“It’s a peer program, the whole staff is HIV positive. “After the fact I question myself, as to, ‘Did I say it at the right time? ’ You know, there’s never a right time, there’s never a right way to tell someone.” Brenda is in a relationship with a guy who is also positive, but she did go on a date with a guy who did not react well to her news.
We provide peer support to women and families living with HIV.” The women get asked all kinds of questions by newly diagnosed women. “We kissed and it was at that point that I knew I had to tell him, regardless of whether he wanted to hear it or not.
“But as a single heterosexual woman, I have the added challenge when dating of convincing men, who are often just as naive as I used to be, that they can be intimate with me.
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“I naively thought I was invincible, that one day a hookup would lead to true Disney princess–style love, and never assumed that HIV would have anything do with my life,” she admitted.
Fratti and her then-boyfriend (he is negative) split within a year of her diagnosis.
He said: “Thanks, now I need to go to a clinic.” Baffling how a 35-year-old gay man still thinks HIV can be transmitted via kissing. Also, if I’m going to be in a long-term relationship, I’d rather not be the man who infects his partner if an accident happens with the condom. Maybe a fun movie or an evening battling on the PS3. Mostly I meet people just from hanging out and through friends.
My favourite places to meet dates are in the spots you’re not looking for them—in the library or supermarket.
Has disclosing ever led to a disaster date or a magical moment?
The disaster date is what prompts me to disclose to every potential partner: I had met someone and we clicked really well.
As we were kissing, he looked at me and asked: “Are you clean?
” (I absolutely despise that term.) When I told him my status, he went into a giant panic and had to check his mouth for open sores. As understanding and sweet and nice as someone can be, if they do not live with the disease, it’s difficult for them to understand when you need to cancel a date because your meds aren’t agreeing with you. LIKES: Pomeranians, tea parties, vintage dresses, bicycles, hard-to-watch documentaries DISLIKES: macho men, onions, mosquitoes, [Toronto Mayor] Rob Ford How do you meet dates?
“Dating with HIV, seriously or casually, is hard — even though it doesn’t have to be,” wrote the Temple University graduate.