A-Z

Interview 51

Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 33
Brief Outline: His immigration status was uncertain at the time of the interview. His approach to HIV includes exercise, good food and support groups. He tells his sexual partners about his HIV and he is also very careful to have safe sex. (Video and audio clips read by an actor.)
Background: A 34 year-old black African man who came to the UK two years ago. He became ill and was admitted to hospital with TB, where he was diagnosed with HIV.

More about me...

Age at interview' 34

Age at diagnosis' 33

Sex' Male

Background' A 34 year-old black African man who came to the UK two years ago. He became ill and was admitted to hospital with TB, where he was diagnosed with HIV. 

Outline' A 34 year-old black African man who came to the UK two years ago. He became ill and was admitted to hospital with TB, where he was diagnosed with HIV. He has two children in Africa and works part-time. While he is stuck in the UK, he is worried about having to go back to Africa because he believes he would not get anti-HIV medication there. His immigration status was uncertain at the time of the interview. He currently takes nevirapine and Combivir and reports no problems with side-effects or remembering to take his medication. His approach to HIV includes exercise, good food and support groups. He was trying to reduce the amount of alcohol he drank. He tells his sexual partners about his HIV and he is also very careful to always have safe sex.

(Video and audio clips read by an actor.)

 

He does not pose a risk to people in everyday life and he does not feel he should tell everyone...

He does not pose a risk to people in everyday life and he does not feel he should tell everyone...

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I don't normally get worried, otherwise I just feel maybe if I become so worried I can die earlier… leaving my kids, not anyone who can support them. So I just feel like I am just like anyone who is negative, yeah… I am saying I am, I just feel like I am just like someone who is HIV negative… yeah, who is OK, who is not HIV positive, just feel like that. 

Unless… that's why you see, I always try to keep my status private, in privacy, because once the other person hear about it people… some of them, they, normally they don't want to associate with the people like that. But they've never read or hear about anything concerning people who are HIV positive. 

Yeah, that disease, if you have actually attended everything, the disease is not spread by, like sharing… cups, toilet seats, eating together on the same plate, no. That's not… you cannot get that disease. So there are certain people who just don't know. So for you not to let know about your status, for you to live with them quite normally, don't have to tell them. So we don't have any problems. You can live long… won't be thinking about anything.

 

He feels his partner is worried about becoming infected with HIV and he finds it hard to enjoy...

He feels his partner is worried about becoming infected with HIV and he finds it hard to enjoy...

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Sometimes I am not interested in sex cos… I sometimes feel weaker, yeah. Sometimes I just feel, I don't know… maybe I'm just wasting her time because I just don't feel like enjoying it like the other days, the early days when I got involved, or the days when I was married. 

It's now very different. It's just something that I will… just trying to make myself… try to enjoy or to… to just fulfil the desire, but that sex is no longer enjoyable. 

Cos once, one, the person I am sleeping with, she always try to look whether the condom is, the condoms are OK. You see, so something like… if she cannot just tell you that she does not trust you, but you can see from the reaction. So obviously my reaction also, I have a feeling that no, no, I could have this thing more enjoyable, but I can't, just because of the status I have. 

But anyway… I always have different feelings. Anyway, as long as I am still alive, as long as I am having my treatment, I can live longer.

 

He told his partner about his HIV and he uses three condoms to be extra safe*. (Read by an actor.)

He told his partner about his HIV and he uses three condoms to be extra safe*. (Read by an actor.)

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I have got a girlfriend here. I told her my situation. Showed her my letter of diagnosis… and then she said ah, there's nothing I can do… you have to use the condoms. So there's no problem for me, cos she accepted, I didn't force her to have intercourse without letting her know, plus… condom was actually… as I said earlier, I just feel it's better to tell someone. 

If we go separate ways… we go separate ways. I cannot force her cos what I have is not what she has… As I say, that she accepted, and because… is using a condom, she accepted cos she just feel no, what's the purpose of disclosing my status when we are using condoms? 

And normally I use about three condoms. I put on three condoms. I just put them for the, just for the sake of safety, so that… I'm just showing that I just care, I don't want to infect her… Just want her to live as long as… maybe if she doesn't have the disease she may live longer… 

She was my lover from, since, I mean back home from when we had… during our school days. So we're going out together.

* Footnote' experts believe that using more than one condom could increase the chances of condoms breaking.

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