Stage : Clinical Latency
In this stage, the virus still multiplies, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms. This stage is also called chronic HIV infection.
Without HIV treatment, people can stay in this stage for 10 or 15 years, but some move through this stage faster.
If you take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can live and long and healthy life and will not transmit HIV to your HIV-negative partners through sex.
But if your viral load is detectable, you can transmit HIV during this stage, even when you have no symptoms. Its important to see your health care provider regularly to get your viral load checked.
Talking To New Partners
Talking about HIV with someone you are dating casually or someone you met recently may be difficult. You might not know this person very well or know what kind of reaction to expect. When telling a casual partner or someone you are dating, each situation is different and you might use a different approach each time. Sometimes you may feel comfortable being direct and saying, “Before we have sex, I want you to know that I have HIV.”
Other times, you may want to bring it up by saying something like, “Let’s talk about safer sex.” Whichever approach you choose, you should tell the person that you have HIV before you have sex the first time. Otherwise, there may be hurt feelings or mistrust later. Also be sure to take your HIV medications every day and practice safer sex . Whatever way you decide to tell your partner, the tips at the bottom of this page may help.
Do I Need To Tell My Previous Partners
Whether you tell previous partners can depend upon a number of factors such as what your relationship was like, the type of sex you had and whether it was protected.
You can ask staff at your HIV clinic to contact your ex-partners and sexual contacts for you. They can do this without giving any of your details away.
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How Can I Help My Partner Understand More About Hiv
Your partner may be anxious about your health and it can be useful to have some leaflets to hand that you can show them to reassure them. You could download some from The Basics range published by NAM.
Another idea is to take your partner to one of your clinic appointments so that they can meet your doctor and ask questions.
Telling Casual Sexual Partners
When thinking about telling a casual sexual partner about your HIV status it’s worth thinking about why you want to tell them and whether the sex you had was protected.
The reasons you have for telling may depend upon the kind of relationship you want to have. For example, do you plan to see the person just once or are you hoping for a longer relationship?
It may also depend on the kind of sex you want to have. If there is no risk of passing on HIV, some people see no reason to talk about their HIV status.
Others tell partners so that its easier to make informed decisions about sex.
Some people prefer to talk about their HIV status in a more neutral environment, at a later date or wait until they have got to know the person better. Other people drop HIV into the conversation very early on, in a casual and matter-of-fact way, so that if the other person cannot accept it, no time is lost.
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Other Ways Hiv May Affect Your Life
- you will not be able to donate blood or organs
- you will not be able to join the armed forces
- you may have difficulty getting life insurance to cover a mortgage loan but life insurance is not compulsory when taking out a mortgage unless itâs an endowment mortgage, and there are now specialist life insurance policies for people with HIV
What Resources Do I Have
You may decide to tell people on your own. But there are also resources that can help.
State and local health departments offer partner services free of charge. Theyâll tell your sexual or needle-sharing partners that theyâve been exposed and need to get tested. Your doctor or social worker can put you in touch with a partner services health counselor.
Usually, youâll decide how you want to disclose the information.
- Anonymous third-party notification. A health counselor reaches out to your partners. Your name and identity arenât shared with them.
- Dual disclosure. Youâll talk to partners with a counselor.
- Self-disclosure. A counselor helps you prepare and practice, but youâll tell partners on your own. The health department follows up so that they can get tested.
You can also work with your doctor. âI have patients bring in their loved ones to my office to disclose their status,â Kirchner says. âItâs helpful because I can share medical information face-to-face and answer any questions.â
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Understanding Quality Of Life For People Living With Hiv
There was a time when HIV care focused solely on suppressing the virus. As HIV care has evolved, the focus has moved away from surviving HIV to living and ageing well with HIV, with improved quality of life being the desired goal.
To help support people living with HIV to live long, happy, healthy lives, its important to understand the challenges people face and how they impact their quality of life.
Positive Perspectives is a global study that shines light on the experiences and aspirations of 2,389 people living with HIV aged 1884 from 25 countries. It investigates how people living with HIV rate their health and how living with HIV impacts their lives and affects their outlook for the future. The study also examines their experiences with antiretrovial therapy and the interactions and relationships people living with HIV have with healthcare professionals.
It focusses on these key themes:
*Defined in Positive Perspectives as taking five or more pills a day or taking medicines for five or more health conditions.
How To Tell Your Partner You Have Hiv
Theres no easy way to tell your partner youre HIV positive. You just have to pick the way that you think is best.
Some scenarios are a bit easier than others. Lets say you meet somebody at a party or bar and now youre getting ready to have sex. In those cases, you just have to stop and say before we do this, I have to tell you Im HIV positive. This isnt just the right thing to do in some states, you can be charged with a crime for not disclosing your HIV status. If your new friend bails on you, at least you know what kind of person you were dealing with. Its better to learn sooner than later and you deserve better anyways.
But what if you already have a partner or you arent just looking to hook up? Sometimes people test positive for HIV and struggle with how to break the news to their partner who they love and care about. Sometimes it can get tricky, but hopefully these tips will help you out:
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He Told His Partner About His Hiv And He Uses Three Condoms To Be Extra Safe*
I have got a girlfriend here. I told her my situation. Showed her my letter of diagnosis and then she said ah, there’s nothing I can do you have to use the condoms. So there’s no problem for me, cos she accepted, I didn’t force her to have intercourse without letting her know, plus condom was actually as I said earlier, I just feel it’s better to tell someone. If we go separate ways we go separate ways. I cannot force her cos what I have is not what she has As I say, that she accepted, and because is using a condom, she accepted cos she just feel no, what’s the purpose of disclosing my status when we are using condoms? And normally I use about three condoms. I put on three condoms. I just put them for the, just for the sake of safety, so that I’m just showing that I just care, I don’t want to infect her Just want her to live as long as maybe if she doesn’t have the disease she may live longer She was my lover from, since, I mean back home from when we had during our school days. So we’re going out together.* Footnote’ experts believe that using more than one condom could increase the chances of condoms breaking.
Should You Only Date Hiv
That’s up to you. Dating people who are also HIV-positive takes away some of the fear about revealing your status. You don’t have to worry about getting rejected because you tested positive. But it does narrow your dating field.
There are a few issues when you go out with people who don’t have HIV. You have to consider whether to tell the person you have HIV, and when to tell. You also need to make sure you have sex safely.
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Here Are 7 Expert Tips On How To Find Love When You’re Hiv Positive So You Can Have A Wonderful Loving Relationship
1. Know where to look to meet people.
Knowing where to meet someone who is wonderful and also HIV positive includes HIV-focused support groups and health conferences!
In addition to HIV-positive dating sites, remember that for decades before the Web existed, there were personal ads. HIV personals and HIV personal ads are still options in many newspapers and magazines.
As with any dating scenario, once you know where to look, the next step is gaining clarity on what you want in a partner.
2. Know what you want in a partner.
What are the key attributes that you need when you’re looking for love?
Don’t sell yourself short, either. Decide what’s important when it comes to your partners appearance, education, career, financial stability, personality, etc.
Make sure you find someone who matches these qualities well.
3. Decide if you’re going to only date other HIV-positive people.
Its easiest if you decide to date people with HIV, though its not something that everyone decides to do.
Just be sure that if youre dating someone who isn’t in the HIV community that you share all the important facts, medical knowledge, and best safe sex practices, too.
4. Perfect your opening lines and communicate.
5. Be prepared to discuss your HIV-positive status.
Do I Have To Tell My Employer About My Hiv Status
Having HIV doesn’t mean you have to stop working. But you need to understand your rights in the workplace. The law says that you can’t be fired for having HIV and that your employer must meet your basic needs. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives federal civil rights protections to people with HIV.
You do not have to tell your employer about your HIV status. But there may be reasons that it would be good for you to tell:
- You may need special permission or a private place to get breaks to take your HIV medicine on time.
- You may have to take extra time off for doctor appointments.
- You work in a place that raises the risk for transmission to others, such as a hospital or lab.1
If you do share your HIV status, you have the right to complete confidentiality. This information must be kept apart from your personnel files.
Your employer is required by law to try to accommodate what you need to take care of your health. If you believe you were fired because of your HIV status, contact a lawyer who specializes in job discrimination.1It is illegal to discriminate against you because you have HIV.
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How Do I Tell Someone About My Hiv Status
Whether the person is a loved one or a sexual partner, disclosing an HIV-positive status to someone can be scary and stressful. Its normal to worry about their reaction or about encountering the stigma that surrounds HIV. But its important to be brave and speak up, not only for your well-being, but for your loved ones as well.
Here are some of my tips and advice on how to approach the subject.
Who Needs To Know
You do not have to tell everyone that you are living with HIV. It is important that you tell your current and past sexual partners and anyone with whom you have shared drug injection equipment. This way, they can be tested and seek medical attention if needed. If you are afraid or embarrassed to tell them yourself, the health department in your area can notify your sexual or needle-sharing partners without even using your name.
You also need to tell your health care providers to ensure you receive appropriate care. Your health care provider may ask questions to determine if you are at risk for other diseases, such as hepatitis C or other sexually transmitted infections .
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Telling People You Have Hiv
While understanding and attitudes towards HIV have changed for the better over the years, sharing the fact that you are living with HIV also known as disclosure can still be challenging.
Telling your partner, friends or family members that you are HIV positive is not always easy, however providing them with us much information as possible and answering any questions they may have will make the conversation easier and clearer.
Explaining what the virus is and how it affects the body is a good place to start. Talking about treatment and the meaning of becoming undetectable also can alleviate some anxieties and concerns your partner, family or friends may have about your health and wellbeing.
Fortunately, family, partners and friends can also provide a great source of support and a network that can be there for you when you disclose your status to others. Who you decide to tell and the way in which you approach it is an individual decision, however here is a list of things that may help you when making that decision:
- Not everyone is fully informed or educated about HIV. Keep this in mind when you decide to disclose and consider sharing some insights so that the person gets a better understanding of what HIV means today.
- When you disclose, you have shared that information indefinitely. So if you think the person may not react well, perhaps rethink the decision or consider a better time to tell them.
When Should You Tell
You have a couple of options. One is to do it as soon as you start going out. Then you’ll know if the other person is OK with your diagnosis before you get too attached.
Or you can wait until you’ve been on a few dates. You might feel more comfortable once you know the person better, but they could be upset with you for keeping a secret. That could put a strain on your relationship.
You do want to be honest before you have sex. Even if you use protection and you’re getting treatment, there is a small risk that you could pass the virus to your partner.
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Make An Appointment To Announce The News
Find a quiet place where you wont be disturbed and set up an appointment to meet there. If you suspect your partner will react badly, it might be good to make it a public area that will discourage a big dramatic scene that other people might see.
Making an appointment in a specific time and place signals to your partner that something important will be discussed. And it gives you a time frame for how long youd like to prepare.
How Do I Tell My Partner I Have Hiv
Having the talk with your sexual partner about your HIV-positive status is never an easy conversation, but it is an important one. By disclosing that you are living with HIV, you can help prevent the transfer of HIV, feel more comfortable in your relationship and relieve the burden of keeping information from your partner. Below are some tips to answer the question: How do I tell my partner I have HIV?
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tip 2: Be Prepared With The Basics
Make sure you know the facts about HIV how it affects your body, how treatment works and why U=U means you cant pass HIV on to your sexual partners. Remember, with effective treatment and care you can live a long, healthy and happy life. You can still have relationships, you can still have children, you can still work you can still do everything anyone else might do.
Telling Your Partner And Former Partners
If you have HIV, its important your current sexual partner and any sexual partners youve had since becoming infected are tested and treated.
Some people can feel angry, upset or embarrassed about discussing HIV with their current or former partners. Discuss your concerns with a GP or the clinic staff.
Theyll be able to advise you about who should be contacted and the best way to contact them, or they may be able to contact them on your behalf.
Theyll also advise you about disclosing your status to future partners and how you can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to someone else.
Nobody can force you to tell any of your partners you have HIV, but its strongly recommended that you do.
Left untested and untreated, HIV can have devastating consequences, and eventually lead to serious illness and death.
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