HIV positive: André about his life with HIV

How is HIV positive diagnosed? In 2015, André (36) discovered that he had become infected with the virus – a shock to him and his partner Fabian (26). Initially they believed that this was André's death sentence. Nowadays both lead a normal life and clarify the infection. Because there are many prejudices and half knowledge about HIV / AIDS. On the other hand, only one thing helps: talk about it.

HIV positive: no death sentence

"Well, the first thought was horror, yes, I think horror is good," André remembers the moment he is the diagnosis is HIV-positive got. At that time, the marketing consultant worked together with architecture student Fabian for three years. "Of course I have been thinking a lot about how to tell Fabian that I am HIV positive," says André. Apart from general questions like "Can I still work?" or "How long will I live?", he was very afraid Fabian would leave him. But his friend never thought of separation, Fabian was convinced from the beginning: "We can do it together." His greatest concern was that his partner had to die soon. A completely unfounded care, as the two know today. because HIV is no longer a death sentence,

HIV is not the same as AIDS

HIV and AIDS are often treated equally. That is not correct. HIV, the abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virusis an infection that weakens the immune system. Unbehandelt leads them to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). If HIV is treated, however, no AIDS disease breaks out. This means that HIV infection is always the cause of AIDSbut not every person who is infected with HIV automatically becomes ill with AIDS.

Because it is HI virus not to healr patients must undergo lifelong therapy. It has the form of tablets. André, for example, takes one tablet a day and is therefore "below the detection limit", ie he the virus can not passHe has no side effects, the liver and the kidneys are checked regularly. "That's pretty easy for me," he says. "The fact that the therapies are now being tolerated so well, HIV-positive people a normal life ", confirms Fabian.

The daily life of HIV positive is therefore hardly different from that of healthy people. "If you are in therapy, you are no longer contagious"says Fabian," so that you are no longer a danger to other people or especially to your sexual partner. And that is not what many people know. & # 39;

Only a few can be tested

The treacherous thing about the HI virus is that you not necessarily symptoms or discomfort that tells you that something is wrong. And even if health problems occur, you often can not assign them. "That is why relatively few people can be tested or only go to the doctor if the AIDS has already broken out," says André.

Anyway, the biggest problem is that most people do not know what they are doing. "Before I was diagnosed by André, I always thought I was pretty well informed," Fabian recalls, mainly because you do not treat the subject so often, "because you have nothing to do with it". There is one for André and him huge knowledge gap opened. "In the beginning I asked myself questions like: can we drink from a glass?" Fabian thinks back and adds: "If you know that it has been known for ten years, there is no way to get infected by the therapy – neither kissing nor sex without a condom… that's just shameless that nobody knows. "This ignorance leads to the fact that it is still so in society an outdated image of HIV to exist. And this social stigma is the worst, the two say.

HIV is not a purely gay subject

Lack of knowledge André explains: "Of course, in the beginning you usually use a condom, but at a given moment you trust yourself." How much do they actually go to the doctor with their boyfriend or girlfriend and are tested for the condom? "has been left out?"

Fabian can confirm this from conversations with fellow students. "When I listen to this, it is often said" Well, if she takes the pill, you can even leave the condom. "Few people think that much more can happen than an unwanted pregnancy. "HIV is not a purely gay topic"says Fabian. "There are also heterosexual people many undetected infections. "

"Nothing special"

Andre HIV positive and FabianSince 1995 the number of new infections in Germany has remained constant at 2000 to 2500 per year. An estimated 87,000 people live in this country with the HI virus 13,000 of them do not knowFor André and Fabian that was a reason to make their story public. "Our goal is not to say that you do not have to protect yourself against HIV because it is not bad," says André. "We wants to illuminate and shows how important it is to talk about this subject. But we also want to show that dealing with HIV patients is no different from how we treat people without HIV. "

The two started their involvement with Andre's Ride, charity races or events in nightclubs. Since this year they also support the campaign "#nochvielvor"The goal is that the couple will contact people who deal with the issue of HIV openly and without prejudice Affected courage to make. Because there is only one thing that helps the social stigma: talk.

Three facts you should know about HIV:

  • An HIV patient with a successful therapy is awake in no way contagious.
  • HIV tests are offered by doctors, health departments and AIDS.
  • About 13,000 heterosexual and homosexual people in Germany are not aware of their HIV infection and are therefore not in therapy. People who know about their infection are usually in therapy and unlike the 13,000 ignorant are no longer contagious. Only the test helps!

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