If you live in the UK while your family remains in another country, HIV may seem like another burden on top of other problems you may be facing.
You may need to urgently deal with a shortage of money or find accommodation, a job, education or training. Vital information about your rights and the treatment you may be eligible for are contained in our Immigration section.
Once the practical issues have been resolved it may take some time to adjust to life here in the UK. It is normal to miss the loved ones you left behind, and there may be numerous cultural differences to become accustomed to. This can leave you feeling isolated as you face the challenge of managing your HIV. Thankfully there are many other people in the same situation in the UK who will be able to support and help you.
A number of groups are available in different centres around the UK. They offer support from people who understand your concerns, and can boost your confidence and social life. Contact THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 or use our Service Finder to find out more. Emotional support and counselling services are also available to help with a wide range of issues including sex and relationships, discrimination, HIV treatment, drugs and children.
Many people find that their faith community is supportive during difficult times. Unfortunately, some faith groups can find HIV and sexuality difficult topics to discuss, which can become problematic. Our Faith page has full details.
A number of voluntary organisations may also be able to give you support, or tell you where to go for help. Call our free helpline THT Direct on 0808 802 1221, the African AIDS Helpline on 0800 0967 500, BHA on 0845 450 4247 or NAZ Project London on 020 8741 1879 for further information.
If you are thinking of having sexual partners or starting a new relationship in the UK, it is important to protect yourself and your partner.
People with HIV are more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections than those who are not because their immune systems are weakened, so you should take extra care with your sexual health. See our Relationships section for full details.
No matter where you're from, if you're HIV positive and living in the UK you can access free online services such as Online Advice and Online Counselling if you become a member of myHIV.
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