Why Let HIV Get In The Way of A Good Relationship?

Pos-pos sex isn’t something we talk about every day, but you know a topic we talk about even less? Pos-neg relationships (sometimes referred to as serodiscordant or sero-different relationships).

SERO DISCO 2 is a new campaign from Australian organization Positive Life NSW which asks the question, “Why let HIV get in the way of a good relationship?”

The SERO DISCO 2 campaign addresses questions gay men in or think about pos-neg relationships might have asked themselves at some time, such as:

“Can I still pass on HIV if my last viral load test is ‘undetectable’? How safe is oral sex? Is pulling out okay? Can I stay negative in a pos-neg relationship? How do I talk to my BF about changes in our relationship?”

The campaign also revisits topics like disclosure and handling “no” and the changing dynamics of sex and relationships. The articles within the campaign’s magazine draw upon personal stories, so you can make an informed decision on what may or may not work for you.

At the end of the day love (and great sex) is less about HIV status and more about the connection between two people.

Regardless of your status—relationship, HIV or otherwise—we highly recommend browsing through the resources on the campaign’s website. Of course, if you’d like to just dabble, we’ve included a few excerpts after the jump.

– Dewitt

Click through to browse through some of the SERO DISCO 2 materials:

Let’s talk pos-neg relationships:

Is safe sex for guys in pos-neg relationships more than just condoms?:

Can I stay negative in a pos-neg relationship?:

219 thoughts on “Why Let HIV Get In The Way of A Good Relationship?

  1. I’ve been in a Poz-Neg relationship for almost 12 years (I’m still Neg). It takes communication and intentional safety measures, but we still have GREAT sex!!

  2. Thanks for taking a stand on working with stigma and fear, most prevalent within our own community.  Some of the worst discrimination and stigmatization about being POZ that I have experienced has been from other gay men.

  3. It’s great to see a post  and an article about serodiscordant relationships.  It still seems that all too often there’s a lack of information even within the gay community about HIV . . . and unfortunately still alot of phobia about it too.

    Yes, it can be a health issue.  Yes, it can be managed.  And just as much, yes, you can find love and a solid relationship with a serodiscordant partner.

    I’m hiv-, but I’ve been in 3 different relationships with guys who are hiv+.  Put it this way:  you can’t choose who you love . . . the heart follows where it will.  And it’s great to see more openness and information about poz/neg dating, sex, and committed relationships making it’s way out there.  🙂

  4. Sometimes it’s the person who is HIV+ who is afraid of getting involved with a person who is HIV-.

    I am HIV-. Several years ago, I dated a man who is HIV+ with an undetectable viral load and under excellent, regular medical care. We had a great time together and developed strong feelings for each other. There was a lot of passion and sexual arousal between us, but he always halted our physical interaction before it became a sexual act. After several months of this, I expressed my frustration about this, and he broke up with me.

  5. Thank you so much for posting this. I just met a guy who is pos (I’m negative) and we had an amazing weekend together. However, I’ve spent the whole day questioning whether I wanted to try and go any further because of my fear.

    I’m feeling a bit more at ease.

  6. It has to. Not to be an asshole but if gay men would “figure it out” then most of this shit would not happen. Don’t sleep around, don’t cheat on your BF or GF and keep it clean…. Duh!!!! I hate gay men just for that reason.. Your brains are in the little head and always will be….

  7. what?  i thought most people understood that “hiv” is not sexually transmitted … and that it does not cause aids … ???  i’m confused here …

  8. Kudos for a post that really stopped me in my tracks.  I’m poz since 1981, undetectable, and very healthy, and my husband of 25+ years is negative, and WILL stay that way. Education, communication,negotiation, and honesty are the keys to a healthy relationship.  

    And please, become informed of the incredibly positive effects that TasP (Treatment as prevention) and PreP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can have on  preventing transmission and reducing community viral load.  (Yes, I am a a public health provider, but everyonen should become aware of these issues!)

    I’m impressed, Dewitt.  Keep up the good cause (in between the sexy posts, of course.)

  9. 1st pos relationship in 82  had several other shorter term ones… Just seems to me that a relationship is more about caring, respect and Love than a medical diognosis..Ya know?

  10. I, literally, was just researching this topic yesterday.  I am HIV-negative and recently met an HIV-positive man who has potential.  So glad this information and resource were posted.

  11. GREAT article…just hope the online crowd reads it and the comments below.

    So when is Manhunt going to offer hiv+/undetectable as an option for one’s profile? I’ve asked for this for years and it gets ignored.  That site could do a lot to help educate and remove the stigma others have referenced…and support honesty. There are too many liars about their status…and worse yet a few that I know locally that put “negative” because they are undetectable….that is just sooooo wrong.

  12.  There is no clear clinical evidence that ‘Treatment as prevention’ has any effect on rates of testing +. Indeed, it involves great risk of serious side effects and toxic damage from the chemotherapy anti-HIV drugs, and the situation is even worse for PRE-exposure Prophylaxis. Dr Joseph Sonnabend – one of the very FIRST doctors to treat gay men with AIDS as far back as 1981 and the founder of AMFAR and a world-acknowledged expert – has slammed pre-exposure prophylaxis as little more than a profit-making ruse by drug companies, since the research shows very poor results as against terrible risks to the ‘healthy’.

  13.  True, the fear can go both ways.  One of the HIV+ guys that I dated for a while had more fear that I could possibly ser0-convert than anything else.  And it was ultimately his inability to ‘cope’ with dating an HIV – guy that lead to the end of our relationship.    I would’ve loved to have had the chance to build a life with that guy . . . but it was his decision to not go any further.  I’m not saying it was any more or any less valid a concern, but yeah 
    serodiscorancy  in a relationship can sometimes be tough for BOTH.  But it doesn’t mean “don’t even try”.  Honesty, communication . . . those are what’s absolutely essential.  And it can so be worth it. 

  14. WTF? You hate people because they don’t live their lives according to your judgments on morality? Seriously? Cheating is not what causes HIV. If you plan on living the rest of your life hating people because they don’t do what you think they should do, you’re gonna have a very unhappy life.

  15. You know undetectable is still HIV+. If guys are making their sexual decisions based upon something someone clicks on in their Manhunt profile or the presence of a “date and results” in their profile, they’re fools. Yes, it would be great if everyone were honest but since that isn’t the reality we live in, we just have to assume anyone may be positive (even if they don’t know it) and take the necessary precautions. Wearing a condom is not the end of the world and it doesn’t have to mean the end of sex.

  16. My bf is + and I’m – (last we knew). We’ve been together since August. Barebacking (I top) since maybe October. Found out he was positive in March and has had it for some time. Mostly condoms since then, but in the moment, there have been some bb.

    For the amount of time he’s had it, it hasn’t multiplied much. He should be a “millionaire” patient but isn’t so I we are both are lucky for that. He topped me once bare and came in me prior to us knowing but honestly most of the cum came out and covered my boxers and the drive home.   

    I never considered leaving him once we found out but I did have questions and concerns. No more bb now, but its more so for his safety due to fearing me giving him something and making him get sick- why, because I have slept with other people which is an entirely other complex story.

  17. This post makes me really happy for lots of reasons.

    I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be in a +/- relationship. It’s encouraging to know it’s very possible.
    Also, delightfully informative. 

  18. G.S I think you have began by asking all the right question of  him and yourself  take your time , do not get rush into it . I am not speaking from experience but I do know what like to allow fear to stand in your way because this could be the true love of your life and would be ashamed to let go because you are afraid and on that I speak from experience

  19.  I think you have to began by asking  all the right question of him as well as yourself   take your time there is no need 2 rush . Although I do NOT speaking from experience  but I do know what it is like to allow fear to stand in your way  keeping you from the true LOVE of your life  and that would be such a shame to let go of because you are afraid .  On that G S  I speak from experience  !!

                                              P.S sorry for all the   SCREW UPS in my first comment.

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