What, exactly, is this poll asking?
It's *possible* that I'd date someone whom I believe to be HIV -concordant or -discordant from myself. Across my history, both have attained. My experience is that HIV-cordance has mixed effects on relationship quality. For example: HIV-discordance necessitates some potentially uncomfortable and emotionally risky conversations up front. But those same conversations can lay a foundation for profound intimacy and trust. On the other hand, HIV-concordance can allay some concerns. But simply expressing HIV-concordance is no basis for caring or relationship.
One should also be careful with how one positions these ideas. "HIV-cordance is not relevant to love" and "HIV-cordance matters" aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, I'd assert that they're both true:
- Rejecting exploration of loving relationship with a worthy partner is foolish. Human life is fleeting. Suitable partners are rare. Failing to acknowledge the calling of one's heart diminishes one's significance as a human being.
- Pretending that HIV-cordance entails no difference of relationship is also foolish. All sero-combinations (++, +-, -+, --, ??, ?+, ?-, +?, -?) open some possibilities while closing others. The specific differences in possibility, and what these differences mean, are unique to each relationship. But HIV-cordance certainly matters. Across different sero-combinations, the "same" relationship will manifest different sets of possibilities and meanings.
Bottom line: I'm astonished that, 30 years into this epidemic, we're still asking questions such as the one posed. It posits a false dichotomy and would seem to discourage more thoughtful consideration of the issues. Let's move on.
I believe that being educated about HIV is far more important. If you are educated you will find that there is no reason at all why HIV status should matter. I am HIV positive. Remember, it's just as stressfull for someone that is HIV positive as it is for someone that is negative. I worry everyday that I'm going to pass it on to my Negative partner.