HIV-POSITIVE AND STIs

 

 

If you are HIV positive there are some extra things you need to know about STIs. Some STIs may badly affect HIV and can make the treatment of some STIs more difficult.

 

Some STIs can increase the HIV viral load (the amount of virus) in cum, pre-cum, vaginal fluids and anal mucus because your immune system is fighting both the HIV infection as well as the other STI.

 

Your last test indicates what your viral load was at that time, not what it might be now and it only tests the amount of virus in your blood not your cum or other fluids. An increased viral load means a greater risk to an HIV-positive person’s health and makes passing on HIV more likely if you are having sex without condoms.

 

Having HIV and an STI can also make the STI more severe and more difficult to treat. It is also more likely that viral infections like herpes will recur more often than for an HIV-negative person.

 

Syphilis is more common in HIV-positive men. It can progress faster in people infected with HIV, is more difficult to treat, and is more likely to have mental health complications.

 

Using condoms and water-based lube is the best way to prevent HIV transmission.

Condoms also offer some protection against other STIs. They do this by not allowing germs to be passed on. But because STIs are transmitted in a variety of ways the protection condoms give does not always help.

 

Even if you show no symptoms, it is possible to have an STI and pass on the infection.

 

To keep yourself protected from STIs, you can: