Tips on Dating with HIV from the King of Reads

Last year, the King of Reads aka Justin J revealed his HIV+ status to the world via YouTube and has followed up with a video on dating.  Project Know provides a quick recap of his three vital tips for people who may be dating with HIV.

There isn’t a right or wrong time to disclose your status.

Justin talked about the challenges he has when revealing his status and explained it is always a difficult decision.  He reported getting to know someone as one of the most important factors. This doesn’t mean knowing their entire life or knowing them sexually; but allowing conversations to happen to get a better understanding of how they would receive the information.  He explained some will reveal their negative perceptions early on and you can use your discretion to decide if this is a person you want to be open with.  This can apply to dating or any time you are having a conversation and are considering sharing your personal story.

Leading with “undetectable”.

When it comes to one’s HIV status, we often think in terms of positive and negative.  Justin suggested upon reaching viral suppression to say you are undetectable. By saying you are undetectable, you are able to immediately explain how and why an uninfected person is protected from the virus.  An infected person with HIV no longer detectable in their body has reached viral suppression.  Viral suppression is attained through proper treatment specifically medication, which allows HIV+ people to enter sexual relationships and even give birth without transferring the virus to their partners or children.   

Allowing your partner to accompany you on doctor visits.

Once you are in a relationship, it is an ongoing journey of getting to know each other and building trust.  This is a continuous process for all relationships. If HIV is a part of you and your partner’s story, Justin suggested having your partner accompany you on doctor’s visits.  This allows you both to have a clear understanding about your status and for both parties to maintain their health.  Justin also noted the focus doesn’t just have to be on the partner diagnosed with HIV, as this can be a good opportunity to ensure you both are getting tested regularly for STIs and improving the trust in your relationship.

To sum it all up: trust over timing.  Any time before intercourse works. The decision is yours.  

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