“Would you date a partner Living with HIV?” A very common question on these streets.
Usually, there would be no formula in identifying a partner because whether HIV+ or HIV-, personality cuts it! Says one of the members of the #WhatGirlsWant Movement. However, when it comes to positive living and discordant partners, their vulnerability in a relationship is way ahead of everyone else’s. “I have a scenario where a mother married off her 12 year old HIV+ living daughter because she thought an early marriage would prevent in-laws from finding out about her status earlier which would lead to less bride price collected or leave her unmarried for the rest of her life because her HIV status made her imperfect for the man.” She added.
If one were to choose an HIV Positive Living partner, they need to know about their line, viral load, stage, CD4 to avoid reinfections, she emphasized. Stressing a point to the discordant couples, each partner has to be ready to play their part where adherence and viral suppression are prioritized to maintain the discordance. It wouldn’t also hurt if the HIV- partner could help out and support the HIV+ living partner in which I quote, “If one loves me knowing my status, that translates to one is ready for anything even when it means picking their partners’ drugs during appointments.”
With the continued rise if the HIV Prevalence among Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Eastern and Southern Africa is at 6.2%-7.6%. The prevalence is higher among Young Women living in peri-urban areas at 9.8% than those in rural areas which is at 6.7%: A source from MU-JHU Research Institute. This should be evident enough that such relationships are inevitable.
Sometimes we need to support Adolescent Girls and Young Women in the decisions they make especially when it comes to understanding the basis of a relationship which is love, trust, care and understanding. The rest come in as a bonus. This generation is more fixated on beauty, wealth, material and now sero status to determine our relationships and we’ve completely trashed the core human values. As leaders, it should be our key responsibility to guide and show the next generation what it means to have a partner, or be in a relationship. The good, the bad and the ugly. Stable relationships go beyond sero statuses, though Young People living with HIV are more vulnerable to Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Compiled By: A Health Advocate