After my recent break-up I decided that I needed a good night out, so my friends and I planned a big Saturday night out. We started off at a house party before hitting the bars and clubs. I had an amazing time, it was so good to let my hair down, have a few drinks and dance like a nutter to some decent beats.

My single friends starting mingling, flirting and some even took guys home. It was only fairly late on that night, as I walked home through the snow, that I considered that maybe I was missing out here. I’ve not been single for a great deal of my adult life – tending to go from one relationship to another, and whilst I can flirt it up a storm online, being that cheeky in person doesn’t come easily to me – not with new people at least.

That’s two things I need to overcome:

  1. Remember that I’m single and allowed to flirt with guys in bars.
  2. Stop being so shy and allow myself to open up to new people in these situations.

Should I add those to my New Year’s Resolutions?

If only the trouble stopped there though. Being HIV positive adds yet another hurdle to overcome. At what point do I tell people, if at all? If I tell people right away up front I risk turning them off for what might only be a bit of dancing and making out. But if I don’t tell them until we get to the point of sex I risk being rejected when I’m at my most vulnerable.

Perhaps I should have a name badge made up, “Hi, My name is Sam and I’m HIV+” then people who are worried by my status can just avoid me? But then again I’m not sure even I’d approach someone who felt it was necessary to advertise their status on their shirt. All I really want is to be like my friends, who can go out on a Saturday, pull a cute guy, kiss his face off and go home with him. When I see a cute guy smiling at me across a bar all I do is panic, panic that once he finds out he’ll run a mile. I guess I could always just become a nun, but I’m allergic to wool…

Shy smiles,



  1. Reading your blog made me well up. I’m a straight female, 2 months away from my 40th birthday. I have HSV genital (herpes). Orally just known as cold sores which noone thinks twice about. It won’t kill me but I can relate to your feelings in this blog totally.

    I’ve been single since my diagnosis (7 years) and find it easier not to engage with anyone on a romantic level, the stigma of it is so bad. I watch my single friends pulling guys and having fun and I’d give anything to be like them.

    Thanks for sharing your world. X

  2. I’ve been following your blog for a while now and find your posts both humbling and uplifting.

    “All I really want is to be like my friends, who can go out on a Saturday, pull a cute guy, kiss his face off and go home with him. When I see a cute guy smiling at me across a bar all I do is panic, panic that once he finds out he’ll run a mile.”
    As a 50+ mum, this made me want to give you a hug, a pat on the bum and reassurance that you’ll be fine.

    So get a name badge that just says “Hi. My name’s Sam” Pull a guy for fun. Snog his face off. Why not?

    And if you decide you want to take things further, tell him before you get hurt. Sod his feelings, if he can’t appreciate your honesty, then he doesn’t deserve you in the first place!

    I wish you all the best for many Saturday nights of flirting 🙂 xx

    • Thank you Sharon. That’s made me grin from ear to ear. I’m sure I’ll feel more comfortable in time. I wish everyone was as understanding as you. x

  3. You? Flirt online? I find that very hard to believe 😉 Great post as always Sam; we’ll have to hit the cars together sometime. Wingman anyone? Xx

  4. Why do you have to tell them at all? As long as you use protection, why can’t you wait until you’re fairly sure how they’ll handle it, or until you’re sure you want to stay with them? You don’t have to disclose if you stay safe.

    • Condoms break, accidents happen. I’d rather be upfront and honest with them from the start.

  5. I’d like to think that way too, but I’ve been single for five years – I’m your sort of age – because I’m too frightened of telling anyone.

  6. Hi Sam,

    I recently discovered your blog from Twitter. I’m really enjoying reading.

    I can’t answer the question about how and when to tell people about your HIV diagnosis.

    Ha ha definitely don’t become a Nun though, it’s much to boring!

    The thing is I guess it depends what you want. I’ve read about your recent experiences with men and they don’t seem to be positive ones. A guy that’s worth you will – treat you right, listen and be non-judgemental and be interesting in you as your whole being.

    I guess my feeling would be to take it slow and get to know someone and then do what feels right. If they appear to be worth it, tell them, see if they can deal with it. A guy that wants you and is right for you should be able to deal with it.

    Take care,

    A x


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