This article originally appeared in FS Magazine, a publication of GMFA, here.
Losing your sex drive is not uncommon. There are plenty of HIV-positive guys who have felt differently about sex after they were diagnosed, and some that continue to do so.
Remember that we all go through periods where we’re not as up for it as usual, and this is only natural. If you’re normally shagging every cute guy in sight but you don’t feel like it at the moment then try not to worry. No one can shag 24/7 forever, however much they’d like to think they could.
Remember that you should never feel pressured into anything, and you don’t need to have sex if you don’t feel ready. However, if your lack of sex drive is distressing you there may be reasons for it that can be fixed.
There are all sorts of psychological reasons for losing your sex drive that are related to living with HIV, such as guilt or anger about having HIV, receiving an HIV diagnosis, fear about passing HIV on or loss of your self-confidence.
There could also be a physical reason; it could be hormonal and to do with decreased testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can be caused by HIV, especially if it is at a fairly advanced stage, and can also leave you feeling very tired. However, problems with low testosterone levels can be treated with testosterone therapy.
Excessive intake of alcohol or recreational drugs can also decrease your desire to have sex, as can some prescribed drugs. In particular, drugs that are prescribed for depression such as Prozac and Seroxat can reduce your desire for sex. If you have any concerns at all, speak to your doctor.
There’s nothing wrong with having lots of sex, if that’s what you want. Having hot horny sex with loads of guys as often as possible is great if you’re doing it safely and feeling in control at the same time. But if you’re not feeling in control but find you can’t stop, it can have a negative effect on your life.
If you’re feeling lonely, unattractive or lacking self-confidence, possibly because of having HIV, sex can for a short time help you to forget these negative feelings and make you feel good about yourself. However, not being in control of the sex you’re having can lead to a reinforcement of any negative feelings you may have.
It’s also not uncommon for men who are feeling this way to use more recreational drugs than they really want to at the same time as having more sex than they want. Often men can feel that their drug use and sexual appetite are out of control but can’t see a way out of the situation. Drugs and sex can be used to block out your feelings about having HIV, just as much as they can be an addiction.
If you’re unhappy about the amount or kind of sex you are having then taking some time out to speak to a counsellor may help you get back in control of your sex life.
This article was taked from issue 145. To read this issue in full select which version you would like:
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