People with HIV are still expecting a poor quality of life according to study

A study in Milan this week showed that a lower quality of life for those with HIV is what they expect, more so than their HIV negative peers. The survey was conducted in five countries in Europe and it was by Gilead Sciences. The people living with HIV are still expecting to die sooner and they are also less likely to have a long-lasting relationship with a significant other. The interesting results were announced during the 2017 EACs (European AIDs conference). The European survey finds that 54% of the HIV positive people surveyed says that it puts a barrier between them and having sex with others. 87% of these same people say that they are scared of transmitting the disease to others which puts them off the idea of sex altogether.

 

Although this is a fear that is quite understandable among many, lots of the HIV sufferers are young and not as knowledgeable about the situation as they could be. Around two thirds of them were undergoing antiretroviral therapy and under half had a load that was undetectable. Even with those who were virally suppressed, it made no difference in their fears of transmitting the disease to potential partners. 38% of those with an undetectable load still had this concern and 43% of those with a detectable load had the same fear. Many people hear the word "HIV" and automatically think this is a death sentence but that simply isn't the case anymore. They have live just of a high quality of life as anybody else, especially if they have an undetectable load.

Almost half of those involved in the survey said they feel that their HIV would prevent or make it unlikely that they could have a family naturally, if they wanted to do so. 73% of this number said they would be too scared to transmit the disease to their partner or to their unborn child. These are quite scary figures which makes you really feel for those who live with HIV on a daily basis and how they feel it affects their ability to have a normal way of life. Although the results were only revealed recently, the survey was actually conducted online over November and December of 2016.

This study proves a couple of things about HIV and how far we still need to come. Of course, everyone needs more knowledge about HIV but also, those who actually live with the disease also need more education about the subject. There are many fears about transmitting HIV, even with those who have an undetectable load. It's so important that those who are diagnosed with the illness are FULLY informed on what this means for them now and in the future. It takes a lot more than giving them some information leaflets, these people need thorough talks with professionals in order to help them understand everything they need to know about HIV. Hopefully after some years have past and HIV is not such a taboo subject (as it sadly still is,) these statistics will change and those with HIV won't let the condition hinder them as much as what it currently does.