Saturday, May 18, 2024

Can You Live With Someone With Hiv

Living Together As A Serodiscordant Couple

Can you LIVE with AIDS? – HIV/AIDS Life Expectancy

The first week was very bad for us, Godfrey recalls. The counsellor came to visit us the very next day. The counsellor kept coming, and the couple decided to stay together. They continued to have a sexual relationship, using condoms from a nearby clinic. Godfrey started taking antiretroviral treatment in 2002. Pauline has remained HIV-negative.

Godfrey Mtongas advice to everyone is to get tested. If you are positive, love each other and take your medicine at the right time. We have lived with our status as a discordant couple for the past 18 years because we support each other.

Some countriessuch as Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand, Zambia and othershave already introduced HIV testing and counselling for couples with a view to helping them support one another. Couples testing can be provided as part of pregnancy care or other health services, in peoples homes and as part of outreach testing in communities, as well as in voluntary testing and counselling sites.

Can I Have Hiv And Unknowingly Pass It Onto Someone Else

In 2017, it was estimated that 101,600 people were living with HIV in the UK and about 10,000 of them dont know that they are living with the virus. If you dont know your status, you are potentially at risk of unknowingly passing the virus onto anyone you have unprotected sex with. Of course you can use condoms, but if you have a long term partner that is less likely to be the case. HIV is a treatable condition and anti-retroviral treatments are now so successful that they can supress the virus to;undetectable levels;so that you cant pass the virus on even through unprotected sex but you have to know your status first. Like we said above if you dont test you cant treat and you really should be more worried about not knowing your status than knowing it. Getting diagnosed and receiving treatment really is the way forward.

How To Emotionally Support Someone With Hiv

There are a multitude of resources, online and off, that can help you care for a loved one with HIV.

The prospect of being the person who provides support to a friend or relative with HIV can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Emotional support is crucial to your loved one’s psychological and physical health, just like it is for anyone. As a caregiver, you’ll probably find that over time you’ll know what your loved one needs from you before he or she even has to ask.

HIV and Caregiving: Tips on Offering Your Support

Here are a few simple suggestions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to emotionally support someone with HIV:

    • Encourage the person to get involved with his or her own care. People like to feel in charge of their own affairs, so even if you’re offering physical care to a loved one with HIV, it’s important to let them know that you want to hear what they have to say.
    • Have the person with HIV contribute to household chores. Like everyone else, a person with HIV wants to feel useful and like they’re part of a larger group. With proper treatment, most people with HIV remain well enough to keep up with day-to-day responsibilities for years.

Safety Tips for HIV Caregivers

Include the person with HIV in social engagements outside of the household.

HIV and Caregiving: Resources

Here are some organizations that can offer assistance in helping a loved one with HIV stay emotionally well:

Read Also: Can I Have Hiv Symptoms After 1 Week

How Is Life Expectancy Calculated

Life expectancy is the average number of years that a person can expect to live.

More precisely, it is the average number of years an individual of a given age is expected to live if current mortality rates continue to apply. It is an estimate that is calculated by looking at the current situation of a group of people and projecting that into the future.

However, HIV is a relatively new disease and HIV treatment is a rapidly changing area of medicine. It is therefore hard to know whether our current experience will be an accurate guide to the future.

At the moment, there are large numbers of people living with HIV in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties. Current death rates are very low, resulting in encouraging figures for future life expectancy. But we have very little experience of people living with HIV in their seventies or eighties, so we know less about the impact HIV may have later in life.

Also, healthcare for people with HIV is likely to get better in the future. People living with HIV will benefit from improved anti-HIV drugs that have fewer side-effects, are easier to take and are more effective in suppressing HIV. Doctors understanding of how best to prevent and treat heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other conditions in people with HIV is improving. This could mean that people actually live longer than our current estimates suggest.

It’s Difficult To Get Hiv From Casual Contact

Living With HIV

Fact. You can’t catch or spread HIV from hugging someone, using the same towel, or sharing the same glass. It’s very rare to get HIV from a blood transfusion — the U.S. blood supply is carefully tested. However, you can get;the disease from having unprotected sex, sharing needles, or getting a tattoo from unsterilized equipment.

Also Check: What Are The Early Signs Of Hiv In Females

Why Should Someone Get Tested For Hiv

If someone is infected with HIV, its important to know because:

  • Starting medicines right away can keep a person stay healthy for a long time.
  • There are ways to stop the spread of HIV to others, such as using a condom and taking medicines.
  • A pregnant woman who is infected can get treatment to try to prevent passing HIV to her baby.

Another reason to get tested is peace of mind: A negative test result can be a big relief for someone who is worried about being infected.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission In Householdsettings

Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus has beenreported in homes in which health care has been provided andbetween children residing in the same household . CDC hasreceived reports of two cases of HIV infection that apparentlyoccurred following mucocutaneous exposures to blood or other bodysubstances in persons who received care from or provided care toHIV-infected family members residing in the same household. Thisreport summarizes the findings of the epidemiologic and laboratoryinvestigations, which underscore the need to educate persons whocare for or are in contact with HIV-infected persons in householdsettings where such exposures may occur. *Patient 1

A 5-year-old child whose parents were both HIV-infected testednegative for HIV antibody in 1990 and July 1993 but tested positivein December 1993. In February 1994, all other close householdcontacts of the child tested HIV-antibody negative.

From January through December 1993, when the child was likelyto have become infected, the child’s parents were the only knownHIV-infected persons with whom the child had any contact. Duringthis period, the child lived with both parents until the father’sdeath as the result of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome inMay 1993. The child continued to live with the mother, who hadAIDS, until 8 days before the child’s last negative antibody testin July 1993. The child then lived in foster care.

Also Check: Where Is Hiv Aids Most Prevalent

Sex Is Safe When Both Partners Have Hiv

Myth. Just because you and your partner both have HIV, it doesn’t mean you should forget about protection when having sex. Using a condom or other latex barrier can help protect you from other sexually transmitted diseases as well as other strains of HIV, which may be resistant to anti-HIV medication. Even if you are being treated and feel well, you might still be able to infect others.

Be Aware Of Potential Symptoms For Hiv And Other Stis

People Living with HIV | Can Ask Meh?

Being in the know about potential STI symptoms is important for anyone whos sexually active.

See a healthcare professional if you notice any of these:

  • unusual discharge from the anus, penis, or vagina
  • unusual vaginal bleeding, like bleeding after sex or between periods
  • burning or pain when peeing
  • frequent or urgent need to pee
  • sores, bumps, or blisters on or around your genitals or anus
  • rash on or around your genitals or anus
  • genital itching

Recommended Reading: When To Get Tested For Hiv

How Does Hiv Affect A Person In The Long Term

Though the outlook has gotten much better for those with HIV, there are still some long-term effects that they might experience.

As time passes, people living with HIV may begin to develop certain side effects of treatment or HIV itself.

These may include:

The body may also undergo a shift in how it processes sugars and fats. This can lead to having more fat in certain areas of the body, which can change the bodys shape. However, these physical symptoms are more common with older HIV medications. Newer treatments have far fewer, if any, of these symptoms affecting physical appearance.

If treated poorly or left untreated, HIV infection can develop into stage 3 HIV, or AIDS.

A person develops stage 3 HIV when their immune system is too weak to defend their body against infections. A healthcare provider will likely diagnose stage 3 HIV if the number of certain white blood cells in an HIV-positive persons immune system drops below 200 cells per mL of blood.

Life expectancy is different for every person living with stage 3 HIV. Some people may die within months of this diagnosis, but the majority can live fairly healthy lives with regular antiretroviral therapy.

Take Time To Process The News

  • Receiving an HIV diagnosis can be life changing. You may feel many emotionssadness, hopelessness, or anger.
  • Allied health care providers and social service providers can help you work through the early stages of your diagnosis. They are often available at your health care providers office.
  • Learn more about what a positive test result means.

Read Also: Can You Get Hiv On Prep

Stay On Top Of Medications Including Art Prep And Pep

There are a few medications available that can help prevent the transmission of HIV:

  • ART. A person living with HIV may take medication known as ART to help them stay healthy and prevent the transmission of HIV. Most people who take it as prescribed can lower their viral load to an undetectable level.
  • PrEP. Short for pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP is a drug that someone who is HIV-negative can take to lower the risk of contracting HIV by as much as 99 percent .
  • PEP.Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is a drug regimen that can help reduce the risk of HIV after a possible exposure when started within 72 hours.

Taking Care Of Yourself When Living With Hiv

A person


Starting antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible, and sustaining it as part of your everyday routine, is the best way of ensuring that your immune system stays strong.

Exercising regularly, eating well, getting enough rest and quality sleep are all vital to maintaining your health.

Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. Talking about your concerns with family, friends or a support group can really help.

Having HIV doesnt have to stop you living a healthy life in the way that you choose to do. With the right treatment and care, you can expect to live as long as someone who doesnt have HIV. Find out how you can look after yourself and stay healthy.

Also Check: How Would You Know If You Had Hiv

Caring For An Hiv+ Family Member Or Friend

HIV cannot penetrate healthy skin. In order for it to enter the body, there must be a break in the skin. As a safeguard against contact with blood or body fluids, a person providing care for bleeding wounds should wear disposable gloves. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the person is not exposed to the virus through tiny cuts in the hands that may be unnoticed.

The infected person should reserve a thermometer for personal use. It should be washed with warm soapy water after each use, soaked in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes, dried and stored.

Can One Live With Hiv For 30 Years Without Showing Signs

  • We found out recently that my brother who is 30 years old is HIV-positive. He is now sick and weak. Our father died 15 y …

  • Vision Reporter

    We found out recently that my brother who is 30 years old is HIV-positive. He is now sick and weak. Our father died 15 years ago and he too had AIDS, I am not sure of my mothers status since we never talk about HIV at home and she lives out of the country.

    You May Like: Can You Get Hiv Without Ejaculation

    When To Contact A Doctor

    Anyone who is showing symptoms of HIV should contact a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if the individual has recently had sexual contact with someone else or shared a needle with someone else.

    HIV can remain asymptomatic for a long time. For this reason, anyone who has recently had unprotected sex and is concerned about exposure to HIV should contact a doctor as soon as they can, even if they do not have any symptoms. The same goes for anyone who has recently shared a needle.

    It can be difficult to discuss the possibility of having HIV. However, without proper treatment, HIV can be life threatening. In these situations, it is very important for people to put their long-term health first and to discuss the matter with a doctor.

    Is Testing Confidential

    Living with AIDS

    HIV self-testing is the only way to be the first person to know your own status and with no labs and no questions, it is 100% confidential. You can test where you want, when you want and with who you want. And of course there is information about support available for both positive and negative test results included with your test.

    To reduce the risk of getting HIV, people who are sexually active should:

    • use a condom every time they have sex
    • get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too
    • reduce their number of sexual partners
    • get tested and treated for STDs ; having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection
    • consider taking a medicine every day if they are at very high risk of getting infected

    For everyone:

    • Do not inject drugs or share any kind of needle.
    • Do not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood.
    • Do not touch anyone elses blood from a cut or sore.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Hiv Rate In Atlanta

    Ways Hiv Is Not Spread

    Get the true facts about HIV transmission.


    The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, has existed in the United States since at least the 1970s, but myths and misconceptions about how it’s transmitted still persist.

    Most people know that the virus is commonly spread through sexual contact and intravenous drug use. But what other behaviors are and are not risk factors?

    Newly Diagnosed With Hiv

    What does an HIV diagnosis mean?

    • If you receive an HIV diagnosis, it means that you have HIV.
    • Unlike some other viruses, the human body cant get rid of HIV completely. Once you have HIV, you have it for life.
    • But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. People with HIV who get effective HIV treatment;can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners.

    What should I do if I just got diagnosed with HIV?

    You May Like: How Hiv Is Transmitted During Intercourse

    Where Can I Get Information About Treatment

    If you do not have a healthcare provider or would like information on how to find an HIV-knowledgeable doctor, you can search here for HIV treatment and services provided by Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program medical providers. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program;provides HIV primary medical care, drug treatment support, and essential support services to low income people living with HIV.

    How Should I Know My Hiv+ Partner Cares About Me

    HIV Care Saves Lives infographic

    If your HIV positive partner cares about you, they will tell you about their HIV status. They will also encourage you to go for a test.

    Once you go for a test and you find that you are HIV negative, talk to your physician about PreP and other methods of prevention. But if the test result comes out positive, get treatment as soon as possible and talk to your doctor on what else you can do to stay healthy.;

    Read Also: Can You Take Prep If You Are Hiv Positive

    How Can I Learn About Hiv

    You will be more comfortable talking to your friend about HIV and AIDS if you know the facts.

    HIV is a that attacks the immune system. The immune system becomes weaker, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and some kinds of cancers.

    AIDS happens after someone has had HIV for many years. In AIDS, the immune system is severely weakened. Serious infections and health problems happen.

    HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:

    HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

    How Can You Get Hiv

    While you may already know that HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex, theres actually a number of ways HIV transmission can happen.;;HIV is transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluids and breastmilk.

    Dr Neilsen says, HIV is a bloodborne virus, and that means that it’s possible to be transmitted through sexual activity without condoms, sharing injecting equipment, from mother to child during pregnancy, at delivery or after delivery through breast milk. And, also, in parts of the world where blood is not screened, through blood transfusions and blood products.

    When someone has HIV, they can be described as being HIV positive. At 26, Nathan has lived with HIV his whole life. He contracted HIV from his mum, who was HIV positive when she was pregnant with him.

    My mum contracted HIV first and then passed it on to my dad, says Nathan. They were both very well aware of it; my mum was pretty sick at the time when I was conceived.

    You May Like: How To Treat Hiv Patients

    Popular Articles
    Related news