Dear Coach:

I have recently started dating an HIV+ man. I am negative, and this is the first time I’ve dated someone opposite of my own HIV status. I never thought I could be truly comfortable in this kind of a dating situation, but we’ve grown really close and are well-suited for each other in so many ways. I can see now that the compatibility is more important than our HIV statuses, something I’ve been working through as we’ve continued to date. After he told me about being HIV+, he tried to break up with me saying that it could never work out with us being different HIV statuses. I asked him to be fair with me and let me make the choice as to whether I wanted to continue or not and I’ve decided I want to develop things further. It feels like such a good match with him. He keeps talking about it though and I keep telling him that I want to be with him. How should I let him know that he shouldn’t worry and feel guilty about me? He keeps asking me why him? How can I convince him that I care for him unconditionally?




Ok, guys, let’s face it. Dating can be a frustrating process when you’re single and on the market for a long-term committed relationship. Trying to find a compatible guy for romance and companionship can make you feel like banging your head against the wall sometimes as you struggle to figure out where to meet these men in the first place, and then to go through the whole screening process…it can feel like a full-time job sometimes!

But what happens if you are HIV+ and looking for love? I get letters frequently from single men with HIV who voice difficulties with the gay dating scene trying to find people to date. Dating can be hard enough at times, but for those with health issues or disabilities, the problems can be compounded and the sense of hopelessness and uncertainty doubled as these men question whether love is even possible for them in a gay culture that seems fixated on shallow definitions of what makes a man attractive and “viable.”

I’m not going to sugar-coat things. The harsh reality is that having HIV can complicate the process of meeting people for dating and can make it more difficult. The availability pool for dating prospects will be reduced because there are a percentage of men who will not date HIV+ guys. That being said, having HIV does not preclude you to a permanent life of singlehood unless you choose that lifestyle consciously.