Are you ready for sex?

Being given a positive HIV test result can be an overwhelming experience.

At the time it might seem like everything has changed, including your sex life, but you'll be given as much support as you need from your healthcare team.

If you're newly diagnosed, you might be worried about having sex again, especially if you became infected through sexual activity. It is common for HIV positive people to feel undesirable after they have been diagnosed and if they feel 'infectious' they might be so worried about infecting a partner that they would rather not run the risk
Whatever your reasons for worrying about sex, it is important to remember that there are ways to overcome these. Your sex life is just as important to your wellbeing as it was before you tested positive and there isn't a single reason why you should stop yourself from seeking pleasure.

Talking to your doctor about counselling can be a good start. A special type of counselling called 'risk-reduction' may be offered to you - this is particularly useful if your main concern is being safe enough to protect your partners.
Talking to your friends or seeking out a support group could also be useful. If your concerns have a physical impact on your ability to have sex, your doctor may prescribe some short-term medication to try to help.

Many people use alcohol or recreational drugs to try to improve either their confidence or sexual performance but these can actually make matters worse by suppressing your libido.

Although you should be aware of your entitlement to a good sex life, it is natural for our desires to change in intensity throughout our lives. If you simply don't feel like having sex then that doesn't mean there is something wrong with you.

Remember that even though you have HIV, you can still become infected with other sexual transmitted infections (STIs); so it is important to practise safer sex to protect yourself and your partners.