How Can My Hiv+ Partner Help
In addition to keeping themselves healthy, your HIV positive partnerâs treatment plan can also help you stay HIV negative. This is called treatment as prevention, and it works because the less of the virus someone has in their system, the harder it is for them to transmit it to someone else. In fact, an extremely exciting recent study found no instances of transmission between partners when the HIV positive partnerâs viral load count was less than 200 copies per ml of blood .
So if your partner takes their medication and gets their viral load count down, they are also helping your health! Everybody wins.
Hiv Forces Many Of Us To Start Making Healthier Decisions In Doing So We Become Better Bfs
This was the first thing the doctor told me: Youre going to have to start watching what you eat. She told me that an active, healthy lifestyle was better for my long term health. Its an obvious fact, but it suddenly had new importance. Overnight, my long term health became something I had to take care of.
Is There Anything You Can Do To Prevent Other Forms Of Transmission
Avoid sharing drug injection equipment, like needles and syringes, which can expose someone to blood infected with HIV.
Keep any alcohol intake or drug use in check. If needed, consider seeking help for substance use, which is linked to a higher risk of HIV and other STIs.
Dont hesitate to reach out to your doctor or another healthcare professional if you or your partner has any concerns.
A healthcare professional can help you with:
- HIV and STI testing
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Advice For Those Considering Dating Someone With Hiv
So you met someone great, but found out they have HIV? A persons HIV status doesnt need to get in the way of building a relationship. If youre considering going steady with someone who has HIV, dont let that fact ruin what could be an incredible experience. Its hard to find anyone whos perfect, and if youre compatible in every other aspect dont be discouraged. Obviously, however, youll want to take the necessary precautions when having sex: use male or female condoms correctly. This drastically decreases the risk of transmission. Also, if a person is taking medication for HIV, the risk of the healthy partner contracting the virus is greatly reduced. You dont need to worry about kissing, as HIV cant be transmitted through saliva.
Advice for HIV Positive People Looking for HIV Negative Partners
If you have HIV, on the other hand, there is the option of looking only for partners who are HIV positive. However, its not necessary to limit yourself to that. There are, of course, benefits, which well get to below, but you can still meet people the old-fashioned way: going to bars, clubs, and the like.
HIV Dating Sites: One of the Best Ways for HIV Positive People to Date
Hiv Doesnt Discriminate On Skin Color You Shouldnt Either
One of the most offensive things Ive heard from a white, privileged gay man is his refusal to date black men because hes afraid of getting HIV. Queer men of color do have higher risk of HIV infection, but the virus does not discriminate we do. The real discrimination happens in clinics and communities, school systems and gentrification, media and job markets institutions that keep racism alive and keep queer people of color at greater risk.
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How To Avoid Catching Hiv
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has excellent information on how HIV is transmitted, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Transmission is generally done through body fluids such as:
- Breast milk
- Other body fluids that contain blood
Avoid contact with these types of body fluids when you are involved with an HIV partner. Women who are infected with HIV should not breastfeed, since the infant can be exposed through the mother’s milk.
What about kissing?
Closed-mouth kissing does not present a risk, but deep kissing can cause exposure if your partner’s gums are infected or bleeding. The risk is remote, but it is recommended that you avoid this type of deep kissing if your partner has HIV.
What about hugging, holding hands, normal skin contact and using the same toilet seat?
Daily contact such as this does not transmit HIV. The CDC site above gives additional details on daily life and living with someone who has HIV, and it is recommended that those in the same household become fully educated on infection control.
If you and your partner are both male, always use condoms when you have intimacy, and follow other guidelines for other types of contact, such as kissing and other exposures.
Can men catch it from women?
To avoid infection, use condoms when having vaginal sex, regardless of which partner is infected with HIV.
Hiv Teaches You The Necessity Of Solid Communication
Not every poz guy is a good communicator, but if your poz potential boyfriend is on treatment, hes at some point had to sit in a physicians office and tell a stranger what hes been doing, who hes been doing it with, how much, how many, topping, bottoming, condoms, no condoms, what substances, and so on.
HIV care is filled with communication tasks like this dialogues between doctor and patient, patient and pharmacist. So when we find ourselves sitting in front of you and youre looking at us with those big brown eyes over your coffee, weve had practice: Just want to say this before we go any further
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How Should You Tell
Are you unsure when to have the conversation or what to say? Ask a counselor who works with HIV-positive people, or get advice from someone you know who has HIV. You might also ask the counselor or friend to come with you when you reveal your HIV status.
If you don’t know how the person will react, share the news in a public place. Bring lots of information about HIV to share. Knowledge can take some of the fear out of HIV.
Sharing Responsibility For Safer Sex
Talk to your partner before you have sex so that you can share the responsibility for having safer sex. If your partner knows about HIV, it can make it easier to talk about using condoms.
Having HIV shouldnt stop you from having great sex you have as much right to a fulfilling and healthy sex life as anyone else but dont feel that you have to have sex just because your partner wants to. You can decide when youre ready for sex its your choice and no one elses.
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How Do You Keep Sex Safe
HIV passes from one person to another during sex through body fluids like semen, vaginal fluid, and anal mucus. But with the right precautions, you can have sex with almost no risk of passing the virus to your partner.
One way to be safe is to take antiretroviral treatment . ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body, called the viral load. If you take your medicine every day and your viral load is “undetectable,” you have so little HIV in your body that you can’t pass it to your partner.
Another way to make it less likely that youâll pass the virus along is for your partner to take PrEP. One pill a day cuts your partner’s risk of getting HIV through sex by 99%.
Condoms and dental dams also lessen the chance of exposure. If you do slip up and have unprotected sex, your partner can take post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection.
Even if your partner has HIV, you should practice safe sex. There’s still a risk you could get reinfected or catch another sexually transmitted infection .
Were Usually More Sexually Adventurous Thanks To A Virus That We Got Through Sex
If youre poz, youve been given one major opportunity to rethink your sex the day you learn you have HIV. HIV forces you to do this, and in the process we often find kinks we never knew we had, fantasies we never knew we wanted fulfilled.
For a period, I was transmittable. For the months before I started my medication, I could infect my partners. The doctors demanded I do many things: take a sex break, or at least inform all potential sex partners of my infectious HIV status. They told me to use condoms no matter what.; The responsibility came upon me to make these choices. I had to have the talk before sex. It was hard, but I got better at it.
Those early months without meds were filled with refusal, cruelty, and hurt. Its a hard stretch for anyone, but it teaches you to rethink sex. Sex becomes something you can play with. The end result: there are many happy, healthy, well adjusted HIV-positive guys out there who are kinky and open-minded. We automatically bring something to the sheets that our partners have to reckon with, so if you have a bizarre fetish or fantasy you want to try, bring it on.
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Taking More Responsibility For Your Own Health
Whether you were diagnosed at a young age or more recently, its likely that a parent or guardian has helped you to take your treatment at the same time each day.
As you get older, youll probably want to manage your own health and treatment. Eventually your healthcare will be transferred to an adult clinic, which can feel like a big change.
Think about what you can do to remember to take your treatment and to manage your appointments. For example you could:
- Set an alarm
- create a routine so that you take your drugs at the same time as something that you already do every day for example after eating breakfast
- Keep your drugs in a pill box with the days of the week on it.
Many people find that asking a family member or friend for support is helpful. They might even be able to give you a daily call or text to remind you to take your medication.
Remember, just because youre becoming an adult doesnt mean youre meant to know it all or have to do everything by yourself. Youll still need support from family and friends and healthcare professionals.
You can ask your healthcare professional about any aspect of your health at any time. This includes asking questions about safer sex or contraception. You may want to talk about this without anyone else being present.
Poz Guys Are Not Automatic Risk
Theres this idea that guys who are poz must also be needless sexual risk-takers bare players, cum junkies, piggy pigs who did it to themselves. We must have been having sex recklessly, or so the thinking goes; otherwise how did we get HIV?
I dont know one person whos used a condom every time, and its nearly impossible to know the sexual history of every person you fuck. It only takes one sex experience to get HIV one slip-up, one wild night. Were not automatic risk-takers. Were simply real people.
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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.
So Whats The Issue Why Are We Not Hearing It Why Are Guys Still Serosorting Choosing Sex Partners Based On Hiv Status
Because the message isnt out there loud enough. That, and people have been taught by right-wing scaremongering and the public politics of AIDS that HIV is something to fear and alleged breakthroughs should be distrusted. Theres an alarming population of people who distrust medicine thanks to social and cultural factors many gay men among them.
Medicine isnt perfect and big pharma is real, but all the rallying, organizing, research, and billions of dollars poured into a virus that hit us suddenly and brutally have accomplished something extraordinary: we are on the cusp of an AIDS-free world.
Other problems are at play that keep this information from being shouted from the rooftops. Sex education for youth is inadequate in the United States, and info specific to young queer people is nonexistent in most high schools. We assume youre straight, and if we educate about sex, we educate straight sex to assumed straight students, leaving queer youth out in the cold a glaring wrong, given the fact that HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men. Religious fervor and sex-phobia is still killing us.
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Take Hiv Medications To Prevent Hiv
People living without HIV may want to consider preventive HIV medications to avoid the risk of acquiring HIV. Currently, there are two strategies for preventing HIV with antiretroviral therapy. One of the medications is taken daily, as a preventive measure. The other is taken after potential exposure to HIV.
Hiv Doesnt Look Like Anything Hiv Looks Like Me Some Days I Think I Look Pretty Cute
You cant see HIV. The imagery we have of AIDS patients from the the height of the epidemic are scarred into our collective memory. We need to see and remember them, but we also need to acknowledge that today the appearance of HIV is different. Im not sick Im HIV-positive. The frightening and painful images I had seen of AIDS are not what I see when I look at myself, and they arent what guys I date see, and they never will be.
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The Day I Finally Met Him
My partner Johnny has been supportive since the day we met, but I cant leave you with just that. We spent hours sharing information about our lives and our personal goals for the future. Talking to him in person the day I finally met him was effortless, but I still had reservations about disclosing.
When I got up the nerve to share my diagnosis with Johnny, I was terrified. I thought, Who could blame me? The one person I felt Id grown close to and could talk to about anything could very well stop talking to me after I disclosed.
But the exact opposite happened. He thanked me for disclosing and immediately asked me how I felt. I could tell by the look on his face that he was concerned about my well-being. Meanwhile, my only thought was, I think youre great and I hope you stick around!
Encourage Them To Do Research
I disclosed my HIV status to my current partner during our first face-to-face meeting. Once I told him and he saw how knowledgeable I was about my own health, he took the information and talked to his healthcare provider. Johnnys physician told him that weve made huge advancements in treatments for HIV, but he must ask himself if hes willing to be a caretaker should the need arise.
Id encourage others to have the same type of confidence in the person they want to enter a meaningful long-term relationship with. Encourage them to do some research on their own and seek out information from reputable sources.
Of course, we want to assume the best for the future. But your partner must be prepared to be there for you should things take unexpected turns due to complications or side effects of new medications. Other times, you might just need their emotional support.
Johnnys reaction was very different from my sisters reaction, which consisted of her hyperventilating over the phone when I told her. While we laugh about it now almost 10 years later her reaction was rooted in fear and misinformation.
Things You Need To Know When Dating Someone With Hiv
Theres a lot of reason why people just decide to be friends after the first date. Perhaps they found out that they have no common interest or probably they did not find the spark they were looking for. Regardless of your reason for staying friends, his HIV condition should not be the reason. HIV is not a thing that you need to consider when you want to create an emotional and physical attachment to someone. Think about it, if someone shares the same passion about the things you like and he/she can match your weirdness and that you are sexually attracted to her, would you be a fool to let the HIV get in the way? However, there are things that you need to know when dating someone with HIV.
Dating Rules on HIV Dating Sites
Here are some of the things that you need to remember once you join the HIV dating app to find a dating partner.
Never be Afraid to Ask Any Question
There is a possibility that you are hesitating when asking question since you are afraid that it may affect their emotion. People suffering from an HIV condition are all aware that you have that trepidation of hesitation especially if this is the first time that you are talking or going out with them. They will really appreciate it if you will ask them about the things that you dont understand about their condition. This means that you are showing your willingness to learn when dating someone with HIV.
Keep Those Information to Yourself
You Are Not the Only One Who Is Afraid