Partners


If you find out you have HIV, having a relationship may seem a problem, especially with someone who is HIV negative.

HIV might make them a bit more complicated, but thousands of people in mixed status relationships are showing that with a little thought and care these can be among the strongest and most rewarding of relationships.

Whether someone tests HIV positive during a long term relationship or they are positive when the relationship starts, it is vital that each of you tests so that you can both be certain about your HIV status.
It can be difficult for someone with HIV to say so, but not telling a partner can lead to problems later. The other person may be angry that they weren't told sooner, or you may accidentally have unsafe sex - if a condom breaks, for example. Also, if a partner is not told and they subsequently contract HIV as a result of unprotected sex, this may be against the law.

There is still fear and lack of understanding about HIV; so many positive people know how it hurts to be rejected by partners or potential partners, especially if they turn you down in an insensitive way. Rejection happens to the best of us. Try not to take it personally - it's a reflection of their issues, not of you.
Some people tell potential partners their HIV status as soon as possible, so they don't invest feelings in someone who will later walk away. You can look at rejections as a way of sorting out the people who were never going to make you happy anyway. The important thing is not to hide away or give up hope!

In a mixed relationship you might think a problem is HIV-related but it might not be underneath. That is why it can help to talk to someone outside your relationship, such as a counsellor. One of you might take on more of the worry, and if sharing this burden with your partner isn't possible, talking to someone like a counsellor (either together or on your own) can really help.
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