I am a 26 year old woman and have recently found out that my partner of 3 years is HIV positive. I am stunned and unsure of what to do next. We never use condoms and I am now worried that I may also have the virus. What are my options and where can I go to get advice and treatment if needed?
Dr Emile Morgan, Consultant in HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health replies*
Let me first say how sorry I am to hear that your partner is HIV positive. This must have been a big shock for you both and I can understand the anxiety and tension this news must have caused between you. However I must reassure you that HIV management today has changed dramaticlly from what it used to be years ago. A HIV positive patient having been diagnosed and cared for by a professional HIV clinician could now actually have a normal life span and good quality of life.
You say that you have never used condoms during these three years, obviously the risk of you being HIV positive is high but certainly not 100%. Therefore you need to have an HIV test as soon as you are able to so that it can be determined if you have got the infection , this is easily done by a blood test and you can get the results on the same day even in some places within the same hour of the consultation.
If positive then a base line investigation will follow and depending on the results of your immune levels a decision will be made to see if you require therapy or not. You will be monitored on 4 monthly basis afterwards and you will get the treatment when your body requires it but your clinician will always discuss with you the need for therapy and the current views and guide lines as HIV treatment is very dynamic and changes from time to time.
You can either have an NHS appointment at your local sexual health clinic, your GP can organise this for you or you can make a private appointment at Spire Cheshire Hospital.
I sincerely hope that you will act on this advice soon but if you require any further clarification I will only be happy to see you in my clinic.
To make an appointment with Dr Morgan please call 0845 602 2500
Always consult your doctor or specialist for advice specific to your medical needs