Although research has extensively documented the experiences of illness of people living with HIV, dating, marriage, and fatherhood among heterosexual Latino men has not been examined. To address this gap, this study used a qualitative study design to examine patterns and strategies for dating, marriage, and parenthood among 24 HIV-positive heterosexual Puerto Rican men living in Boston. The findings in our study indicate that an HIV diagnosis does not necessarily deter men from having an active sexual life, marrying, or having children. In fact, for some of the men, engaging in these social and life-changing events is part of moving on and normalizing life with HIV; these men planned for, achieved, and interpreted these events in the context of establishing normalcy with HIV. Although the HIV diagnosis discouraged some men from engaging in sexual relations, getting married, or having children, others fulfilled these desires with strategies aimed to reconciling their HIV status in their personal life, including dating or marrying HIV-positive women only. Additional important themes identified in this study include the decision to disclose HIV status to new sexual partners as well as the decision to accept the risk of HIV transmission to a child or partner in order to fulfill desires of fatherhood. Understanding the personal struggles, decision-making patterns, and needs of HIV-positive heterosexual men can aid in designing interventions that support healthy living with HIV.
I also gave her information and then she we got back together because she loves me and I love her. She is still not HIV-positive. During the interview, Orlando commented that he did not disclose his HIV status prior to his wedding because of fear of rejection.
In this case, information about HIV and acceptance were crucial to mending the relationship once he disclosed his HIV status. Fatherhood varied among the men in the study see Table 2. Participants who were fathers had 2. One participant, Manny 42 years ol reported having five children and was expecting his sixth child at the time of the interview. None of the children were reported as being HIV-positive.
Several participants pointed their HIV status for the strong apprehensions to having a family. For example, Luis had not given up on the idea of one day having a family, but he realized that HIV made it more difficult to have children:.
I want to have a son or a daughter. It can be done, but you have to follow a procedure, you have to find the right person. Those are long term goals. My body is not the same like the body of a normal person. Like Luis, the potential for HIV transmission was a major concern voiced by other men in the study. Because of their HIV status, many participants opted against having any or additional children because of the potential risk of infecting the child regardless of medical treatments available.
Yet this was not a universal belief among the participants. For example, for Diego, having children was a calculated risk he was willing to take to please his wife. She wanted to take a chance and have a child.
The child is three months, thank God. When we went to the doctor, the doctor told her that the baby was negative because she took the medications.
As HIV-positive individuals are living longer and healthier lives, dating, marriage, and parenthood have a significant impact on normalizing life cultivating personal growth and simplybeyondexpectations.com by: 6. The HIV-positive partner's viral load has been undetectable for at least six consecutive months. Neither partner has any additional STIs. Having another STI can facilitate HIV transmission. Risk of transmission varies with viral load, which is entirely unique to each individual. Jun 10, You may think that dating an HIV-positive man increases your risk of infection. In fact, it likely does the opposite. If your prospective mate has the gumption to disclose his positive status before the first round of cocktails, you can be certain that he has taken steps to protect your negative simplybeyondexpectations.com: Tyler Curry.
In an effort to prevent transmission, another man explored safer options available for fatherhood. Minor looked into the most advanced medical procedures available to reduce the risk of transmission. This is something Benedicto and his wife experienced while having their first child:.
We went to counseling. We went to counseling for medications and we were told the percentage that she could become HIV positive. So, we had our son. Although HIV has been at the forefront of public health discourse for roughly 30 years, approaches to living with HIV only date back to the late s, when advances in medical treatment altered the outcome of an HIV diagnosis. Our data support theorists and researchers in that the men in this study are living withinstead of dying from HIV, reasserting the notion of HIV as a chronic illness instead of a death sentence.
The chronicity of HIV is underscored in how people manage to live after a diagnosis and work to establish a sense of normality within the context of living with the illness. The importance of normalizing life is highlighted by the qualitative findings of this study.
For many of the men in this study, moving beyond the diagnosis implies moving on with life and engaging in everyday social cts of life such as dating and sex, marriage, and parenthood.
The findings in our study indicate that being HIV-positive does not necessarily deter most men from having an active sexual life, marrying, or having children. However, these participants acknowledge that they reframe these expectations as part of a new normalcy with HIV. For the men who reported having an active dating life and even getting married, an important factor was the decision to choose seropositive or seronegative partners.
Most of the men in this study opted for relationships with women who were also HIV-positive as a form of risk and stigma management.
Despite the known risk of retransmission or cross infection, there is less perceived risk for infection compared to serodiscordant relationships and less fear of rejection. However, it can be argued that the need to identify and have relationships with others sharing the condition is crucial to making sense of the redefined social world in which they live Hale,one with shared meaning, especially as it relates to engaging relationships and life-long goals.
Our data also confirm previous research findings suggesting that the desire for fatherhood is strong among HIV-positive men and being a father gives new meaning to their lives Paiva et al. The literature notes that although pressure to conform to social expectations of having children and a family is common, the stigma of HIV is seen as a barrier to parenthood. Nevertheless, when the men in the study made a decision to have children or expand their family, it took place in the context of their fear of infecting the child or partner.
Dating someone who's HIV-positive
Often the decision to have children involved a complicated examination of the risks and benefits by both partners while bearing in mind their desire for parenthood. A number of public health implications and recommendations can be derived from these findings, particularly with regard to the quality of life in the context of chronic illness.
Quality of life is related to a satisfied personal life including a healthy sexual and dating life as well as, for some, the expectation of marriage and family. More concretely, the study findings support the need for interventions that provide men and couples with more information on risk of transmission and family planning, along with counseling on safe practices to enrich sexual fulfillment. Additionally, interventions should focus on couples, as the complexities of relationships in the context of HIV require the understanding and effort of both individuals to maintain health and fulfill desires.
Finally, despite the fact that family planning also involves men, it is a component that has been absent from health programs targeting HIV-positive men. Specific programs targeting men should be developed to provide information about family planning and parenting options.
Reproductive counseling with a focus exclusively on HIV-positive heterosexual men can be significant in providing information on reproductive choices and alternative fatherhood options. The results presented in this article must be interpreted within the limitations of the study. In this regard, careful detail underwent in implementing and conducting a rigorous translation plan see Method.
Also, the authors recognize that many theories and theoretical frameworks can provide additional insight into the findings of the study e. In future studies, it will be important to expand the scope of analysis and consider alternative frameworks to reflect on the wealth of factors at play in the subject at hand.
In addition, although the majority of the men in our sample reported injection drug use as the mode of infection, the impact of drug abuse history on relationships was not assessed in the study. The men in the study all reported to be in recovery, which is not surprising because the study focused only on individuals who were already in care, but it is an important issue to explore in future research given the potential complications e.
Last, additional research is needed to evaluate further the impact of HIV on dating, marriage, and fatherhood. Particularly, research is needed to determine the types of interventions and social services that would be effective in providing support and improving these cts of life for HIV-positive men. HIV is no longer a death sentence. Life-saving medical treatments have set the stage for the normalization of life with HIV as a manageable chronic illness.
As HIV-positive individuals are living longer and healthier lives, dating, marriage, and parenthood have a significant impact on normalizing life cultivating personal growth and fulfillment. Overall, individuals who are more satisfied with their social support and those who experience less depressive symptoms are more likely to adhere to treatment Safren et al.
Last, but not least, although these narratives contribute to expanding the knowledgebase on the chronicity of HIV, more important, they help highlight the continued ability of HIV-positive men to experience many, if not all, cts of life.
In the process, the same personal choices they adopt to normalize life result in processes to de-stigmatize HIV. The narratives of dating, marriage, and parenthood shared by many men in our study speak to rejecting the damaged goods status others often accept with their HIV diagnosis. These men are embracing the possibility of becoming lovers, husbands, and fathers. And I proved myself wrong.
However, for many men in this study, dating, marriage, and parenthood become alternative normalizing spaces that can positively affect the perception others have, at least in their social networks, about people diagnosed with HIV. Declaration of Conflicting Interests.
National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Am J Mens Health. Author manuscript; available in PMC Mar 1. Diana M. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
Copyright notice. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Am J Mens Health. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Introduction Despite challenges, an HIV diagnosis does not preclude dating, marrying, or having a family. Method The findings presented in this article are part of a larger ethnographic study investigating the positive impact of illness among a group of HIV-positive Puerto Rican men living in Boston.
Open in a separate window. Data Analysis To maintain the integrity of the data, the interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Results Dating and Sex With HIV Entering the dating world and, particularly, having intimate relationships was reported to be difficult after an HIV diagnosis by some of the participants in the study.
One man listed his options to ease the fear of disclosure and prevent exposing others to HIV: I know people that are healthy and are with others who are HIV, but it is a big risk. Marriage With HIV Marriage was another ct that men reported having to reassess after their diagnosis. Felix explained: Felix: You know, in a normal day, I feel normal because my partner, we are both same have the same disease.
Interviewer: So, it helps that your spouse is also HIV positive? For example, Luis had not given up on the idea of one day having a family, but he realized that HIV made it more difficult to have children: I want to have a son or a daughter.
This is something Benedicto and his wife experienced while having their first child: We went to counseling. Discussion Although HIV has been at the forefront of public health discourse for roughly 30 years, approaches to living with HIV only date back to the late s, when advances in medical treatment altered the outcome of an HIV diagnosis.
Conclusion HIV is no longer a death sentence. References AIDS. Having children. Qualitative Health Research. Stigma and HIV: A review of the literature. Rockville, MD: U. Chronic illness as biographical disruption. Good days bad days: The self in chronic illness and time. Experiencing chronic illness. The handbook of social studies in health and medicine. London, England: Sage; Fertility desires and intentions of HIV-positive men and women.
Family Planning Perspectives. Health Communication. Prevention of HIV-1 infection with early antiretroviral therapy. New England Journal of Medicine. The experience of illness: Recent and new directions. Research in the sociology of health care: The experience and management of chronic illness. Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Serostatus disclosure, sexual communication and safer sex in HIV-positive men.
AIDS Care. Children who are different: Meeting the challenges of birth defects in society. Louis, MO: Mosby; Factors associated with reproductive options in HIV-infected women. Lived experiences and HIV-positive women. Dissertation Abstracts International. Identity renegotiation in HIV-positive women. Explaining ethnicity. Comparative Political Studies. Perceptions towards condom use, sexual activity, and HIV disclosure among HIV-positive African American men who have sex with men: Implications for heterosexual transmission.
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Jan 14, Other Dating Issues for People Living with HIV. Some women living with HIV find it hard to think about dating because they feel less desirable or less appealing than HIV-negative women. It is important to remember that there is much more to you than HIV. Your HIV status is not a reflection of your self-worth; try not to let it affect your standards. Apr 14, To track the situation with your immune system doctors, use CD4 count (normal ratio is in HIV-negative). However, with treatment, you can live a long life because it reduces the damage caused by the HIV virus by making the virus inactive. But without treatment, a person's lifespan is greatly reduced.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. American Journal of Public Health. Community narratives and personal stories in Alcoholics Anonymous. Journal of Community Psychology. Living with chronic illness: The interface of stigma and normalization.
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Hiv negative dating positive
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The right to love: The desire for parenthood among men living with HIV. However, there are many ways to significantly reduce risk of transmission, even for an uninfected person in a sexually active relationship with someone who is HIV-positive.
Many studies have been conducted on serodiscordant couples, meaning that one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative.
How do couples manage when one is HIV positive and the other isn't? - Truthloader LIVE debate
Growing evidence suggests that as HIV medicines become more efficacious, HIV-positive individuals taking antiretroviral medications are significantly less likely to transmit the virus to a sexual partner than someone not taking medication. In fact, in a study of almost 3, monogamous serodiscordant couples, it was found that with the use of antiretroviral therapy, only 3.
Risk is reduced even further when the following qualifications are met:.
Risk of transmission varies with viral load, which is entirely unique to each individual. Consistent and correct condom usage is key to lowering transmission risk in mixed status couples, regardless of viral load.
Condoms are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV, but sometimes fail. Those failures are most often due to user error. To reduce condom failure, try the following:. HIV can complicate relationships in many ways. Not only is HIV highly stigmatized, but it can also be difficult to manage. However, under the close supervision of a good physician, you and your partner can be safely sexually active. If you need more help or want to talk about risks and options further, reach out to your health care provider or your partner's HIV specialist.
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