Gay hiv positive dating uk
We met at university and, when he graduated, I decided to leave my course early so we could start our working lives together. We were happy at first but we met when we were very young and 10 years down the line, we were different people. The spark had gone. We had our daughter together, which was wonderful, but I felt like I was clinging on to him because I was scared of being alone. I made the decision to leave him and end our decade-long relationship.
He moved out and I felt completely liberated; it was the first decision I had ever made for myself and I felt like I could finally live my life on my own terms. After a while I tried online dating and met the man who would end up giving me the virus. From the moment I saw him I was head over heels. But early into my new relationship, I contracted HIV. I was a young, single mother — that alone was a huge amount to handle. Adding my condition into the mix was devastating. The first time we had sex we did use protection.
And the next time as well, but eventually we just got greedy and ran out of condoms. I found out first. We had both gone to have sexual health tests done and my appointment just happened to be earlier. I had been feeling a bit fatigued but just put it down to being run down at the start of the school holidays. Ahead of going for my test, I googled HIV and saw that was one of symptoms. Then they called me and asked me to come in for the results, but I still thought it would be something minor. He came with me to the clinic but I was seen first, so I told him myself.
They did a rapid test on him and it came back positive.
He started crying and just saying sorry. Sharing such a traumatic experience brought us closer together, we clung to each other for support. Now, it comes and goes a little bit, but back then I was just too busy trying to deal with the reality of what was happening to me. I was thin, bordering on frail — and incredibly weak. More research is needed into why these diagnoses are not happening earlier on. The lack of female stories out there made me feel so alone.
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I even set up a profile - as myself - on a dating app for gay men, as it was one of the few places where people were open about their status. I just really needed to chat to people who understood what I was going through. I was put on medication as soon as I was diagnosed and very quickly became undetectable, meaning that my treatment brought the level of the virus in my body down to extremely low levels.
There were many stages I went through to come to terms with having HIV. When I would tell people about it I felt the need to give them a run through of my sexual history. In fact, it might sound strange, but dealing with HIV has even given me a new level of confidence and strength in many areas of my life.
When I was younger, I hated my body. At my biggest, I have been a size and I used to try to hide my stomach, the part of my body I felt most insecure about. I would get changed in the bathroom or at least make sure my back was to my ex-husband because it made me feel ashamed about the way I looked. Getting HIV changed the way I see my body. I was so poorly in the first few months that when my body finally recovered, I realised just how precious it was. Homerton Hospital — Every Monday.
Royal Free Hospital — Every Monday. Ealing Hospital — 1st Tuesday of the month. Royal London Hospital — Every Tuesday.
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Northwick Park Hospital — Every Thursday. Charing Cross hospital — Alternate Wednesdays.
For more details contact Garry Brough on or email gbrough positivelyuk. For information about other volunteering opportunities with us please email info positivelyuk. A gay or bisexual man? Want more information or to talk to someone? HIV human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the immune system. It is a transmissible virus that is present in blood, genital fluids semen, vaginal fluids, and moisture in the rectum and breast milk.
Gay & Bisexual Men
It is mainly passed on to someone else during unprotected anal, vaginal and oral sex or by sharing injecting equipment. A weakened immune system leaves the body more vulnerable to attack by a range of different diseases and opportunistic infections. HIV medication can stop the virus damaging the immune system altogether. They suppress the levels of the virus in your body down to very tiny amounts until they are so low as to be undetectable in blood samples, which is the goal of treatment.
As long as you take your medication correctly at the times prescribed known as adherence you can expect the virus to stay at this very low level indefinitely. HIV is not an easy virus to catch sexually, but if you are worried that you may have been exposed to a risk the first thing you should do is go to your doctor or a sexual health clinic and get an HIV test. If you do this straight away and within 72 hours you may also be prescribed PEP post exposure prophylaxis which can stop the virus before it has a chance to take hold.
PEP is also available at any hospital Accident and Emergency department. HIV is found in body fluids including genital fluids vaginal fluids, semen and moisture in the rectum , and blood. The main ways that HIV is passed on are through unprotected anal or vaginal sex and by sharing injecting equipment. Performing oral sex may pose a small risk if there are sores or bleeding gums, as this provides an easy route for infection, but the person with HIV would need to have high virus levels viral load to make this likely.
Condoms provide excellent protection against HIV transmission during sex. Effective HIV treatment, which reduces viral load, has been shown to reduce the risk of transmission. Saliva, spit, urine and faeces are not infectious for HIV.
You cannot get HIV from kissing, hugging, or by shaking hands with somebody with HIV — or any other normal social contact. Nor can you get HIV by being in the same place as someone with HIV, or by sharing household items such as crockery, cutlery, or bed linen. HIV is not passed on by spitting, sneezing or coughing. Many sexual situations have no risk of transmitting HIV such as masturbation, receiving oral sex and vaginal or anal sex using a condom.
If you think you may have exposed someone to HIV, then you should let them know as soon as possible. This gives them the opportunity to take PEP post exposure prophylaxis which, if taken within 72 hours, can kill off the virus before it has a chance to take hold. Further information on risks of transmission can be found at aidsmap and i-base. HIV treatment is now more effective and simpler to take than ever before.
It involves far fewer if any side effects and usually fewer pills. New studies show that if people take treatment as recommended they can expect to live as long a life as anybody else. And taking pills at the same time every day might seem like hard work, but you soon get used to it. Living with a chronic condition such as HIV means that you need to do the things that doctors would recommend to everyone: These are all important, particularly as we grow older. For more information on HIV and quality of life go to i-base.
Some people become anxious about passing HIV on, or feel less desirable.
While some people may go off sex altogether for a time, others might instead look for it more and more. It may seem more important than ever to feel wanted or to have moments of intimacy and pleasure. Whatever the HIV status of your partner, the success of a relationship will probably be determined more by shared interests rather than HIV status.
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Most people living with HIV do continue to have sex and form relationships. However, condoms are important for your health too — they will protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Some infections, such as hepatitis C, can be more difficult to treat when you have HIV. Do I have to disclose my status to my partner, family, friends and work colleagues?
Talking about our HIV and disclosing our status to others is one of the most challenging things about living with HIV.