Living with HIV

The information on these pages has been written specifically for people living with HIV in the UK. It's full of information you might find useful, whether you've just been diagnosed or have been living with HIV for some time.

All the information has been reviewed by people with relevant expertise, including health professionals, legal professionals and people living with HIV.

You may have been redirected to these pages from another website. The information here used to be available on a separate website, called namlife.org, but it has now been updated and the latest information is now available on these pages. Before it was a website, all this information was published in a book called Living with HIV. The last edition of this book was published in 2006, but it has a long history, as it was a direct successor to Living with HIV and AIDS, published by NAM in early 1996, and the 1987 Frontliners' publication, Living with AIDS.

Each revision reflects the tremendous advances made in HIV treatment, but also acknowledges the real issues and complexities that life with HIV can involve.

We would like to thank all the people who have been involved in shaping, writing and reviewing the information on these pages, both for this most recent update, and for previous editions.

  • Just found out you have HIV?

    Your first questions answered on what having HIV might mean for you, plus information about finding the right care, support and reassurance....

  • HIV, the basics

    Key facts about HIV, AIDS, transmission, testing and treatment....

  • Telling people you have HIV

    Who to tell? When, and how? The pros and cons of telling people you have HIV and how you might best go about it....

  • Getting HIV treatment and care

    Getting the right treatment and care is essential to staying well with HIV. Read more here about the services available and how to find them....

  • Key tests to monitor HIV – CD4 and viral load

    CD4 and viral load tests are central to monitoring your health when you have HIV. Find out more here....

  • HIV treatment

    Information about the range of HIV treatments available, and how they work....

  • Taking your treatment – adherence

    Taking your treatment properly is key to its success. More information and help on this can be found here....

  • Side-effects

    Like all medication, anti-HIV drugs can have side-effects. Read more here on what these are and how to deal with them if you experience side-effects....

  • Sex

    Having HIV may make you feel anxious about sex and relationships. There's information here to help you have a safe and healthy sex life....

  • Having a relationship with an HIV-negative partner

    Many people with HIV have relationships with  HIV-negative partners. Here's information on some of the issues that might arise and suggestions for dealing with them....

  • Having a baby

    With the right treatment and care, it's possible for an HIV-positive woman to have a healthy baby. Find out more in this section....

  • Emotional wellbeing and mental health

    Having HIV can cause emotional stress, or may complicate an existing mental health condition. Find out more about staying well and getting help here....

  • Symptoms and illnesses

    Effective HIV treatment has dramatically reduced HIV-related illness. But HIV can still make you unwell, as can unwanted side-effects of treatment. Read more here....

  • Daily health issues

    HIV needn't interfere with your daily life. Here's some information on day-to-day issues and how to deal with them....

  • Nutrition

    Eating well is important to staying healthy. Find out more about this here, and other information on HIV, diet and staying well....

  • Exercise

    Exercise has lots of benefits for both physical and emotional health. Find out more about starting a suitable exercise programme and how to sustain it....

  • Stigma and discrimination

    How you're treated can be just as important as your health in living well. Read more about help available if you experience stigma or discrimination....

  • Money

    Information on managing personal finances, including dealing with money problems and getting benefits....

  • Housing

    Information on finding and keeping a home, and where to get more information and assistance on housing-related issues....

  • Travel

    HIV needn't stop you travelling, but you do need to be prepared. Read this section to find what you need to know....

  • Work

    Whether you're starting work, thinking of going back to work, or want to know what HIV might mean for your work, there's information here....

  • HIV and the law

    Information on different aspects of the law and HIV: confidentiality; criminalisation of transmission; immigration and asylum law; and protection from discrimination....

  • End-of-life issues

    Preparing for the end of your life shouldn't wait until you are dying. Find out how to ensure your wishes are known and followed. ...

  • Finding information and support

    There’s not just one ‘right’ way to find information and support and it’s important to think about what works for you. For some people living with...

Living with HIV

Published January 2014

Last reviewed January 2014

Next review January 2017

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this section.

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.