Being HIV+ is one thing, doing it as a single hetero female is quite another. I find myself alone, wondering if I will ever find that compatible, understanding human being who is either a saint or also HIV+ and alone. It's not to say though, that I haven't searched. There are websites out there dedicated to us. I can say from experience it's still a lonely endeavor.
I find that these sites are mostly catering to gay men, which is great for them. It is a gay men-dominated disease. In the beginning of my diagnosis I was the only woman at the "social gatherings" and now...it's still pretty much the same. In fact I have walked out of these "social gatherings" with tears in my eyes and an empty feeling of desolation because I was the only woman in the gathering, which was dominated by gay men. I actually looked around myself surrounded by people who shared this disease and felt completely unwanted and unwelcome in their presence. Like an alien. I have nothing against gay men. I think they are funny and charming. I wonder if the gay male HIV+ population has the same issues in finding a compatible mate as I have.
I have had several dates with other HIV+ men who are certainly off their rockers. This saddens me, frustrates me, makes me feel even more alone and then it hits me…Is this an issue with us? HIV+ population gone bonkers? Is this disease seeping into our personalities and our brains? Are we just sentenced to grow old and die alone?
I know we are an aging group, which scares the daylights out of me. Especially those of us who forge onward, alone. Elderly people in today's nursing homes are already facing scary proper care issues...what happens when we arrive?! I'm not looking forward to it. In fact, I have thought to myself that if it comes to that I'm checking out before I get there. What's the point of being discriminated against and mistreated all over again as a defenseless elder with HIV?
Trying to find someone who is not HIV+ to date, then disclose my status at just the right time before anything becomes serious, or nowadays "criminal behavior", isn't happening. These people don't want to have anything to do with the reality of HIV, the danger, the repercussions.
So I trudge on alone, wishing for someone, hoping for someone, daydreaming of someone who will honestly never appear because I have been alone too long, I have built my walls of steel and stone. I am encased in a lonely desolate tomb labeled HIV.