Monday, August 29, 2011

Dating with HIV; my experience and thoughts

I am now 18 months post my dual diagnosis of HIV and Hepatitis C, and 9 months post successful Hepatitis C treatment. I thought it was time to meet someone; no, not just for sex, but for something more.  You see since my dual diagnosis I have felt completely a-sexual, and I’ll admit, feeling a bit ‘tainted’ too.  Even HIV + guys are hesitant to meet me when I tell them I also ‘had’ Hepatitis C.
So, wonderful, where does that put me in the dating scene?  Someone would really have to be desperate to meet me!  Recently I met someone by the name of ‘Dustin’. He smoked, and I said I would NEVER date a smoker, but I have been desperate to make a connection with another positive individual.  I thought I could ignore the smoke.  He was handsome, professional, similar in age, and a sweet talker, among, *uhm, other things….
I hear the knock on the door, I’m a bit nervous, I look through the blinds (pictures match), and open the door to meet him.  He reeked of smoke. We had some drinks, but all I could smell was the smoke emanating from him.  Almost immediately I had withdrawn all interest, and my body language turned very cold. He got the hint, and excused himself.
I’ve met one other person since that night, and a non-smoker! While the physical connection was there, I couldn’t allow myself to open up. Again, my body language turned cold, and he too left. Why am I having such difficulty meeting people, why can’t I open up, why does my body language turn so cold, why can’t I let anyone in? Before HIV I always had fear of rejection, having HIV compounds this fear.  I feel like damaged goods.
I am also stuck in the mindset that I would never date anyone who is HIV negative, and think how could I ever be in a serodiscordant relationship? I would not want to give to someone else what I have, no matter how small the chance. I wouldn’t wish HIV on anyone. I know that limits the pool of potentials as well.  Since day one of my diagnosis I made a commitment to myself to always disclose my HIV status when it comes to dating, maybe this is my dilemma?
I’ve allowed my emotions over my status dictate my single life. I had withdrawn and isolated from the World. I am trying to slowly build the confidence again to meet someone, and crawl out from under the shadows of my illness. As alone as I feel with my diagnosis; I hold out hope. I have been in three relationships prior to my HIV diagnosis, and one for over 2 years. I’ve traveled the world, been on many adventures, have a creative and intellectual mindset, caring, kind, honest, and have a super loveable personality. 
I keep the hope of meeting someone, because I know that really loving someone means loving them for who they are and accepting the whole package.  I guess you would call that a soul-mate and I believe that person is out there somewhere.  So, today I make a commitment to myself to never settle for less than my heart’s desire. And to anyone reading this with HIV/AIDS or any other chronic illness; YOU deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and YOU shouldn’t settle for less.  
Usually I am the one to offer tips and advice, but when it comes to dating and HIV I feel hopeless. I hope whoever is reading this will chime in.  Are you in a relationship? How long have you been together? How did you meet? How long after your diagnosis did you feel comfortable seriously dating someone?  Until next time….

Sexless in Seattle,

Kevin Maloney


  1. :)
    Never settle, my friend!!!

    The right person will happen...the first guy I was intimate with after diagnosis...2 years was a strange feeling...once I got over the initial hump...the sex was great..and then I let my trust issues get in the way...the trust problem is what broke off our relationship... Not my HIV.

    take your time...and go slow...the emotional aspect of a relationship is just as important as a physical...oh, and he was Negative...try a Negative may like being MAGNETIC!! :)

  2. You are very brave, and I respect that alot. Keep you head high, and never settle for mediocre in a soulmate. It will come...
    hugs big guy, MMARK|+

  3. This article is very informative and full of idea's. I never seen like this article before. Good thing i follow your site and ended up here. Thank you for sharing it so other people on the can read this too.

  4. My story is I've just found out some months ago but Im 35 I feel like my world is falling apart I've never felt so alone in my life my friends have turned there backs on me I cry myself to sleep every night wishing it has been a terrible mistake the doctors have made a mistake I don't want to date because I'm scared I was not aware of the person that gave it to me but he knew before he met me and slept with me anyway I was very angry at first still am but I have to deal with alot I would never do to someone what was done to me.


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