But as a single heterosexual woman, I have the added challenge when dating of convincing men, who are often just as naive as I used to be, that they can be intimate with me.It feels like I have to twist someone's arm to see past my HIV viral load.For a while, I either didn't disclose my status at all or disclosed way too late for a number of reasons.
I was in shock that simply sleeping with probably close to a hundred men throughout my 20s — in college, in Rome, Italy where I lived for five years, in New York City upon my return — and not being strict about using condoms could have such a serious consequence.
I grew up during the HIV/AIDS crisis and should have known better, but as a heterosexual woman, I equated safe sex with not getting pregnant more than with getting an STI, let alone HIV. It's embarrassing to admit that now, but I really did ignorantly think sex was all fun and games.
Dating with HIV, seriously or casually, is hard — even though it doesn't have to be.
I am HIV positive, but it is undetectable, which means I am one of the estimated 30 percent of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States who cannot transmit the virus.
Undetectable means is that the amount of HIV virus in my blood cannot be detected by a lab test.