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I've always known you can't get HIV through kissing (it's a simple, safe activity), but the irrational mind is powerful.Today I have many friends I love who are HIV-positive, and I make a point to kiss each and every one of them.Some brave souls add a discreet " " sign to their profile name.The dearth of proud, openly positive gay people online in most cities is a lost opportunity for all of us.
My mother said, softly, "This is the worst day of our lives.
There are tens of thousands of serodiscordant (positive/negative) couples who are in vibrant, healthy relationships that last years or decades without one transmitting the virus to the other.
Through drugs that can often (although not always) reduce the virus to undetectable levels, PRe P, and basic safer sex practices, it is actually remarkably easy to protect both yourself and your partner. My younger self struggled to kiss someone whom I knew to be HIV-positive.
But the fact is that if you're a sexually active, HIV-negative gay man, chances are you are already sleeping with HIV-positive men. You certainly would not know through a casual read of profiles on many dating sites and apps; you might get the opposite impression and be fooled into thinking the infection has gone on some extended holiday, like an aging Hollywood starlet.
But sadly, many positive men are just not made to feel comfortable disclosing their HIV status openly on dating sites and apps.
And for many people, like my parents, a fear of gay people and HIV has been replaced with love and acceptance.