Thursday, May 15, 2014
HIV and Dating
It is year 2014, I am a 30 year old single woman who is open to dating, and of course someday i'd like to find the man i'll spend the rest of my life with, so I go over my checklist many times as to what my standards are, what behavior I will or will not accept. The usual things, he's respectable, we share similar morals and other things of that nature, but never had I thought about someones health. I've made a conscious decision to have protected sex, and when I decide not to, my partner and I will get tested for HIV and other std's and that's usually where my thinking stops. I never thought about how I would go about a relationship if the results came back and my partner was HIV positive.
I, like most people would just assume the test will come back negative, and we'll jump into a bed of condomlessness feeling each other's body, and enjoying each other fully for the first time. Lets be serious here, we all would prefer to not use a condom, only the adolescent are excited about using them. Most people don't think past this step. If the test came back and your partner was given an HIV positive status, what would happen to the future of your relationship? According to the CDC more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 6 (15.8%) are unaware of their infection (cdc.gov). Which means the probability of this happening is actually pretty great. I could meet a man, plan a relationship with him, and upon testing find out he's HIV positive. This is very alarming for me, do I now add to my list of standards, great health with a high T-Cell count?
I don't know about my readers, but I don't' think I have caught up enough to the times to wrap my mind around dating someone with HIV. Even with everything I know about the virus it still frightens me. I'm fully aware people have fine, fully functioning lives with a positive status, but it still has an eerie stigma attached to it. It may be because it is a virus contracted mostly by not using easy common preventative measures, and is caused by an outside virus entering the body unlike other terminal illness such as diabetes or cancer, also that can't be transferred from body to body. Honestly, I barely want my partners cold so possibly sharing something like an STD is something I don't want. Also, I would like to get to a point of not using condoms for sex, I don't want to used them for the rest of my sex life. A little childish maybe, but that was the point of my partner and I getting tested. So going forward with dating, will I ask about HIV status, I'm not too sure yet, but it will have to come up sooner than later.