The more extreme physical chronic illnesses can make dating seem unrealistic or especially difficult, causing people like Pierce to think, “don’t even tempt me.”One major issue chronically ill people face in dating is disclosure.
The question of when to share the illness with a prospective partner fills online forums, videos, articles, blogs, conferences, and discussions.
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Disclosure becomes even more nerve-wracking if the chronic illness is contagious, like Nate Butler’s HIV.
The 51-year-old Denver native has had the disease for nearly 25 years and has dated both HIV-positive and negative men and women since then.
He’s been on many HIV dating sites in hopes to avoid the nuisances of dating an HIV negative person, namely disclosure and condoms.“Most of us HIV positive people know the online dating drill completely,” said Butler, who owns a small business. For him, the stigma of the illness hurts the most, which has kept him from approaching as many dating prospects as he used to.
“If we like each other, someone’s flying out on an expensive date weekend. He sees his HIV as one more deal-breaker to add to the pile that has stacked higher as he’s gotten older.
Some have and realized it was too much for them and won’t again.