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Sex and Sexuality: Resources

for Veterans and the Public

Overview

If you just tested positive for HIV, you may not want to think about having sex. Some people who get HIV feel guilty or embarrassed. Or they may be afraid of infecting a partner and decide sex is too risky. These are common reactions, especially if you got HIV through sex. Chances are, however, that you will want to have sex again. The good news is that there is no reason why you can't. People with HIV enjoy sex and fall in love, just like other people. And there are many ways to have satisfying and safe sexual relationships.

You can have a great sex life, even if you have HIV.

In fact, one of the most effective ways to prevent HIV from passing to an HIV-negative sex partner is to take your own HIV medications (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) every day--these not only protect your health but can prevent transmission of HIV.

If you are having a hard time dealing with negative feelings like anger or fear, you can get help. Talk to your VA health care provider about support groups or counseling. Sex is a very tough topic for many people with HIV--you are not alone.

By reading this information, you are already taking a good first step toward a healthy sex life. Having good information will help you make good decisions.