Many people who are HIV positive have problems regarding sexuality and intimacy. The problems may not have to do with HIV, but the diagnosis can create uncertainty about sex in the beginning. It helps to talk about it.
The symptoms may be physical or psychological, such as erectile dysfunction, pain during intercourse, being afraid of getting an STD, doubts about how to date or how you can be intimate with your partner again. The experience shows that it is often a combination of multiple factors.
Most people don’t find it easy to talk about sexuality. The HIV treatment centre hopes to create an open atmosphere where you feel safe and not inhibited about discussing a sexual problem with someone on the treatment team. Together we will decide if a referral to a separate appointment on sexual health would be helpful. This consultation is provided by a specialist nursing consultant from our team who is trained in this area.
During the discussion with the consultant, you can find out what the possible causes of your problem or symptom may be. The experience has been that patients are often relieved when they can talk openly about their sexuality, so sex can become a pleasure again. A short term appointment is usually possible, and takes about an hour. Sometimes a few appointments are enough, sometimes a referral to another caregiver is necessary.