Sexuality and HIV are intricately linked. About half of all people living with HIV experience sexual problems that often negatively affect their quality of life. Sexual health encompasses the physical, psychological and social aspects of sexuality. An HIV infection can disrupt these different aspects separately or together. The nurse consultant at the Jan van Goyen Medical Center therefore pays a great deal of attention to your sexual health during the first few consultations (and, if necessary, during subsequent consultations).
Physical aspects of HIV and sexuality
- Other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) besides HIV
About 15 % cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia in men who have sex with men (MSM) are diagnosed among men who are known to be HIV positive. These STDs affect sexual functioning and the chance of HIV transmission from patient to their sexual partner (which is easier in the case of an additional STD). The practitioners and nurses in Medical Center Jan van Goyen therefore have regular contact with the STD clinic of the GGD. We advise people with changing partners to regularly take an STI test. This can be done at the GGD, general practitioner or via the website mantotman.nl
Psychological and social aspects of HIV and sexuality
HIV often interferes with the sexual lives of people living with HIV and their partners. For example, people living with HIV or their partners refrain from having sex because of fear of infecting the other person with HIV. The psychological burden of illness can lead to sexual dysfunctions, especially in the case of depression. Feelings of shame, anger or guilt can also stand in the way of a healthy sexuality. Finally, drug use and alcohol use can affect sexual health.