This website is for gay men who want to know more about HIV in relationships. It provides advice and information for both HIV positive and HIV negative men. There is technical information about HIV treatment and prevention as well as advice drawn from real people about some of the ways to think about and manage HIV in order to get on with living and loving, together.
A loving relationship is one of the most important experiences in life. Regardless of when and how you meet, finding the right partner will have a profound and positive influence on your feelings about yourself, the way you socialise and think about the world and even your direction in life. Some people seem to meet the right person easily and quickly and others find it takes a long time. And of course the length and character of relationships vary greatly.
Gay men are well informed about the basics of HIV prevention and when it comes to casual sex most accept the fact that you usually don’t know your partner’s HIV status. Most gay men who have had casual sex, have probably done so with someone who has a different HIV status to them, whether they knew it or not.
But when it comes to relationships, social research tells us that many gay men see HIV as a huge barrier and say they would not consider being in a relationship with someone who has a different HIV status. HIV positive men are reluctant to get involved with HIV negative men because they are afraid of infecting them or they fear judgement and rejection. HIV negative men often rule out a relationship with HIV positive men because they are afraid of being infected or they subconsciously judge people with HIV. This doesn’t need to be the case.
Finding the right partner is a very individual thing. There’s luck involved in meeting the right person at the right time. But when it happens, falling in love and letting a relationship develop is one of the most rewarding things in life. When HIV is involved, there are a few additional things to consider but it doesn’t make a relationship any more difficult and it doesn’t need to be a big deal.
The advice on this website is based on current medical knowledge and the real life experiences of gay men in relationships that include HIV. Based on our conversations with couples, as well as social research findings, the three top issues for people are HIV disclosure (telling someone your status); care and treatment of HIV, both medically and psychologically; and preventing transmission while having a healthy sex life.
…have been together for five years. They met through Grindr while organising a casual hookup. Neither of them were looking for a relationship at the time but they saw each other again and before they knew it they were dating. They moved in together a year after they met. They now have many friends in common and they like to go out for meals and drinks most weekends.
…met online but didn’t hit it off at first. They went their separate ways but then met again a year later through a mutual friend. This time Anton “worked his charm” and they moved in together a short time later. When Anton was diagnosed with HIV he thought, “I’m never going to have a relationship again”, then he met Richard.
…met when they both volunteered running the cloakroom at a warehouse party. It was a cold night and they cuddled up close for warmth. That was 4 years ago. They are both very involved with gay community in their spare time and still enjoy a good party every now and then.
…met through a mutual friend on Facebook. They chatted online for a while then met up for a coffee. The conversation flowed and there was mutual attraction. That was a year ago. They now share a house “full of happiness” and have been welcomed into each other’s families.