Sometimes you meet a guy and you just want to tear each other's clothes off and fuck like animals. Sometimes you meet a guy and you’re swept off your feet, you just fall for him, head over heels, much more than sex, it's his laugh, his eyes, or just the way he drinks his coffee.
It's fantastic when that happens, and even more so when you can turn that into a relationship that lasts over years and years, or a lifetime even. Sometimes you just date for a few months and have fun and realise it's not going to be anything more.
And in the world we live in today, for some of us that guy is going to be HIV positive.
It can be really frightening and hard if you're HIV negative and don't know much about it all, but it shouldn't be a reason to stop you going ahead and seeing the person behind the label. It's a virus; it doesn't turn him into a monster.
Some guys can't imagine ever having anything to do with a HIV positive man, sexually or emotionally - they just freak out at the thought, and that is a shame because they are laying down some nasty guilt and judgment. It's hard enough living with HIV without being slapped down by instant rejection from our own community.
It's often really hard for a poz guy to be open about having the virus because there is so much negative crap associated with it, so it's not something that will always be brought up at the first date. Anyone living with HIV faces a lot of stigma, from the gay world as well as the straight one. Then of course it's hard for the poz guy to figure out just when to bring it up - there is no right time for that kind of news - it's always going to be hard.
Think of how shitty it is. If you're attractive, smart, have a good job, you know you're a nice guy, and you keep getting knocked back out of hand just because you have HIV. It's pretty demoralising, so it's no wonder some poz guys are cagey about who they let know and don't come out with it straight away. And remember, in New Zealand so long as he and you are having safe sex, he doesn't legally have to tell you.
But being HIV positive doesn't mean you can't love and be loved by a neg guy, and being HIV negative doesn't mean you can't love and be loved by a poz guy. You just have to be careful and loving with each other and look after each other.
In fact a lot of guys do live in happy, loving sero-discordant (that's the fancy name for "One is neg, one is poz") relationships. Like any relationships, they take work and have their ups and downs, but if you're used to being safe in your sex-life already, then this won't be any different. Use rubbers, play safe and you should be fine.
Relationships can be scary things at times, and adding HIV to the mix can make it even scarier. But just because one of you has the virus doesn't mean you can't make it work, and it certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't write off any guy you meet who has HIV.
Look beyond the virus - there's a real person in there, and that person could be the one to make the rest of your life full of joy.