to meet potential dates, but rather to learn how to cope with living with HIV from discussing and sharing with other peers in the same boat. Instead of looking outside yourself, ask what are you doing to create obstacles to meeting men. If you have trouble figuring this out, then you may want to think of having some counseling or therapy to help you work through your block in this area. Michael Shernoff, MSW

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