Getting Tested Is The New Sexy!

The key to stay safe is getting regularly TESTED for HIV and other sexualdiseases/infections every 3-6 months and knowing HOW to keep yourself safe. Safe Masti is your one-stop solution for testing clinics/labs, useful information on preventing HIV, and de-stigmatising life after HIV. Let’s start now!

Getting Tested Is The New Sexy!

The key to stay safe is getting regularly TESTED for HIV and other sexualdiseases/infections every 3-6 months and knowing HOW to keep yourself safe. Safe Masti is your one-stop solution for testing clinics/labs, useful information on preventing HIV, and de-stigmatising life after HIV. Let’s start now!

Loving an HIV+ person (Part II)

by | Oct 18, 2018 | Counselling, HIV, Lifestyle, Living With HIV, PrEP, Safe Sex | 0 comments

Vivek Kishore lives in Gurgaon with his HIV+ partner.

(…continued) In Part I, I answered questions about the emotional labour of loving and living with an HIV+ person. In this part, I address questions about the practical aspects of our relationship.

Gay couple on cycle

Vishwa and Vivek riding cycles

Q. Why didn’t your partner tell you about his HIV+ status? Did he know that he was putting you at risk?

He didn’t tell me because I never asked him. Soon after he found out that he was HIV+, he began his treatment; his viral load was very low and CD4 count was healthy. I believe he would have told me if he knew that he was putting me at risk. Processing your HIV+ status is scary and it takes time to come to terms with it. He told me when he felt he was ready to share.

 

Q. What do you do to ensure that you never get tested as HIV+?

I don’t think we can ever ensure that. The possibility of HIV transmission can be reduced and avoided, but the fact is, anyone could become HIV+ for a reason – be it via infected syringes, unprotected sex, having multiple partners, or being with someone who has multiple sexual partners. Once you have acknowledged that, being aware and taking precaution becomes crucial. My partner and I try to have protected sex to safeguard me from being HIV+. I also make a point to get tested regularly, even though I am extremely fearful of syringes.

 

Q. What about PrEP? Is it effective? Are you on PrEP?

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it has been clinically proven to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. My partner and I have discussed about my PrEP medication, but so far, I have resisted because it can have severe side effects like weight loss, depression, dizziness, sleeplessness or drowsiness, and excessive sweating. Besides, it is an expensive drug and not commonly available in India. So we believe, it is more helpful to practise safe sex and follow a healthy lifestyle from now. If my partner’s viral load rises in the future, I will certainly start taking PrEP.

 

Q. Is living with an HIV+ person challenging?

I have to be vigilant about his medical condition and remind him to take his medication on time. I accompany him for all his tests regularly and even keep track of his viral load and CD4 count. We are extremely careful while maintaining hygienic living conditions. He gets tired easily, so I have to ensure that he doesn’t strain himself or work too hard. He has to follow strict sleeping and eating routines. We don’t socialise or drink or smoke too much. We keep a low, quiet profile, enjoying each other’s company, family time, cafés, books and music. We encourage to participate in each other’s passions and learning.

“Aren’t all healthy relationships based on mindfulness of each other’s needs?”

His HIV status has helped us define the non-negotiable terms of our standard lives and lifestyle choices. It has only made our life better.

Are you worried about your HIV status? You can book your test easily here!  

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In Part I, Vivek answered questions about the emotional labour of loving and living with an HIV+ person. In this part, he addresses questions about the practical aspects of their relationship.
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