My partner is positive

While it might seem that finding out you are positive would end your dating life, it frequently isn't true.

While I'm negative, I am in a wonderful, long term relationship with my positive partner.

It was over a year after we met that I convinced my boyfriend to get tested. During this time we had always practiced safer sex. He was nervous about getting tested the same as anybody else. While he had lived an extremely "colorful" life and had a fear that he might be positive, he had never had any signs. Does this sound familiar? (Remember that there are NO signs that you have HIV except for the mostly mythical "flu-like symptoms" for a few days.)

At the risk of spoiling the surprise ending, I'll share with you that when we got the test results, he was positive. For both of us, this was a heavy moment. From my side the risk to me of dating a positive person, from his side, the fear of being rejected from a solid relationship in addition to all of the uncertainty about the disease.

It was a stressful time for my boyfriend and for the relationship. I decided that the bonds we shared were stronger than the manageable threat of disease and after some time, he too decided that having a partner might make it all easier. After five years together the HIV is still an annoyance, but we're both glad we stuck through it.

We're not alone. We know several other couples who have gone through this discovery process together. In the cases we know, it has served to make the relationship stronger. With hetro couples, the decision to have kids often changes the relationship. We don't suggest you get HIV to improve your relationship, but getting tested and finding out you're positive might just make your partnership stronger.

Live on.