Tom Knight, a 28-year-old events manager and producer from London, has been HIV positive since 2013.
He was chatting to a man on Grindr, the dating app, last week and revealed he was HIV positive.
Here's how their conversation went down:
His response raises an important point.
In no way are flared jeans acceptable in this day and age.
No seriously, while the anonymous man was well within his rights to state his concerns, his response is symptomatic of the routine rejection HIV positive people face on the basis of their condition.
Knight told Buzzfeed:
It’s a kick in the teeth. Every time it’s a kick in the teeth. It’s not easy telling people I’m positive. You worry about what they’re thinking about you.
Nowadays, treatment is also far more effective than it used to be - HIV is more likely to get passed on if the HIV positive partner has what’s called ‘a high viral load’, which treatment can lower, reducing the risk of passing on HIV.
As Knight added:
People like him don’t have any knowledge about HIV and don’t know what 'undetectable' means [an undetectable viral load occurs when medication suppresses the virus to such low levels it doesn’t show up on lab tests], and don’t realise that it means you can’t pass the virus on.
HIV is spread through contact with blood (including menstrual blood and any blood in saliva, urine, and feces), semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and fluids around the brain, spinal cord, joints and a developing fetus.
HIV is not spread through contact with sweat, tears, saliva, feces or urine.
You cannot get HIV by touching or hugging someone who is HIV positive or by kissing someone living with HIV.
Every sexual act with someone who is HIV positive, oral, anal or vaginal, has an element of risk of transmission of HIV, but condoms remain the most effective barrier, as well as dental dams and latex gloves.
In addition, if a condom splits or you forget to use one – a HIV negative partner can take PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), which helps prevent transmission of HIV. It needs to be taken within 3 days, but better within 24 hours.
For more information visit the NHS website.