Sexuality if you’ve only just heard that you have HIV

No desire for sex
If you have only just heard that you have HIV, that news can really turn your sex life upside down. Some people will want to have sex again right away, but for many others, sex will be the furthest thing from their minds. Be sure to takenet weet time to process the news. It is not at all crazy if you have no desire to have sex. That is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. On the other hand, it could be good for you to look for intimacy. That can give you support.

A lot to offer
For the vast majority of people with HIV, sexuality does eventually become normal again. Even with HIV, you still have a lot to offer. Which steps do you dare to take? How will you do that? Start from your own strength. Some people even experience it as a relief, for example because they no longer have to live in uncertainty and they know what is going on. Even though you were probably not hoping for HIV, it might still offer you opportunities.

Full of thoughts
Your mind can be full of thoughts that form an obstacle to your sexual pleasure. In some cases, an HIV diagnosis could make it clear that someone broke a promise and had sex outside of a relationship. Or it might make it clear that a man who is married to a woman also had homosexual contacts. Perhaps you feel betrayed by your body or feel unclean: ‘My body is filled with a poison with which I could infect others.’ A woman might begin to find her vagina unattractive and think it is already risky if her husband touches her there. It can also happen that someone becomes so blocked that he or she no longer has any appetite for sex. Your mind can be full of thoughts, including the fear that a condom will break. The actual chance that you will infect someone is very slight, but the fear that you might can still make it hard for you to get an erection. You can’t enjoy sex if you have negative associations with it. You might be afraid that you will never find a partner. You might feel ashamed or guilty or you might blame yourself. But after some time, those feelings will almost always become less intense.

No sex
I used to intensely enjoy sex. I’ve known that I have HIV for half a year now. I haven’t had any sex since I found out, but I don’t miss it either. It will come back at some point.
Bas

Semen
After my diagnosis I had no desire for sex for months. Not even porn videos could interest me. The very first time I came again, I thought: ‘Shit, so this is infected semen.’ The first time I had sex again was with a fuck buddy. The fact that I already knew him made it feel nice and safe for me. Now I think my semen is normal and I no longer think about my HIV when I have sex.
Henk

Made up for lost time
For years I thought that sex was no longer going to be an option for me due to my HIV. But at a certain point, I thought: ‘Hey, there’s still a lot that I would like to do and that I can do.’ And after that I began making up for lost time.
Sanna

Hysterically safe
I started going out again fairly soon after I had heard that I had HIV. I noticed that guys were paying more attention to me then than they had before, but I always told them: ‘I’m not in the mood.’ Eventually I did do something. It’s not as bad as it has been, but I can still get hysterical about making sure the sex is safe. During sex I’m constantly thinking: ‘Is the condom still on?’
Tom

Serious disappointment
When it turned out that I had HIV, I only wanted things to be extremely safe. That was a kind of artificial way of dealing with my disappointment. For a while I stayed away from bars with darkrooms, since I kept thinking: ‘That’s where I got it.’ Now I think it’s not important to know where I got HIV. I just want to look forward.
Jan

HIV as a punishment
I’ve had a lot of fantastic sex in my life, but I haven’t been to bed with a man since I found out I had HIV. I was raised Catholic and I see HIV as a punishment. I have more of a need for cuddling and a sense of security and trust than for just sex for the fun of it.
Sophie

I already have the worst thing you can get
At a certain point I started feeling the urge again. The first few times I was extremely careful. After that I thought, what am I worried about? I already have the worst thing you can get. And then I immediately got a case of gonorrhoea. I don’t want that to happen again, so now I always keep it safe.
John

 

 

 

 

 

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