HIV+

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The Magnetic Relationship: When Positive & Negative Meet and Mate

Introduction

Gay relationships come in all varieties and combinations...that's what makes our community so diverse and eclectic! One such couple pairing has been coined "magnetic relationships", which is defined as an HIV-positive and an HIV-negative man in a committed partnership together. Perhaps it stems from fear, ignorance, or other sociopolitical factors, but surprisingly very little has been written on this subject.

One of the most important components of any single gay man's dating plan is a clear vision of the type of partner and relationship he seeks. Knowledge of his negotiable and non-negotiable needs is then used to form a template that he refers to when screening potential dating partners. Such criteria might include looks, professional status, age, race, certain emotional characteristics, etc. When meeting new men, singles intent on searching for Mr. Right will then take special note of the potential goodness-of-fit that exists with his relational vision and values with every dating encounter to avoid investing energy (and their hearts) into mismatched connections. One such criteria that every man must contemplate are his feelings about whether to date within or outside his particular HIV status. They must decide how important or not it is to them in the scheme of their visions for a long-term relationship. In response to a recent poll on my website's "Question of the Month" voting poll regarding whether gay men would date others opposite of their own HIV status, 34% replied "yes" and 66% said "no."

This article addresses those men who have discordant HIV statuses and have decided that other partner traits and relational characteristics hold more importance and priority to them than HIV/AIDS and have invested into committed partnerships. With such minimal literature available on this relationship style, it is hoped that this article will offer some useful tips and support for that segment of the gay population who has been unrepresented.

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