Dating someone with an STI, especially HIV, can be challenging. It involves meticulous planning and staying vigilant to avoid acquiring HIV from your partner. But is there a safe way to date someone with HIV?
While dating someone with HIV can be challenging, it is certainly not impossible. Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe have partners who have HIV, and they live happy and fulfilling lives. The key to dating people with HIV is to adopt the right approach. Learning more about HIV is the first step towards dating someone with this condition; using protection, taking preventative medication, and regularly visiting your healthcare provider are all methods to date someone with HIV safely.
While it is much safer now to date an HIV-positive person than ever, it certainly has its challenges. However, this step-by-step roadmap approach will help you navigate your seropositive relationship safely and effectively.
HOW TO DATE SOMEONE WITH HIV – A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH
If you are in a relationship with someone who has HIV or is about to be, this article is for you. Explained below are 5 essential rules for dating someone with HIV.
Educate yourself first
The first step when forming a relationship with someone who has HIV is to learn more about the disease itself. You can't defend yourself from something you don't know anything about.
Read up on what causes HIV, how it spreads, affects your body, and how it's treated to understand more about what your potential partner is going through.
Once you read up on HIV, you'll have a much different perspective on the disease and the people living with it. You will also know how to equip yourself against this disease better.
Another essential benefit of learning more about HIV is that you can pick on subtle signs and symptoms of the disease that appear early on in its course. This way, you can protect yourself early in the infection, even if you are ever exposed to HIV. You can also take better care of your partner by picking up on signs and symptoms of HIV and assessing their condition, throwing caution to the wind the minute it starts to deteriorate.
You can learn about HIV by reading about it online, talking to your partner, or simply visiting your healthcare provider.
Always use protection
Using protection during sexual intercourse is one of the best ways for you to protect yourself from not only HIV but also all other STDs.
Condoms provide an excellent barrier between you and your seropositive partner's HIV. Condoms are also the only birth control method that protects against STD transmission.
Make sure to use a condom before every sexual act. Using a condom will protect you from acquiring HIV through vaginal and anal sex. You can also wear a condom during oral sex to protect yourself from acquiring the virus from that route.
For additional protection, you can also use dental dams to have safe oral sex with your partner.
Take medication to prevent HIV
You can also use medication to prevent acquiring HIV from your partner. Two of the most popular preventative medical regimen for HIV are PrEP and nPEP.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a medication regimen that helps prevent HIV infections before a person is exposed to the virus. This means that this medication regimen is taken every day by individuals who are at a greater risk of acquiring HIV, such as those who are dating someone with HIV.
nPEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, is a medication regimen that helps protect from an HIV infection after a person has been exposed to HIV. However, nPEP only works if taken within 72 hours of exposure, meaning that a person only has 3 days to take the medication after a high-risk exposure, such as having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV.
Talk to your doctor about the possibility of starting these medication regimens if you are dating someone with HIV.
Ensure that your partner takes medication
Antiviral drugs effectively reduce the severity and intensity with which HIV symptoms appear. These drugs decrease the viral load, which measures how many viral particles are detectable in a person's blood.
A low viral load indicates low infectivity, meaning that a person with HIV and a low viral load is less likely to transmit HIV to other people through sexual intercourse.
If your partner has HIV, make sure that they take their medication regularly. Talk to them about taking medication on time to enjoy a rich, rewarding, safe sex life.
Schedule regular visits to your doctor
Another good way of staying protected when dating someone with HIV is to schedule regular doctor appointments. Getting tested for HIV and other STIs regularly is shown to protect people from acquiring sexually transmitted diseases.
Even if you acquire a sexually transmitted disease, regular checkups will help diagnose these conditions early so that they are easily and effectively managed.