5 People on What It’s Like Living With HIV

Members of Reddit recount what it’s like living with HIV today.



For the first few weeks it can only be described as pure and utter mental hell as you recall everything you were taught about HIV and AIDS and what it means for your suddenly dramatically shortened life.

And then you see a specialist who basically says, “You’re going to be just fine, calm down. Take this pill every day and don’t skip days.”

And then you start to do research on what it means to have HIV in today’s day and age, and you realize that it’s not really as terrible as it used to be. It definitely sucks and I would take back my choices if I could in a heartbeat, but I can’t so that’s immaterial and I’m going to keep living the rest of my long and healthy life as best as I can with this.

The side effects of the medication are different for everybody; For the first week or so on Atripla I was experiencing some bizarre dreams, dizziness, a general lack of energy in the morning, and a mild rash. All of these are quite common, and all are now almost completely gone as I’m adjusting to the meds. And with that, the trauma is slowly fading away too. I’m getting more and more used to the idea that I’m going to live long and healthy.
I’m also immensely thankful that I wasn’t born in a time where there would have been no hope for me. Modern medicine is pretty great.


I’ve been Positive for 3 years. I just take one pill before bedtime (Atripla) and that’s it. I go to the doctor a couple times a year to make sure everything is in working order as well. I feel exactly the same health wise before I had HIV and I don’t really think about it anymore. Also being a gay guy there are no sexual issues cause only maybe 10% of guys I come across have a problem with it. Iv’e heard people say diabetes is more difficult to live with than HIV.


I contracted HIV sexually about 6 months ago. Meds really kicked my ass at first. Made it hard to get around, and get everyday things done. I’ve changed meds 3 times now. I start Stribild tonight. Not looking forward to the side effects. I often feel fatigued, or achey. Aside from the depression and anxiety it isn’t all that bad. Doctors encourage me to be sexually active but I’ve never been more turned off by the idea.


I take Complera, it’s a once-a-day. I have it with breakfast every morning along with an antidepressant. It seems unreal. In one pill is the means to prop up my failing immune system, a body augmented by artificial means. If you stop to think about it, it almost borders on science fiction.


I’m positive. Been so for a decade. At first, the meds were horrible. The number 1 side effect is unbelievably real and vivid nightmares. Not dreams… But nightmares. It was tough getting past those the first few weeks… But they eventually faded away. Next major side effect is loss of short term memory. I just kind of laugh about that part now. But, by far… The most difficult part of being positive is having to tell other people. I don’t mean family or friends… That part wasn’t hard for me. I’m speaking of casual encounters at bars and such. Gone are the days of casually hooking up with some hot dude at the bar. Now… There has to be a “discussion” which always kills the deal. Makes it very hard to date… And I don’t do it very much because frankly I feel like damaged goods. I broke the rules. Now I have to pay for it. The drugs aren’t bad… But having to explain to people my status… Is. Thats my experience.

The Attractor

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system. HIV can cause acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a disease that severely weakens immunity, and can be fatal. One person passes HIV to another under certain circumstances. Understanding the facts rather than buying into lingering myths about transmission can prevent misinformation—and HIV—from spreading.


Because misinformation is one of the cruelest and most dangerous illness.

1. “HIV/AIDS is a death sentence.”

In the 1980s and early 1990s, there was little to no treatment available and the AIDS death rate was very high. Now, over thirty medications have been approved by the U.S. government to fight HIV and AIDS, with many more in development.

2. “I can get HIV by being around people who are HIV-positive.”

The evidence shows that HIV is not spread through touch, tears, sweat, or saliva. You cannot catch HIV by: Breathing the same air as…

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