Positive Women’s Network–USA Invites Women Living with HIV to an Honest Conversation About the Ups and Downs of Dating
Positive Women’s Network–USA (PWN-USA) has announced that Dating with HIV, the sixth installment of their #PWNCares multimedia program, will go live Thursday, February 14, Valentine’s Day. PWN-USA will release a video, by and for women living with HIV, featuring a conversation with five dynamic women about the complexities, challenges, and highlights of romance after diagnosis. The video release will be accompanied by a live “coffee table chat” with the women interviewed in the video.
The five women interviewed in the video come from different backgrounds, have had different experiences, and are of a variety of ages—two are young women who were born with HIV; one woman is transgender; two self-identify as queer; and two are married. Although the women are of different ages and different lengths of time living with HIV, running through their nuanced conversation there is a common, hopeful thread: that dating, romance, intimacy, and sex are still possible—and even enjoyable—with a positive HIV status. Feeling comfortable and confident with oneself, including one’s serostatus, is the key to finding satisfying romantic relationships.
“Dating is complicated regardless of whether we’re living with HIV or not, and it’s really up to us to do the work we need to do internally to make sure we’re in a healthy space to date,” according to volunteer Bre Anne Rivera in the video.
In a press release, PWN-USA Deputy Director Venita Ray offered, “We hope that, regardless of how long they’ve been living with HIV or how publicly they disclose their status, women living with HIV who watch the video or participate in the virtual coffee table will both understand that they’re not alone and also that, despite the difficulties around disclosure, we deserve to be happy and healthy relationship are still possible healthy, happy relationships are possible after diagnosis.”
The “Dating with HIV” multimedia event will occur on Thursday, February 14, at 4:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. PST. All self-identified women and people of trans experience living with HIV are invited to participate in the virtual coffee table. Service providers, social workers, counselors, and support group facilitators are encouraged to share the video, as well as a recording of the coffee table and/or discussion guide, to facilitate conversations.
#PWNCares is an interactive multimedia series created by and for women living with HIV, with the support of ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action for Women grant. The goal is to reach out to women who have been recently diagnosed or feel isolated and to bring them into supportive in-person and online communities. Unfortunately, finding women and people of trans experience living with HIV, especially outside of major urban centers, is often difficult. PWN-USA seeks to bring those reached through the PWNCares series into our national network of thousands of women and people of trans experience living with HIV.
Positive Women’s Network–United States of America (PWN-USA) is a national membership body of women living with HIV working to involve all women living with HIV, in all our diversity, including gender identity and sexual expression, in all levels of policy and decision-making to improve the quality of women’s lives. Visit www.pwn-usa.org for more information. Specific information regarding the Valentine’s Day multimedia event, go to www.pwn-usa.org/pwncares/pwncares-6-dating-with-hiv/.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Editor at Large, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-eight-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.