20 October 2019
Matt is living with HIV and Rebecca isn’t. Because Matt’s on effective HIV treatment he can’t pass the virus on, and so they spend very little time thinking about his HIV status. They’re far too busy getting on with life.
‘The biggest misconception I’d want to clear up is that you cannot have a healthy relationship with someone who is HIV positive. It’s not something to be scared of. As long as you’re informed and educated about it, you can have a happy relationship just like everybody else.
‘Matt has always been very open so if I’ve had any worries or concerns, he’s happy to talk them through. I’ve had HIV tests with the doctor and we talk about any issues. If he had been more reticent, then his status may have had a different impact on me.
‘I would say the best thing you can do is educate yourself and talk to your doctor if you’re unsure about how effective HIV treatment works. When medication is taken correctly, there is virtually no risk of transmission of the virus.
‘The medication is available and people can have a very healthy relationship.’
‘Me and Rebecca met six years ago and we fell in love. She was very level-headed and had no issues about my HIV status and we moved on from there.
‘We had to take precautions and make sure there was no transmission. Even so, there was never any drama, tears or aggravation so it was as smooth as it could be.
‘To be fair, my status is a very small part of our relationship. We barely talk about the infection itself – all she reminds me is to take my pills from time to time and that’s it. The fact I’m HIV positive has very little impact on our relationship.
‘Having a positive HIV status is not the worst thing that’s happened.’
Do your bit to end transmission of HIV in the UK by getting tested.
It is extremely important to get tested for HIV regularly as it is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV or not. If you have HIV, the earlier you find out the sooner you can access life-saving treatment and support enabling you to live a long and healthy life.
In most cases HIV is passed on because people are not aware they have it and the longer you live with undiagnosed HIV the more likely it is for it to seriously damage your immune system.