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But when you're the kind of person who equates dating with dinners, drinks, and casual sex, HIV can put a real damper on all that. Not only was I still trying to figure out what living with HIV meant, I couldn't just do that whole "put on your high heels and get back out there" thing that most newly single people do.Dating with HIV, seriously or casually, is hard — even though it doesn't have to be.When a person goes on treatment — I take one pill a day — undetectable is the goal.Staying on treatment and keeping my viral load at undetectable levels means that I'm going to lead a long healthy life.Taking care of your health is more adult than playing house with a boyfriend, yet, even though I had been tested for STIs, I had never thought of getting an HIV test.But one day, randomly, I added the HIV rapid test to the list of things to do before intake to my pap smear appointment.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.For me, "dating," was basically a euphemism for casual sex.
It woke me up and made me realize what I needed and wanted from a partner.Matt never been a good match for me, really; my diagnosis just shined a spotlight on that.The only bad thing about breaking up with Matt was the realization that I would have to start dating again.Shame and fear was a part of it, but even more so I think there was a part of me that wanted to pretend that HIV hadn't happened to me.That I could go on bad Tinder dates and laugh about them at brunch with my friends, get set up with friends, and pick up a guy when I was out for the night, just like everyone else.
That's why I initially avoided the entire conversation when I tried to get my groove back after Matt.