Africa: A positive guide to dating

, by Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

The dating scene is often compared to a jungle: rough, tough and a little bewildering. But when you’re HIV-positive and looking for love, the map’s even harder to decipher, the journey fraught with esteem-threatening decisions and nagging uncertainty.

To mark Valentine’s Day, IRIN/PlusNews had a "heart to heart" with three activists and a young starlet - all living with the virus - who shared their tips and experiences on love, life and everything else.

Johanna Ncala, 40, is a treatment literacy coordinator for AIDS lobby group Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). She has a long-distance relationship with her partner of four years, a fellow activist from Mozambique, who is the father of her two-year-old daughter.

Luckyboy Mkhondwane, 32, TAC’s community media practitioner, has been with his HIV-negative partner for just over a year.

Gordon Mthembu, 44, TAC’s Gauteng provincial coordinator, has just paid lobola (bride price) for his girlfriend, who is negative. They have been together since May 2007.

Tender Mavundla, 26, is about to release her first solo album. She went public with her status during a singing competition on national television last year. She is engaged to a teacher, and is also in a discordant relationship. Read more