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“The sooner someone knows, the better for both of you.
Its not like you stop having sex when you find out you are positive.” According to the World Health Organisation, the risk of HIV transmission in serodiscordant relationships, in which one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not, is significantly reduced when the HIV-positive partner is on antiretroviral treatment, regardless of their immune status.
She told her boyfriend that she was HIV positive just hours after she found out. Doctors then realised that she had been born with HIV.
“Even though he was comfortable with it and was there for me, our relationship ended because I was struggling to come to terms with my status,” she says.
Normal love life “elusive”However, a counsellor with the HIV organisation love Life, Dorcas Mshayisa, says although “antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of transmission to a sexual partner, what is considered a normal love life remains elusive [for people living with HIV].
I want a big family and it’s a very real possibility.” The dream of finding true love is shared by American singer and HIV activist Jamar Rogers, who has been living with HIV for seven years.
He made headlines last year when he disclosed his status on the singing reality show The Voice.
Some relationships end because families or communities oppose them.
Sithole-Spong says that it is often the people living with HIV who isolate themselves because they think their communities won’t accept them.