I got tested during my second divorce. I was dating someone new, and wewanted to have unprotected sex. After I tested positive, the guy brokeup with me. Afterward, I had sex here and there for a while and alwaysdisclosed but no relationships. I got involved in HIV education—and amnow the president of an AIDS service organization. But I found it hardto meet straight, positive men because they are often not open abouttheir status. I also felt depressed and like I was less than everyoneelse, so I started settling. I lived with a drunk for a year. I had anegative boyfriend, and after the condom broke, he no longer feltcomfortable having sex—but the relationship continued for a year. Thena friend said to me, “Just because we have AIDS, we don’t need tosettle.” It made me really take a long look at myself and decide I amworth something. I determined I would find the Right One. I sure ashell never thought I’d get married again, but I found someone I trulylove and want to share my life with. We’re going to get married on thebeach—in togas. Here’s how I did it.  

3 Love Tips

1. Get Confident
Theway uneducated people respond to the virus makes it easy to feel dirtyand unworthy of love. But you have to say, “Who cares what the Jonesessay?” Reach out to people who really care about you. I met a guru andjoined a Hindu commune with a program for people with HIV. They helpedme take care of my three kids who are now grown and provided supportthat allowed me to open myself up to love. But you can’t just sit backand hope. You have to put yourself out there—repeatedly.
Check out Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women With HIV by R. Klitzman for pointers about dating and confidence.

2. Get Out There
Disclosureis always a big issue in the beginning. Before disclosing, I’d tell himI work with AIDS and see how he responded before deciding what else totell. While I know positive/negative couples with good relationships, Ifound the idea caused too many issues for me. I started searching for apoz god—because I am a poz goddess. But it wasn’t until I went onlineand started going to positive dating sites that I met a lot of men.While some sites charge, there are free ones. The most important thingabout online dating is to be honest. Don’t send an old picture or lieabout who you are or what you want. Really get to know someonefirst.Talk on the phone.
Findfree online dating at POZ Personals, www.personals.poz.com or write usat POZ Personals, 500 Fifth Ave., Suite 320, New York, NY, 10110.

3. Get Tough
Luckily,getting a response wasn’t an issue. Finding the right one was. Men fromall over the country bought me plane tickets to meet them. But if theyweren’t the right one, I told them so. I made some great friends—and Ididn’t let myself care what people thought about me flying off to meetso many guys. But then I went to a new site, and there was somethingabout this one guy. I had to contact him. The site wanted 20 bucks,which I couldn’t spare. I noticed he was in a band, so I searched fortheir website and posted a message for him. It was the day before hequit the group! We e-mailed and talked on the phone for months, thenfor the first time I bought the ticket and flew to California last May.At the end of the two weeks, he bought a ring.
To find positive social groups and community events in your area go to HIV AIDS Search at www.hivaidssearch.com.