So what about love and us?

My story...

My name is Jenny, and I would best describe myself as a warm caring person, honest and sincere and a person with boundless energy.

 

My love of life embraces all of our magical diversity and on the cloudiest day I will always see the sun!


For me, living as Jenny 'completes' me and she is my soul.

Being willing (or driven) to reveal ourselves as who we are is no game, no fleeting whim. On occasions it can take courage but we don’t have a choice, as to live and not be who we are, is no choice at all. The road is often far from easy, but the emotional release of matched physical and psychological identity, for me brings a feeling of total completeness.

I have always been clear as to what I want, those things I wish to change and those that I have no intention of changing. My views on relationships remain unchanged and my passion for sexual health is stronger than ever!

Relationships and me? ... I love making love in a one to one committed relationship, in which we both know our sexual health status and have shared HIV & sexual health tests, prior to enjoying a physical relationship together.

 

No disrespect to folk who enjoy the spontaneity of casual sex which can be so exciting, it’s just afterwards when all has passed and we are alone again and the inevitable questions arise...

I feel that no one should be embarrassed or hesitant in asking any prospective partner to share a Sexual Health check, including HIV test before making love. It is so easy to do and I know from personal (heart wrenching) experience the value of such testing.

I met a very nice guy through a trans dating site, we talked about this and went together for tests and to cut a very long story short his test result was HIV positive. I would almost certainly now be HIV positive myself if we had not done this. His story and mine from there is our business, by his choice he is not my current partner but is another victim to HIV!

Why should we even consider taking the uncorroborated word of a complete stranger or someone whose sexual health status was unknown as to their freedom from HIV infection or other STI’s? There are estimated to be over 22,200 people living with HIV in the UK who are unaware of their infection.

 

There is no shame & should be no stigma in having HIV or any other STI, they are infections and we are all susceptible to infections. But if we can set things in place at the beginning of a relationship, then we will have reduced the possibility of infection considerably.

 

Having shared tests and if one is positive and the other negative, this does not mean that a loving relationship cannot take place. It simply means that we share informed status and can live our lives together accordingly.

Some questions to ask?

Have I been at risk?
Unprotected sex is one of the easiest ways for HIV to enter our bodies.
If you think that you may have been infected then early diagnosis is key to maintaining as healthy and normal a life as is possible. Ignoring the possibility of infection is key to a very different life.

What next?
Take an HIV test your doctor can certainly arrange it or you may prefer to check out your local hospitals website for HIV testing. Should you choose to test at the hospital as I have, then your doctor will not be informed of your test or its result. Total confidentiality is assured and there is no fee.
It is so simple to arrange a test!

Results?
Your result is Negative - Ok, so use the experience and remember what it felt like when you were waiting to be tested and did not know your result.
Your result is Positive – Ok, you have done the best thing for yourself and will now receive the best possible monitoring and HIV treatment. A near normal healthy life is possible with current antiretroviral therapy.

Love and us?
The most natural expression of affection and attraction is in enjoying making love together. At some point you may well want to make love. There is nothing more natural or beautiful than the way we make love. This absolutely is not the problem, the illness is the problem.

My aim is awareness and never to preach, it’s your decisio
n.

PEP?

Did you know that if you have been exposed to HIV and receive treatment (PEP) Post-exposure prophylaxis, then there is hope that the infection can be destroyed before it develops! This treatment needs to happen fast!

It is important to get and take PEP as soon as possible after potential exposure to HIV – ideally within four hours, and preferably within 24 hours. HIV replicates at a phenomenal rate, so for PEP to be effective it must be taken within a maximum of up to 72 hours, from initial exposure. 

Where do I get PEP? – Go to your local sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Better still, go to the accident and emergency department of your hospital and ask for PEP. Staff there should contact the on-call HIV doctor.

You will need to state that you have potentially been exposed to HIV, time is ticking...

Testing at Addenbrookes Hospital

To arrange HIV & Sexual Health tests at Addenbrookes Hospital here in Cambridge UK call 01223 217774 for advice and appointments.

 

They are such lovely, non-judgemental people and so easy to talk to.

Fast result HIV testing is available every Tuesday with results given by telephone the next day.

 

To read about our visit to Addenbrookes Hospital with Miri Ree, please click here

For more information do email me I would be pleased to help if I can. Do check out www.aidsmap.com which is a wonderful resource for HIV related information and latest treatments etc.

The Terrence Higgins Trust is a great site for advice on sexual safety and
presents the info in such a readable way. So if you are thinking of sex, then take a look, know the risks and know the facts. www.tht.org.uk

Do check out ‘A girl like me’ http://girllikeme.org Here you will read of the courage of our sisters living with HIV. Many accounts move me to tears, as I consider my so close proximity to being a contributor to their website.

Life now...

For me, I have my life back and my appreciation of it is all the greater for my experience. I have many interests and pastimes and I love living life as who I really am.

 

I am not invisible, but there again I cause no greater commotion than anyone else. I do though know that without undertaking FFS, it would not have been possible for me to live as fully as I now do.

 

So after so many years and so many physical changes. Why should we put much of what we have achieved at risk? Simply by not asking a potential partner to share the same commitment to health, as we are willing to afford them!

 

I hope that my account may be of benefit and if in reading it I change the course of but one life, then perhaps this ripple on the shore may build to a wave, which crushes the unnecessary transmission of this illness!

 

Real women, real lives and this woman is living hers!

 

Jenny x

Living life as the people we really are.