Relationships and HIV: Don’t dodge cupid’s arrow
Seated couple talking.

Tips for a positive dating life and how to disclose your HIV status to a partner

February – the month of love.

While every successful courtship is built on a foundation of love and trust, if you’re living with HIV, sharing your status with a partner or partners can be challenging and scary.

Whether you’re in a relationship or looking to start one, Take Control HIV has the resources you need.

Single and positive?

There are approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV today and there are countless supportive communities for HIV-positive people.

If you’re looking for love and want to find a relationship where disclosure is made easier, there are dating sites for HIV-positive individuals.

Ready to share your status?

While our understanding of HIV has come a long way, there’s still much stigma and fear surrounding HIV. When you share your status, you can help reduce stigma and fight stereotypes.

Some states require disclosing your sexual status to your partner, so make sure you check with your state’s department of health laws. In Pennsylvania, the law doesn’t require notifying your partner if you’re HIV positive but sharing your status is key in reducing the stigma around HIV.

Follow these tips:

  • Begin with a self-acceptance mentality 

First, talking about being HIV positive is not just about being OK with it, but knowing who you are as a person, your goals and future ambitions. HIV is part of your life that makes you unique, so embrace it. 

  • Research and educate yourself 

Research HIV care and prevention. Treatments like ART or PrEP can help you and your partner live longer and healthier lives. ART therapy is recommended for people living with HIV, as it reduces the amount of HIV in your body, which can help you reach an undetectable status. PrEP is a medication taken to help your partner prevent getting HIV. 

  • Be prepared for anything  

Think about all the potential scenarios and reactions when you disclose your HIV status to your partner. Whatever happens—either good or bad—it’ll be an accomplishment in your HIV journey because you were brave enough to share your story. 

Be optimistic and realistic about the situation and remember you don’t have to apologize for being HIV positive. 

Your partner may have questions or want to educate themselves. Have these resources on hand to share:

If you just found out you’re living with HIV, or need community support, visit today. 

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