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Love and Relationships, Positive Style

What's your advice to HIV-positive people looking for love? What's your experience been?

 6/17 

Bernard Jackson

Bernard Jackson

Youth HIV Prevention Specialist, The Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry, Falls Church, Va., Diagnosed in 1999

Relationships to me have always been so difficult, but I've found out that dating is so nice. It's a wonderful thing to have people that just like you for you, and not like you for what goes on behind closed doors.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Sheron (Washington, DC) Mon., Jun. 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm EDT
Courages!
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Comment by: Nonsikelelo (south africa) Thu., Mar. 8, 2012 at 5:02 am EST
all the stories are so amazing ,i also hve a friend he is positive and he has given up on finding love he is 45yrs old can someone help me to help him.
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Comment by: Adrian (South Africa) Tue., Feb. 21, 2012 at 3:33 am EST
Thanks so much for this documentary on love! I am REALLY struggling with self-value since I know I am poz and finding love seems to be the thing that is totally impossible. This gave me some hope .. thanks again.
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Comment by: jennifer g. (Spokane wa) Thu., Feb. 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm EST
well lets see ive been positive for one yr in that time ive met all kind sof men and as of right now im staying single im finding guys are in too much of a hurry to settle down ive made that misstake recently and now im getting a divorce soon so i still love men i just always meet the wrong ones guys please slow down not all of us are in a hurry im not dying so get to know someone slow and enjoy it and as far as couples go i wouldnt know or care if the guy is poz or not its what the two hearts want that matters
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Comment by: amber (canada) Wed., Feb. 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm EST
i would like to happily report that i have been in a relationship with a neggie for over 7 years....i am posative and he is negative, we just added 2 children ,3 and almost 2( a boy and a girl) to our family (whom are also negative!) we have been together for 7 years and we are getting married now. he is amazing and i couldnt have asked for a more kind and generous thoughtful and sooo loving of a man. the reality is with hiv people arent dying of it anymore because we have the best medical available and in canada, all my hiv meds are free, ive been undetectable for 4 years and have a cd4 of around 500. i also underwent the hcv treatment succsesfully and no longer have hep c. there is so many advances in meds these days the cure is around the corner, so hand=g on everybody we will find a cure
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Comment by: Bernard Jackson (Falls Church Va ) Wed., Feb. 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm EST
LOL I heard that my sister ! Happy valentines day to you !
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Comment by: sandramommy2 (home) Wed., Feb. 15, 2012 at 6:29 am EST
why is my hiv boyfriend so moody,we'r in a long distance relationship,he also has a so called tenent but i think its a relationship.he says i call too much
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Comment by: Millicent Foster (baton rouge, la) Thu., Feb. 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm EST
Meta I love it. You are a big inspiration to everyone who is HIV+ and still waiting for love. You really have found something special, may your life be filled with much more happiness and love.
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Comment by: JIMMY MACK (SOUTHAMPTON) Sun., Feb. 5, 2012 at 10:20 am EST
I TESTED HIV+ ON VALENTINES DAY OF 1987, SO IT WILL BE 25 YEARS THIS VALENTINES DAY! I MET MY CURRENT PARTNER OB A GAY DATING WEBSITE AND WAS IMPRESSED THAT HE STATED RIGHT UP FRONT THAT HE WAS HIV+, AS DID I. BRIAN AND I ARE PLANNING TO ANNOUNCE OUR ENGAGEMENT THIS VALENTINES DAY AND WILL BE LOOKING FORWARD TO A SUMMER WEDDING.
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Comment by: Shelly (Africa) Wed., Apr. 7, 2010 at 6:25 am EDT
To J Bailey
Hie, I just want to respond to you. I am not gay but what you are experiencing is the same I have experienced. The moment I disclosed my status to someone who I thought was a loved one he dissappeared and stopped seeing me and even stopped taking my phone calls. It really hurt me so much to think that its somone I who said I he loved me. People are very judgemental when you hear them talk its as if they know their status and its as if the people who are HIV positive its their fault that they are in the situation they are in. It used to hurt me so much when I hear people say that but these days I talk it out to people. I tell them that its not a choice to be infected but it happens at most times without knowing. As for me it happened that my ex husband discovered that he was HIV positive and started taking medications on his own without telling me. I did not notice anything but later on I noticed deterioration of his health. When i suggested that we use condoms he was so angry with me saying that he paid lobola for me and there was no way that he would use protection on a wife he married. I later went for a HIV test and discovered that I was and when I told him he was not moved. Thats when i discovered that he knew about his status. I was hurt and walked like a wounded animal and was very bitter towards man. I would not trust and never thought that I could open up and love again. We separated and I am living with my kids. What I always tell married women especially women they are so much at risk in Africa as man say I paid lobola for you therefore I cannot use protection on you, that they have to be careful for their health. The moment they discover that the husband is cheating they must insist on protection because they will be putting their life at risk. And when you look at it in most cases married women are the ones who are very judgemental they think if a woman is HIV positive she has been sleeping around, but thats not the case.
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Comment by: Daddy Bearby (Birmingham, Alabama ) Tue., Apr. 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm EDT
Well Hope :
Honey take this to heart I was poz quite a few years before hearing that I had Aids ( much to my own fault becasue I was healthy but went down the wrong road ( drugs of course ) .
Yet here I am 9 years after being diagnosed with Aids still going strong and even better because I now know what my body can endure ( altho my spirit has thrived( yes I begaan attending church services once again ) more than I thought it would have by this point in my life !).
Now while I was diagnosed as poz in 1996 I didn't get to the point of aids until 2001 so see darlin ya can live a long happy and produtcie life as long as you take care of your self and dont let stress do damage to your system and those words come from the heart because when I went on disability like many other poz people I still wanted to work so I found a part time position at one of the local resturants but after a couple of months my husband( term of endearment there not actually married in this red state ) said it was showing on me so I had them reduce my hours to only 20 or so a week and that was perfect because it allowed me to be able to take care of his needs (along with his help my aging parents as well ).
So don't ya go trying to fly unless U have a good safty net ( support system ) !!!!
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Comment by: Daddy Bearby (Birmingham, Alabama ) Tue., Apr. 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm EDT
I'm just glad that my husband ( a term of endearment there ) refused to walk out of the hospital room when the Dr wanted the room cleared so he could tell me I had Aids.
he has thus far been my caregiver making sure I was getting my meds on time those few awful months of dealing with such a diagnosis.
Now the tables have come full turn because with him having diabetes and spinal stenosis I have become his care giver .
Now while he is not poz he knows first hand what i went thru allowing my body to adjust to the meds ( my first cocktail is the one I have been on now for over nine years and little or few side effects thank goodness ) .
Yet even knowing that I have aids he's never faltered one minute in his love and compassion for me and now that we are on the verge of going silver ( 2011 will be our 25Th anniversary year ) I'm glad he refused to walk away when asked to do so because the love he has shown me all these years I have been more than happy to pass on to others by simply showing them that a mix status couple can have a long and happy life together .
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Comment by: Tottle (Dublin) Wed., Mar. 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm EDT
May all that are HIV positive find love and happiness.
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Comment by: J. Bailey (Houston TX) Tue., Mar. 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm EDT
Trying to get back into the dating pool after finding out I am pozitive a few years ago has been a real experience. I am finding my own gay community to be some of the most judgemental. I guess it is either lack of education or understanding or both. I am not giving up, just suprized by the amount of "I am this or that and UB2". I hope we as a segment of society can learn to grow beyond these barriers. Would be interested to hear how others feel about these issues. I cannot be the only one experiencing them.
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Comment by: Shelly (Africa) Wed., Feb. 24, 2010 at 9:35 am EST
To Hope

There is hope for you Hope. Don't be discouraged by this. There is life after testing HIV Positive. You did not say much about your love life what is it like. What have been your experiences. As you share with others I discovered you let off the bitterness in your heart you might not even realise it but it will be there. Love you Hope. God is with you.
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Comment by: Hope N. (South Africa, Durban) Tue., Feb. 23, 2010 at 5:53 am EST
Hi I'm 23 years of age single and been positive fo 5 years.
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Comment by: Shelly (Africa) Mon., Feb. 22, 2010 at 11:10 am EST
Hie guys, just wanted to tell yu that I love all very much and the recipe to stay strong is to live your life without fear. There is so much fear that is instilled in you when you hear the words that you are HIV Positive. All you think about is that you are going to die, you are going to fall sick that, at times you just start feeling the symptoms that you did not feel at all. This is all caused by fear and fear of rejection, that if I disclose my status I will be rejected. You know we are at a better stage cause we know our status and than those who are ignorant and want to judge you. Fear will damage you. Eliminate fear and learn to love yourself each day and appreciate life. Before you know it that man/or woman will come your way. God is the God of impossible. In the world people will think its not possible for a negative person to love an HIV positive person. But its happening and who are you to judge someone. I watched Opra last week and there were women who were infected by a man who was out to get women, but one of the women there remarried to an HIV negative man. So dont beat yourself and think life has been unfair on you. Instead look out for those who need encouragement and boost their morale by sharing your story with them. You dont know how someone will feel when you see that someone is sick and low and you disclose your status and encourage them. I have done that to one guy I worked with who was so down and was just closing himself in his office and was so dejected. By disclosing my status to him he realised that he was not alone and he has bouced back to his normal self and and is now on medication. Love you Guys
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Comment by: Mikey (Madrid, Spain) Fri., Feb. 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm EST
I have been with my partner for little over a year. After the month I was diagnosed it was bumpy for a few months. Now after lots of talking and researching we have a very amazing life. Staying strong and never giving up has been my motto.
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Comment by: Rick (Charleston, WV) Wed., Feb. 17, 2010 at 7:55 am EST
My partner and I are both POZ and we have been together for over 8 years. Yes our sex life has changed but our love is going strong and getting stronger every day! Living in the Bible Belt its hard for us to talk about our status, but a few good friends from around the country and we are doing just fine. Best of love and happiness to all and you can be POZ and in love and be loved!
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Comment by: Shelly (Africa) Tue., Feb. 16, 2010 at 8:56 am EST
I have also discovered that its best to tell someone before you get emotionally attached. So that when he/she walks away from you you will not be hurt. I have not found love in my life. The man I loved walked out on me when I told him about my status. He said he needs time to think about it and that was that he just stopped talking to me. I was hurt at that time but I have developed I a rule that when someone wants to go out with me before the relationship develops i tell the person there and then. One guy wanted to hang on to me but I realised that it was just for money purposes. He wanted money and had no emotional feelings towards me and wanted me to feel as if he was doing me a favour that he can still be with even though I was I HIV positive and I stopped seeing him. Don't feel discouraged by all this its just to help those who have just discovered they are positive what they should expect. Though I would like to think that there is that special person who will accept me no matter what condition I am and believe and that God will lead him my way. The most important thing is to be honest and to be happy and not to look down on yourself and not to settle for less in a relationship cause because you just want someone in your life.
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Comment by: Lovette sinza (Kenya) Tue., Feb. 16, 2010 at 4:20 am EST
I tested pozin november 2009,being in africa,we are in a polygamous relationship,when i told my husband about it he cried with me ,promised to be with me through the whole journey,he and my co-wife are neg,we use protection everytime we have sez and our love has suddenly gone a notch higher,i really thank God for this unusual man because many would leave you very fast,and considering he has a woman who is neg it should have pretty hard for him to even make love to me,i dont know how to really thank him because he has given me a reason to prove that i can live positively well enough to survive the stigma around and to see our 6 year old son through life
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Comment by: worried09 (PHILADELPHIA,PA) Mon., Feb. 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm EST
I'm blessed to have a lovely wife who says she not going anywhere she's not poz by the grace of GOD.I'm undectetable right now we have had protective sex sence we found out and you know what it's still off the hook.We used condoms when we first got together so we don't have any problems using them again.Love is funny when the right one comes along you'll know.
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Comment by: Alberto (Lima Peru) Sun., Feb. 14, 2010 at 6:08 am EST
It's certainly difficult to find a person who accepts being your partner after getting to know that you are hiv poz. But I think that when it is real love, hiv goes to a second place. Regards.
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Comment by: Pam (Indianapolis, In) Fri., Feb. 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm EST
I was recently diagnosed HIV+ in April 2009 and telling my boyfriend of five years was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. We cried together and he hugged and kissed me and told we "we're going to get through this together, we're in it all the way together!" and in a few days, it will be six years for us, and we are still getting through it all together. He is my rock, and I lean on him a lot, and he is always here for me. I am so very thankful.
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Comment by: Sophia M. (San Francisco, CA) Fri., Feb. 12, 2010 at 10:11 am EST
After 10 years of dating men who were not HIV+, I decided to set my sights on a mate who shares this diagnosis - a man from the HIV community. Matt & I have known each other 6 years and have been engaged for 1 year. We share a lifestyle that will keep us healthy for years to come - lots of time in nature, wholesome food, loving a great dog. Life could not be better!
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