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Valentine's Day for Women Living With HIV -- Finding Your Heart, Soul and Voice

February 11, 2014

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Patricia Nalls Discusses Dating as a Part of a Healthy, Fully-Realized Life

Inspiring stories of people living with HIV.


I have friends. I am dating. I am in a relationship, which is great. Because you feel good when you feel loved. I remember the days when I didn't think that that would ever happen again for me. I love going to the movies; having dinner with friends; socializing with friends. I enjoy that, and spending time with my children -- especially my grandbaby. It really brings joy to my life.

I do try to exercise. I attempt to do the treadmill every day for a half an hour. I do that fine maybe for month. Then something will happen and I'll stop and have to struggle back to get on it. So, like everybody else, I'm sometimes exercising and sometimes not.

I eat fairly healthy. I'm not overboard, like, you know, being so conscious of what I eat. But I think I eat fairly healthy, and I'm doing well.

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How long have you been in the relationship that you're in?

About 12 years. It's a long-term relationship. I like to tell folks that sometimes we put this stigma on ourselves, because we believe no one will want us, will want to be with us, and that they may judge us. Do we tell? Do we not tell?

And, you know, there are going to be people who are going to be afraid. There are going to be people who will walk away. But there are also people who will love you regardless of HIV. We have to take the chance.

I have dated and then I would run. If I feel like this is a time I need to tell somebody, I will cut it off. But I've taken chances and I have disclosed. And it's been OK. So I think we need to be brave, we deserve to be loved and we deserve all of the things like everybody else.

That little voice inside of us will tell us that we're not good enough, but we have to believe. We have to build our self-esteem and feel good about ourselves. Because we are loving and deserving to be in a healthy relationship, just like anyone else, be they HIV infected or not.

Make sure to watch or read the full interview with Patricia.

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