I am 28. White. A Female. And a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I am HIV Positive. This is my story of how a few months, a few people, and a few events in Zambia changed me and my life forever. This is the story of how I contracted HIV and brought my Peace Corps Journey to a crashing halt... and how I am working now to pick up and put back together the pieces of my life as a newly diagnosed person living with HIV. This was not the journey I had originally planned... my path has traumatically and dramatically changed... but it is the one I am on now. There is no going back. There is only forward. I welcome you to follow along with me as I attempt to explore this new life ahead of me, whether you are someone from the Peace Corps community, or someone living with HIV. I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and opinions. Let us go forward together. To start from the beginning, click here He Gave Me More Than A Bracelet.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Poll Results: Would you ever date someone who was HIV+?

160 readers responded to the question: Would you ever date someone who was HIV+?

52 (32%): Yes
108 (67%): No

Thank you for your honest responses. It is good to know where I stand.


  1. I think that was a hard question to answer. On the surface I would say no, but if I got to know the person,then found out they were HIV+ I would have to reevaluate the relationship at that point. I am also a lot more educated since you got sick,so I think I am more open minded now.
    Love Always

  2. Yep. Geez, you'll only be able to date a third of the world!

  3. I agree with "Mom" it is hard to give a black and white, yes or no answer to this question.

  4. probably 90% of that 32% population are positive themselves or are not heterosexuals..

  5. A lot of people are just ignorant, you know, to the truth about how not a big deal it would be. I am HIV- and would have no problem dating an HIV+ guy. He might not be my first choice for a casual sex partner, but if I liked him and wanted to actually date him, then it wouldn't be an issue whatsoever. Then again, I am an RPCV former Community Health Educator, so I am much more educated about HIV - and have many more HIV+ friends - than your average American.

    As a side note, I am so sorry for the occasional judgmental comments you have gotten on your blog. Not that it even matters, but you had safer (and less!) sex than almost every PCV I know, including myself. You just got unlucky. Those people who rant on about how one should never date a HCN -- it kinda makes me sick to my stomach. It's just ignorance, you know? Judging an entire nation of people and their date-worthiness just because of a higher HIV rate. I find arguments like that incredibly disturbing.

    You got unlucky... and you did NOTHING wrong... and yet you are continuing, all on your own, to fulfill the 3rd goal and to educate people about HIV in a very unique way. Nothing but utmost respect from me.

    1. i feel the same way, i want to lash out and slap people who are so judgmental. It is a brave thing to put yourself out there like this. I love that you have this blog and I read it all the time <3 steph

  6. I agree with 'mom' - this is a difficult question to answer with only yes or no as options since it is not a black and white situation for all people. I don't think this poll shows you where you stand. I have never dated anyone with HIV but I do have an immediate family member who is HIV+ and has been for the past 35+ years. This relative's partner of the past 35+ years is HIV-. I understand one can be in a long term relationship and not contract HIV. In a dating situation, there are always a lot of things to consider about the other person - if the potential partner was HIV+ it would be something to think seriously about but would not necessarily be a deal breaker. It would depend on so many other things...probably most importantly the level of trust in the relationship and the potential partner's commitment to safe(r) sex practices.

  7. I have dated someone who was HIV+. We dated before he knew, we dated after we knew. We practiced safe sex, both before and after he was diagnosed. He is in a great relationship now with someone else who is HIV-.

  8. First and foremost, Jessica, I think you are amazing. You are so unbelievably courageous for "coming out" and telling people about your story.

    To answer your question, I think on the whole that it depends. It depends on how the disease was acquired (were they sleeping around, where they using drugs, etc), because in my opinion, the way you acquired it gives insight into who you are as a person. It also depends on how I feel about the person as a whole. If it were someone whom I had lukewarm feelings towards, I seriously doubt I would date them. I wouldn't want to put myself at even the tiniest risk of infection unless I felt extremely confident that this was a long-term relationship. And I definitely wouldn't want to mislead that person in any way. Lastly, it would depend on what they were doing to stay healthy and prevent transmission. The chances of spreading HIV in a monogamous relationship can be significantly lowered, but it takes proper care of oneself (which I don't have to tell you that...you seem like a very health-conscious person).

    When I was younger, the thought of being with someone who had HIV was a huge NO(but I lost my dad to AIDS when I was a child and unfortunately, it was a very traumatizing event for me). I didn't want the same ending that my dad had and I also didn't want to lose someone else to the disease. Now, however, times are different. And recently, I have encountered guys who I've had strong feelings for. About two years ago, I asked myself, "would I date this guy even if he was HIV+?" My answer was, "You know...I think I would..." and that was an eye opening experience for me.

    Sorry to make this so long! But anyway, keep your head up. The right person will learn to love you for the smart, courageous and caring person that you are!!!

  9. Hello,
    I'm a white woman in my thirties and got HIV a long time ago. The poll results are skewed because you are speaking hypothetically. You seem like a sweet, smart person. So it boils down to if that person really wants to date you or not, because if they do they aren't going to judge you- they're going to see this sweet, smart person baring their soul to them. And that's what you have right now, the truth, and right now we can't change it, but maybe someday. It is completely possible to have a normal relationship, sex and children while keeping your partner safe, especially by taking medication, eating healthy and managing stress. It's important to be very knowledgeable on the subject because a lot of potential partners may have questions and they will feel more confident in you when you readily have answers. It's odd but most guys I've told have been really ok with it. Because you're not 'someone with HIV', you're you.