Fast-forward to now and she’s living her best life – and dating a new man. We had been in a long-distance relationship for most of the time we were together.She shares how she came to terms with her diagnosis, and how to date and disclose your status to others. Well, if I were asked that question before I received my HIV results back in 2008, I’d probably have described a person already on their death bed – suffering from a bad cough, fever and an itchy rash. I lived in Durban and he was based in Port Elizabeth.His response to my disclosure was, “Why did you go for a test? But I didn’t blame him for infecting me; I was responsible for my own health and I should have condomised.We did try to make the relationship work afterwards, but after two years we both knew it was over. I began to squeeze in three cardio sessions per week because gym helped me keep positive and energetic.When I met Sipho* at a house party in December last year, I was nervous about talking to him about my status.We were introduced by mutual friends, and I immediately fell in love with his mannerisms.With careful planning, it is possible to have a safe and successful pregnancy while preventing HIV from passing to the HIV-negative partner (or to the baby).
I expected the usual counselling session with a nurse; the drawing of my blood and, finally, a negative result. But the nurse who gave me the results was very helpful. I was excited about starting a new life, and taking an HIV test formed part of it. Mixed emotions overtook me – I was angry, scared, confused. ‘The support I received from my older sister was incredible.This can be done in the clinic, if you do not feel comfortable doing it at home.Your partner has no possible exposure to HIV with this method.But with these five tips, you can at least get through the dating and disclosure process relatively unscathed, regardless of his status.When Cindy Ngonini, 30, was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 2008, she thought her life was over.