Q and A

Question

Why do I keep getting rejected if I say I am positive?

Hello. I am HIV positive for five years, only practice safe sex.

I have been on treatment for the last year on Atripla. I had many dates for relationship with guys but I do disclose my HIV status on first date….I have always been rejected by guys. Why all this stigma? I try to date other HIV positive guys but most of them are into barback sex but me I am into safe sex.

I am really sad and confused.

Answer

I don’t have an easy answer to your question. You have the prospects of living to retirement, can get travel and life insurance, a mortgage, visit the US – just not overcome prejudice from gay men.

There is a lot of ignorance and stupidity out there. Lots of people are happy to act one way when they don’t discuss HIV and then freak when someone says they are positive.

Condoms stop HIV. That is why prevention campaigns have been based on condoms for the last 20 years. But when someone knows their partner is HIV positive, many men can’t handle it. HIV is still scary.

You sound very sussed. You have been through a lot and you have sorted out how you want to live and what is important for you. Sticking to this and being open about it will make it more likely that you will find a partner who has his head together and who deserves to be with you.

In my experience, perhaps 9 out of 10 ten people I’ve met have the same reactions you describe. That their brains are so out of touch with reality makes me pleased that I found out early that I’d be wasting my time with them. This is in London where you’d expect things to be better but depressingly it is not.

But 1 out of 10 people were much more together and when this happens the experiences are far more satisfying and rewarding. Quality definitely beats quantity.

Not that this it is easy to find them. If you use online dating, then a profile that is clear about your status may help. You can do this pretty anonymously if you are concerned about your privacy.

Your options will also be different depending on where you live as I’m sure things are easier in areas of the UK where HIV is relatively more common.

Please don’t give up just because of a few set backs, and, if anything, become more determined. There are plenty of men out there (either positive or negative) who have the same values as you.

3 comments

  1. Jj

    Thanks ryan

  2. ryan

    Hey Sad And Confused,

    Just wanted to say that I’m positive and I think its even more important that I use protection until i’m in a committed monogamous relationship so there are others out there that are positive who share your views. I have recently met someone who is great and it turns out he is are positive too. He told me on our 2nd date but I held off telling him for over 1 month as I wanted to be sure we really liked each other rather than it just being “convenient”. But I thought at the time he was little brutal in the way he disclosed his status and maybe a first date is too soon. If you have been on a few dates and someone really likes you i’m sure they will be more open to hearing your disclosure-give it a try and good luck-don’t despair-you will meet someone but don’t tar all positive people with the same brush-some do practise safe sex

  3. Simon Collins

    It looks like my 1-in-10 vs 9-in-10 estimate may be about right.

    See this recent blog about a guy who put his HIV status on Grindr:
    http://www.ukpositivelad.com/my-grindr-experiment/

    And another with a more positive ending:
    http://www.ukpositivelad.com/category/dating-2/

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