Emma Kaywin, a Brooklyn-based sexual health writer and activist, is here to calm your nerves and answer your questions. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. My partner of eight years and I just went to get tested together, and he came back positive for HIV and I came out negative. What can I do? Will I definitely get it? And then, getting a different result than your partner can be even harder if it brings issues of jealousy into the mix.
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Back in late April-ish, my Facebook wall was bombarded by several of my loved ones who posted a call for HIV-positive models to participate in a new project that Jack Mackenroth, the HIV positive gay man of Project Runway fame and with a boogina that makes me think of sin and putting on a bib. Anywho, several of my friends encouraged me to send Jack some of my pictures for this project. He was looking for HIV positive models, and my first response to my friends was I love rejection just about as much as I love failure. Rejection, which is a main component of the impact of stigma on people living with HIV, becomes more than just a "shitty" moment for those of us living with the red rider. Rejection becomes the default for many of our interactions with folks in the community in whom we may have interest.
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The Positive Connection was launched in September , with a successful run for the first six years and membership numbers increasing rapidly. Ben Sassman, founder of the website, said "normal" dating sites do not ask you for your HIV status, which still leaves people who are HIV positive with the trauma or stress of disclosing their status to a new date. Sometimes it is for support, just a friend to talk to in a relaxed, informed environment. I am also required by law to clearly mention on every page of the site that this is a dating site for people living with HIV-Aids," Sassman said. I would, however, like to expand, increase traffic and take the site into Africa, so that my members can communicate with others around the continent.
The agency, called Hapana, was launched two months ago and is challenging attitudes that society holds towards those living with the virus. About one in five Zimbabweans is infected, the United Nations says. One of the highest rates in the world.