On learning of a partner’s positive diagnosis, there is usually a process of re-assessment and taking stock. Some people feel threatened and unsure of the relationship. In some situations, partners may initially have worries over their own state of health and HIV status. When seeking to determine whether a person has been at risk, either within a current relationship or beyond, it is important to become aware of the facts about HIV transmission. It may also be helpful to talk over any concerns about transmission or testing with an experienced worker from one of the support organisations.
In general there is much misinformation around and it is useful to gain accurate and up to date information on HIV, transmission and safer sex. While some people choose not to pursue a relationship with a partner who is living with HIV, many have found that HIV does not prevent the relationship deepening into one which is mutually rewarding, satisfying and supportive.
In the longer term, partners of people living with HIV can have particular concerns. Some common concerns include worry about the person’s health, fears for the future or the pressure of having to keep the diagnosis a secret from others.
Although you might feel reluctant at first to contact Positive Life to talk about your situation, it may well help to do so. Remember this help and support is provided on a confidential basis. In addition, some support services can provide partners with an opportunity to meet and talk with others in a similar situation, which can help combat feelings of isolation.