Gay Men, HIV and Valentine's Day -- Disclosure, Openness and Self-Love
February 12, 2014
Valentine's Day is an emotional day for many people, whether HIV negative or HIV positive, single or in a relationship. Whatever your status in the dating or relationship scene, TheBody.com's community has a lot of advice regarding love, acceptance, stigma and how they relate to one's heart.
Taken from interviews for TheBody.com's This Positive Life series, these short clips are samples of the larger stories each of the interviewees has to tell. Aside from love and relationships, they discuss their diagnosis, first disclosure and the state of their health since receiving the news that they are HIV positive.
Table of Contents
- Michael Storm Discusses Openness to Love, and Happiness With Himself
- Tommy Chesbro on Recognizing Your Value
- Marco Benjamin on Discussing Your HIV Status
I don't date. I haven't gone out on a date in a long time. I don't think about it too much, sometimes I do. I'm sort of comfortable right now where I'm at with myself. I'm happy about where I've come, but to the point I've come because of where I've been. I certainly have seen worse times in my life to date and so I'm not content, I'm actually happy. I'm in control of my health. I'm in control of my income, you know I'm working my way out of disability and back in the work force. That's very important to me, because I've always been independent. And then to have that not work for you for a while, you know it's something to be happy about. And I found that I have these two incredible pets that they're just so loving and I like that. I like that relationship I have with them and while I know it doesn't replace a person, it certainly helps. It makes me okay with not being with someone. Beforehand, I was a relationship oriented person. I was most of my life in monogamous relationships, long term monogamous relationships. And I'm grateful to have had them; a few of them have passed away from AIDS already. But I'm grateful to have had them and at the very least you can look back and say well it's better to have loved than never loved at all. And so that's kind of where I'm at right now.
Do you see yourself in the future being open to love? Open to dating?
Oh yeah, sure, sure. I am, always. It's just that it's not a priority and again, I'm grateful to have already experienced and I guess I look at younger people and what they're going through and what I've been through that, and say yeah I remember that, that was fun, that was interesting. Now, I think I would have to, it's so different. It's a different world. You know, and in looking at who could possibly be a match for me, well they have to be open to being HIV positive or be HIV positive themselves. I have some standards that I go by, like health is important, you need to take care of yourself. Looks, you know, that's not that important to me, so much as health is, and independence to some point.
More From This Resource Center
Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?
Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients
|Love and Relationships, Positive Style: A Video Collection|
|More Personal Stories of Gay Men With HIV|
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