The HIV-Positive Person’s Guide to Sex and Relationships
For those who are HIV-positive, it might feel like their entire love life is over but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you have HIV, you still crave that affection and it is possible to get it providing you go around things the correct way and are very open in regards to your situation. This is the HIV-positive person’s guide to sex and relationships so hopefully, you will find it helpful.
Using HIV-positive dating sites
There are now many websites out there that cater to a number of different things, including illnesses. HIV and Aid’s is one of those and for that reason, there are many HIV-positive dating websites out there. When you sign up to these and opt to meet a potential love interest in this way, they know exactly what they are getting. You do not have to worry about keeping this big secret from them because they are in exactly the same boat as you. In addition to dating, these kinds of websites often has support lines and forums where you can talk to other people who have the virus. This can be really beneficial because you can share stories and get advice in different areas. It is possible to date, and have sex with people who do NOT have HIV-positive too of course. The majority of people with HIV choose to use these sites because it is easier but that is definitely not your only option.
Always giving full disclosure
If you meet somebody outside of online dating and they do not know of your condition, it is of utmost importance that you inform them as soon as possible. This way, they can then make a decision as to whether they want to continue a relationship with you or not. You should definitely never have sex with somebody without telling them that you are HIV-positive! There is no beating around the bush with HIV, it is better to tell them about what you have as a matter of fact. You should also be aiming to educate them about it and answer any questions they might have. It’s sad but true that unless somebody has a close relationship with someone with HIV-positive, they know almost nothing about it.
Sex and precautions
Whether you are diagnosed when you are young or older, you can still have sex when you are HIV-positive. Again, you should make sure that any sexual partners KNOW of your HIV-positive diagnosis and you should also ensure that you use protection 100% of the time. Let’s have a look at exactly the type of precautions you should be taking in regards to HIV and sex.
Unprotected sex is the most common way to spread the virus, male and female condoms dramatically reduce the risk of spreading HIV but even this method is not 100% safe. If BOTH of you happen to have HIV, perhaps due to meeting on a HIV dating site, you should still use protection because you could catch a different form of the illness. This could make the symptoms worse or might mean you will need to change whatever medication you are currently on. A condom should also be used when having oral sex in addition to penetrative sex, because HIV can also be spread this way.
The best way that you can protect yourself prom spreading HIV to partners is to actually have treatment or take medicine for your HIV. Multiple studies have shown that if your viral load is down to an undetectable level, there is virtually no risk of spreading the virus. While having treatment for your HIV is important, it does not offer complete protection so there are still some other drugs you can take before sex with a partner.
Some other forms of protection include PEP and PrEP
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis and it is basically like a morning-after pill, to be used if you have had unprotected sex with somebody who is HIV-positive. You should see a doctor right away if this is the case and they will give you this drug. The sooner you get this the better but it should be at least in the 72 hours after the time you have been exposed to the virus.
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis and this should be taken BEFORE you expect to come in contact with somebody who has HIV.
Other things to know
- If you are in a new relationship, make sure to talk things through fully before you have sex and also remember that there are other ways to show your love and affection. Kissing, cuddling, holding hands are all completely safe and will allow you to feel close to each other
- The risk of transmission of HIV through anal sex is greater than that of vaginal sex. This is due to the fact that the lining of the anus is thinner and more easily torn
- Don’t be afraid to visit the doctor together, go to counseling, or even a support group for HIV. There are many resources out there and if you utilize there, you will become stronger as a couple
- HIV can be passed through a number of different fluids including semen, vaginal/anus fluids, blood and sometimes saliva. It is important that you are careful during any interaction which might involve the passing of these kinds of fluids
Some people think that when they get a diagnosis of HIV-positive, it is like a death sentence and nobody will ever want them again. Fingers crossed the HIV-positive person’s guide to sex and relationships has shown you otherwise. Will it be harder to find somebody, than those people who don’t have HIV? Honestly yes but you are more likely to find a person who really cares about you for the right reasons and wants to build a life with you. Sex is fine when you are HIV-positive, just make sure that you put some of the mentioned steps into practice. Your romantic life does not have to be over when you get a diagnosis, just be open and look in the right places.
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