Living with HIV
Living with HIV today is not like living with HIV 20-30 years ago, a lot has happened and especially in the area of medicines and physical health, great progress has been made.
The HIV medications today have fewer side effects and are so effective that if you have an HIV infection and receive treatment, the amount of virus can become so-called unmeasurable and when this is established by the treating doctor, you cannot transmit the HIV virus during sex, nor are you obliged to tell your sex partner.
Unfortunately, however, there has not been quite the same development when it comes to the mental health aspect. HIV-related stigma persists to a very high degree and has a negative impact on the individual’s psychological well-being.
Although the majority of participants in the Swedish quality of life study “Living with HIV in Sweden” (2015) rated their quality of life as high, 40 percent rated it as low. Contributing reasons for this were, among other things, reduced mental well-being and concern about social stigmatization. Many people living with HIV isolate themselves and experience self-stigma because society and individuals all too often have low HIV knowledge and regard people with HIV as a virus and not as individuals with human value. Sexual well-being is also a problem area for many people. HIV-positive people are confronted with many challenges to maintain or regain their sexual well-being as well as to maximize their affirmation of themselves as sexual beings and their right to sexual well-being.