Would you be comfortable telling people you know, that you were sleeping with someone who had HIV? How many people I may meet would regard me as their ‘dirty little secret’?
It has been 23 days since starting treatment and I’m still feeling good! The (very) mild side effects I did experience such as dizziness, obscure dreams and a slight dry mouth now seem to have vanished all together and I am now starting to feel a little more like myself again! I have stayed home the last few days however, I’ve been feeling quite a lot of fatigue and also a little down. I’m really not sure what this is about if I’m completely honest… but it really is not uncommon for those living with HIV and also those who have recently starting treatment to have these ‘tired’ episodes. I have no doubt at all that I will be back to normal in a few days at the very least, especially now I have spent a fortune on some more various vitamins and supplements.
As for feeling low, I can only blame two things. Number one, the weather change. Every September/October I am exactly the same, the memories of myself over the years being an emotional, cold wreck as the brief summer sadly fades into a wet autumnal wasteland with the promise of snow and ice gradually edging further ahead is now an annual expectation from both myself and my family. It never fails to arise.
Number two, I have been thinking a lot recently about what exactly my future will hold, particularly with love and relationships. My primary thought at diagnosis would be that nobody would touch me with a barge-pole in regards to sex and a committed relationship, with this virus posing a never-ending risk to anyone I would be intimate with, as long as I was positive, I would be alone.
My previously very high libido dropped to nothing back in June, also not uncommon. But as it has climbed back up day-by-day, and I have been speaking to many people, I now know that there are quite a lot of guys out there that would not let my HIV status stop them from being intimate with me or any other positive people out there, but would they admit that to others?
Would you be comfortable telling people you know, that you were sleeping with someone who had HIV? The thought circulating round my brain is making me wonder how many people I may meet would regard me as their ‘dirty little secret’, and keep any sort of intimate relationship quiet in order to protect their reputation amongst their peers? On the other hand, I guess this mechanism could be quite useful. I mean, if a HIV negative person would freely stand by an openly, HIV-positive person and admit they loved them to love to the world, that’s a pretty big thing to do, and an extremely good indicator of how much, they really must feel for you.
Would you face the stigma concerning HIV for someone you cared about? Or would it be easier to let them go?
Would you feel comfortable being intimate with them, and would you want others to know?
Thank you all for reading
Luke (@PositiveLuke on twitter)