Top Tips for Dating When You’re a Person Living with HIV (revisited). When WebMD lets you down (surprise), take artistic license! I know that’s a long title. Sorry, not sorry.

Today, I came across TWO sponsored ads on Facebook my WebMD. The worst of the two was about dating for people living with HIV. It sucked.

Needless to say both ads by WebMD left me wanting better.

For my sanity, I needed to right this wrong. So I’m re-writing their article with my own voice.

I’m admittedly plagiarizing in a creative licensing approach to bring at least one additional voice of lived experience. I really don’t think anyone is going to sue me over this, but if so, this is my act of corporate and civil disobedience.

Disclaimer: I’m SURE WebMD reviewed this content with their internal panel of people living with HIV for stigmatizing language for things that didn’t quite land right. The people involved did the best they could and intended no harm. In fact, it may have been written by someone who is also living with HIV. We are all human (including me).

Nonetheless, they fall short (as I’m sure I will from my narrow, majority-except-for-the-gay-thing GWM perspective). But here I go because I can’t be silent.

WebMD – get into 2022 and rework your language! Make it person-centric and don’t put the burden of discussing sexual health primarily on the person living with HIV. Consensual sex between two or more adults mean all parties are responsible for their own health, for asking the right questions, and for sharing important health information. Be precise with your language – language matters. We need medically accurate information.

Someone probably got PAID to write the WebMD article. I’m not getting paid. So please receive these edits as a Letter to the Editor, bringing about change by taking control of my own narrative.

For everyone – I want to learn more complete, helpful and accurate ways of writing too – so your comments are welcome. Your trolling is not – so don’t make me close comments.

Top Tips for Dating When You’re a Person Living with HIV (revisited)

Finding a partner while living with HIV may feel scary. Here are some tips from others who understand what you’re going through, who are also living and even thriving with HIV.

I give credit to WebMD for most of this content – source article here. I have added or edited content where I thought the information was dated, inaccurate or poorly worded. I’ll underline text where I made edits

Living With HIV

Finding a partner when HIV is something you’re living with can feel scary, but you can have a fulfilling relationship. HIV is treatable, and with treatment, you can live a long and normal life. Your partners can also take steps to minimize their personal risk of getting HIV.

Be Informed

It’s sometimes hard to talk about HIV with new or potential partners. It’s normal to feel stressed or embarrassed, but learning more about your condition can help. Ask your doctor about how and when to disclose your status. Do your own research online or by talking to a care coordinator, case worker, self-advocate, peer support, mentor, or other trusted, knowledgeable people in your community. Find a support group, in person or online. More information and conversations about HIV will make it easier to talk about living with HIV.

Remember That Treatment Is Prevention and U=U

HIV medication lowers the amount of HIV in your blood until it’s undetectable. This helps your immune system repairs itself and stops you from getting other illnesses. If you’re taking medication as directed and are undetectable for at least six months, the virus is untransmittable – a nerdy way of saying you cannot sexually transmit HIV to your partner. That’s right. U=U. Undetectable=Untransmittable. Can’t find it, can’t share it. It’s that simple.

Decide when it’s best to disclose

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to disclose to your partner. Your safety is just as important as the safety of your sexual partner. There may be laws in your state that require you to tell your partner that you are living with HIV before having sex or sharing needles.

It is everyone’s responsibility to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). No one can force you to disclose, but in most cases it is recommended to avoid misunderstanding and to do no harm.

But the world is grey, so here are some factors to consider in deciding when it’s best to disclose:

  • Knowing when to disclose your HIV status during dating can be a big worry. If you aren’t having sex, you can decide when to tell a potential partner. Talk about it when you’re both sober, and you feel safe.
  • In a safe, consensual relationship between two or more adults, it’s helpful for all partners to take the initiative to know and share their HIV status, either HIV negative or positive. In this way, everyone is taking responsibility and making decisions for their own sexual health.
  • In other circumstances, it may be unsafe to disclose your status to your partner because of abuse, domestic violence or other real life situations. Consider reaching out to a local domestic violence advocate for help in getting out of an unsafe situation. In some states, there may be legal risks for not disclosing. This is where harm reduction comes into play. What poses the least risk of harm? Do that first. But get help. You do not have to do this alone.
  • Knowing that an undetectable viral load poses no risk of sexual transmission means you can make informed decisions about whether or not to disclose your status. This is all about risk management and making informed choices based on your circumstances and the best information possible.
  • In some states, laws may be written that make it “their word against yours” if you were to be charged with a crime for not disclosing your status to a partner. Consider following up any important conversations with a brief email or text message as written proof that you disclosed your status. It may sound awkward to do, but the law isn’t always fair. Alternatively, send that email or text to yourself or make a note to a written diary of the date, time and details of the conversation.
  • Knowing the legal realities in your state for people living with HIV can help reduce fear, shame, stigma or other barriers to disclosure. Most states have information on HIV criminalization, or contact these national organizations [SERO, Health Not Prisons Collective]

Practice Harm Reduction to minimize risk

There are many things you and your partner can do to minimize risk associated with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The relative risk of any behavior increases if you have multiple partners.

  • Knowing the relative risk of various sexual behaviors, you can decide when to tell a potential partner based on whether you are engaging in behaviors that have no or negligible risk of transmission. [POZ Magazine Article on HIV Transmission & Risks] Talk about it when you’re both sober, and you feel safe.
  • Consider using condoms, which prevent HIV transmission as well as other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Practice safe sex by engaging in activities that pose no risk of HIV transmission. Oral sex has no risk of transmission as long as there are no open sores or cuts in the mouth or on the genitals. Touching, use of toys, frottage and mutual masturbation are examples of other safe sexual activities. Toys should not be shared, or if they are, clean them in between use. [POZ Magazine Article on HIV Transmission & Risks]

Request Your Partners to Take PrEP

Encourage your partners who are not living with HIV to talk to their doctor about PrEP. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, which means they take it before sex or needle sharing to lower their risk of infection. It’s a highly effective medicine. PrEP for your partner would make most sense if you aren’t undetectable or have trouble staying undetectable or in situations where there may be multiple partners involved.

Practice Self-Care

Whether or not you are living with HIV, dating and finding the right person takes time. You might feel stressed about your love life and how HIV affects your relationships, but be kind to yourself. Take time to do what makes you feel good and helps you maintain your sense of self.  

Find Support

Living with HIV can be stressful and lead to a lot of emotional distress. You might find it helpful to talk to a counselor about ways to cope with your feelings and your condition. Finding other people who live with HIV can help you feel a sense of community. Plus, you can ask them for advice.

Be Yourself

If you feel embarrassed about living with HIV, you’re not alone. But remember, it’s not something to feel ashamed about. Look for a partner who appreciates you for who you are. Be yourself and ask for help if you’re struggling to feel confident.

I will improve this, but wanted to get SOMETHING out that spoke more to my truth, to my experience, to my learning. I could do better. There are some places to flesh out. But it’s a start.

Keep tellin’ the story.


Professor C Todd Peacock III
Community Artivist, Connector, Storyteller & Healer

Artistic Bio

I created a profile for an online photography community. It’s sometimes hard for me to describe where I’ve landed as an artist & human being, here on October 14, 2022. That will change radically, or slowly, or organically, or tragically. More organic, less tragedy please. #NotMyCircus

Here’s what I came up with:

My main studio is C Todd Creations, focused on headshots, performing arts events + digital art rooted in photography. I like to dabble in many things, and stay away from others. I love working with drag performers, dancers & show choirs. I love nature, macro photography and digital creations that start with one or more images of my own. This is my primary professional brand @CToddCreations. Welcome!

My speciality studio is C Todd Dudeoir focused on photography for men + art that is body positive and inclusive. How I see my art in this space evolves with each conversation & understanding. ‘As I heal, I create; as I create, I heal.’ I love to explore art that pushes the edge of gender expression & identity. I create best in a collaborative setting so I work well with other artists, models & performers. I finding an intersection with sex positive communities, including leather, BDSM, cosplay and fem boy to name a few. “Never yuck on someone else’s yum!” “I’ll shoot anything twice, more if I like it!” This is my speciality studio @CToddDudeoir. Welcome!

As an artist, I explore art as therapy with an emphasis on stigma & shame, flipped and rescripted to reclaim its grip on my identity and self-confidence. Yea, mental health shit. This shows up in the form of artivism, a concept a read about when I discovered Through Positive Eyes. It inspired and informed my creative introduction to artivism with #CelebrateUU, in parallel to learning about art therapy as a tool for mental health & trauma informed living using harm reduction. This shows up in fine art projects, community art and artivism tied to my main studio @CToddCreations, under the emerging educator/performer persona Professor Peacock and under the pen blog Welcome!

Artist’s Profile, October 2022

I use a 70/20/10 rule of thumb that is aspirational or intentional. I have less control than I wish but accept that on most days. I’ve learned to just go along for the ride! Abide by The Four Agreements as best one can on any given day. Live for and in today.

At this phase in life, I think my work is 10/70/20 across C Todd Creations, Artivism, and C Todd Dudeoir. Again. Aspirational subject to change depending on what the Universe sets before me and the choices I make thereof 😉

Thanks for listening. This was really more for me. (Is anyone listening?)

Keep tellin’ the story.


Professor C Todd Peacock III
Community Artivist, Connector, Storyteller & Healer

#GameOn #CBD #TraumaInformedArt #TraumaInformedLiving #CelebrateUU

What have I learned?

Reminds me of a story one of my friends loves to tell about a night behind stage at a drag show back in the 1980’s. It’s catty, edgy, back-stabbing humor. Older GWM at our best.

And our worst.

They do call it a stereotype for a reason, girlfriend. (HT to JT for that one. That and a couple other racist remarks lands your firm with a class-action lawsuit. Then the Club Owners collude to keep YOU happy so you don’t pop the Rainbow bubble they’ve helped build. That’s right, GIRLFRIEND!).


So I’ll spare you the off-color humor. (Hmmm. Did you notice that?)

Is it really off-color, or have we all become too sensitive?

Too sensitive I guess. That is what they told ME as a little boy wonder, shaming the feelings out of my broken, little boy heart.

But really…

I’m sad when I hear some cis White male queer peers from my generation or one older as we talk quietly over a coffee or a cocktail. We are careful not to say too much, lest we lose our spotlight. We self-righteously cling to our gay lineage, our homosexual agenda – not realizing the lesson we were just served by Mr. Floyd’s legacy is: the very world we cling to is steeped in White supremacy, fueled by our own unresolved Velvet Rage.

As GWM “of a certain age,” we fear losing the very things “we” fought for (really? just us? hmmm…). What power and fear we hold over other human beings, many of whom actually earned our saggy White asses that very seat at the bar. At the Sportsman. In rural Indiana.

That’s what I’ve learned in the oak-lined Boardrooms of our capitalist healthcare industry – corporate, non-profit, religious – same cloth, different kilt. The people, yes – they care. Tremendously. And work for shit. All of them. They are NOT the enemy.

That’s why I’ve learned

But, the institutions themselves.

Capitalist, cis-male White Lockerooms and Jock Clubs. A legacy of wealth and disregard for those different than us.

But I digress.

What IS the punch line?

Who doesn’t find that funny.

What does that tell us about why we find that funny?

The power of a question.

That’s what I’ve learned.

Time to move on.

Tell Me Why

Yes, I worked a Bronski Beat reference into this story. Every movie has a soundtrack, every one of my 2D5D C4ABCD blogs do.


Because in this case, I say so.

Sermons aren’t inherently bad. It’s easier to think of them as just stories.

And Jesus is just a prophet. Like the rest of them. Even the comedians. ESPECIALLY the comedians.

So why do I think you ask? That’s a good question. That’s a very good question, as my friend Mike Mather once said it in a sermon that changed my life.

Damn Christians.

See that biting humor? It hides the pain. Just saying.

Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m getting to the answer.

Because we like to tear other people down.

It’s the dark side of our humanity.

Scarcity. Ego. Competition. Small dicks.

But, I’ve also learned we need the shadows to bring out the light.

Here’s the sad thing.

We do it to our own people.

Even ones in our own community.

The tail end of the spectrum.

The suffix.


You know who.

The ones we don’t understand.

Of course, when WE were young, they told us we had a preference instead of an orientation. It was a choice, not a gift.

And yet here we are again.

Allowing our elected officials to legislate people to pick a side.

Maybe They MEANT for us to be on a spectrum? Or spectra? (What IS the plural? Spectrums?)

I digress.

Lessons from Inside a Pandemic

Some of us have been here before. Like Alice Langford. Some of us joined lately. Some of us are watching us from beyond. But we’ve been here before.

This ain’t our first virus.

Lest ye forget.

We forgive you if you did. Admitting you did is the first step. (HT to Pastor Aaron for leading with that truth for reconciliation).

And no Carol, you can’t get HIV from sharing the damn communion cup.


Yep. She said that too.

I think the part she couldn’t accept most is I was an no longer reborn like her. I lost my way. I was an ex-gay.

Thankfully, Groh and Blanche set her straight. Can’t wait to visit them all in Hatboro. I never got that closure because of her legacy. Her brother. Their hate).

Reborn. Again.

And THAT’S how I got the working title of my piece! Come see it in April. I’m terribly excited.

As my readers probably recall, I have been living out my artistical sabbatical since June of last year, give or take a spell.

This choice led me along a spiritual journey and through some painful parts of my story. It’s a privileged White boy’s story, as my warrior friend Harold taught me.

Some times I feel you make yourself difficult to be told something you don’t know. 

And he was right.

That’s why I included “Lord” in my title. I own my whole story, and my father’s story, and my mother’s story, and so on, and so on.

But it doesn’t have to define how I show up today. Unless I choose to let it.

Easier said than done.

And, judging from my old journals I took down off the shelf during our honeymoon, I’ve been here before too! (spoiler alert: do NOT take your childhood journals on your honeymoon. It’s not a therapy retreat. Consummate deary, consummate )

Compartmentalize. There IS a time for that masculine trait. When it’s time to show up.

That’s what I’ve learned.

Confused in love. Telling myself I have to make a choice.

Really? How’s that worked out before?


20/20 Hindsight. 2020 Hindsight.

I’ve learned the power of 20/20 hindsight again and again. And like that Steve Jobs quote about moments in life, I can see a pattern. Three data points make a trend. We can’t improve what we don’t observe.

It does not make it True but it doesn’t make it go away.

That, as they say, is where the rubber hits the road. (It’s ok – I’m not skinning any salient beings. Or is that sentient? I always mix those up. Like committment. I can never spell it correctly. Maybe that should have been my first clue. Hmm. Data point. But it doesn’t have to be a trend. Just saying).

And here we are.

Left and right side co-existing, all the voices in stereophonic 5D.

Back to that lesson.

With COVID, we’ve all shared the same stigma, shame, fear, loss, loneliness, confusion, scarcity, sadness. Every human being on this planet. Every sentient being. Every soul. Every spirit. Every source. Every alien.

When we look at it from THAT telescope (Hubbel or Hubbel 2.0), our collective EQ as a planet just got a shot in the arm.

Think of this latest vaccine as a booster of collective Empathy Quotient for Earth. A reboot. (Yes, another movie reference. Borrowed the concept, so HT to whoever you find on page 1 of your Google search. Attribute always. Good-ishly.)

Magic and Miracle: Two Sides of the Same Coin

There is magic unfolding here, elevating our global connectedness.

Call it the Rapture if that works for you.

Or Snowpocalypse.

Or Zombie Worlds.

Or Battlestar Galactica.

As my friend Stewart Huff likes to remind us, Mother Nature can be a bitch!

Whoops. Family show.

Oh wait, this isn’t a family show. This is my show.

All politics is local, so hear me out. I hope you’ll stick around. If something I say offends you, come talk with me. Let me ask you some questions. Ask me some questions. I bet you we aren’t THAT far off. Really.

But, if nudity offends you or sexuality makes you uncomfortable, you are forewarned. But, I would recommend staying out of churches in Europe. Just saying. (HT to Thom Rouse for that nugget of Living the Artistic Life). #BigMagic

Did I mention I think I’m on the spectrum? Thanks for that nugget of insight Jasper, and for my walk with Susan who helped me accept that Truth.

But hold that thought for now.

Or as we say, stick a pin it.

Religion, Spirituality and the Arts – Oh my!

So along this magical path, I was invited to be part of community art intervention called Religion, Spirituality & the Arts. Our cohort first met last Summer-ish. And I’ve only seen them all on Zoom. Ah, the stories for our grandpups…

As we are coming to the conclusion of the project, I’m in reflecting mode. Trying to capture my thoughts, feelings, lessons learned from this experience.

Book ends.

Soul Print Moment

This is one of those Soul Print moments. (HT to my friend Terry Bateman and his gift of Buddha and the Bad Ass).

What HAVE I learned?

Shame and stigma are hard to tell apart. Some might say they are two sides of the same coin. Others may flip that coin. Others will take that coin.

Make it sacred.

Trust everyone.

Trust, but verify.

Swim with the dolphins.
Stay with your penguin.
Love your koala bear.

Everyone deserves a second chance. And a second second chance.

Three data points make a trend. But people can change. Even with a trend.

Be humble and kind.


Show grace.

Be more, do less.

Have more romance in friendships, and more friendships in marriage.

Talk about sex.

Get a couple’s therapist now. At the start, not the end.

Start with three questions:

What are we?
What do we want to be?
Is this healthy?

Tony Law, creator of The Paper Crane Diaries

Being single is ok.

Get a dog. Or a plant.


It’s hard in a mask. I know. Frontline workers and healthcares know.

God grant them the wisdom to trust science, the courage to love another.


That’s one lesson from my romantical RSA journey, somewhere between session 1 and 5.




It’s all art.

I’m an artist. A performing artist.

And I already knew that. Sang that. Danced that. Lived that.

Loving my unstoried self

Layer of skin shed, I’m able to see a new blob on the artistical and spiritiaul horizon. Art is my therapy. Music and playlists are the score. Life is the stage.

Carpe Diem. Dead Poet’s Society. Culture Club.

It’s all the same hymn, the same pain, the same joy, the same love, the same loss.

5D Artivism is Born

The idea of paying attention to the sound around me while I’m creating changed the entire way I experience and create art. With all of my senses.

Like this. At Roben’s studio (cue hyperlink).

A new pair of glasses.

Another cliché, but that’s what happens when your stone is
Rolled away

In closing, I’m learning to ask:

How can I or my network solve your biggest problem?

Attributed to Bryan Walsh

Try me out. Ask me.

I don’t bite. Unless we have consent.

I’ll add the playlist later. I’m tired. And it’s 4:20pm.

No, I’m not stoned.

No Grass Today.

Attributed to AJR

Thanks for listening,

Keep Tellin’ the Story,


The Right Reverend Lord Christopher Todd Peacock III

Note: My words for the year are Be, Feel, Create, Learn, Grow. I will make mistakes, find better ways to share my Truth, pick myself up and move on. For now, I’m in this moment. I’ve arrived home. Again.