Modern HIV treatment now means that people with HIV can expect to live long and healthy lives, free from the worry of passing on HIV. It can take up to six months from starting treatment to become undetectable and unable to pass on the virus.
It's important to get tested for HIV regularly as it's the only way to know for sure whether you have HIV or not. If you have HIV, the earlier you find out then the sooner you can access life-saving treatment and support.
Most HIV medication is safe to take with hormone therapy. Your HIV doctor will help you choose the treatment that is best for you. In the UK, HIV treatment is free to everyone.
Staying healthy is crucial to living well with HIV, now that modern HIV treatment takes care of most risks associated with it.
Staying healthy can be as easy as eating right, getting enough exercise and avoiding drugs, alcohol and cigarette smoke.
Taking care of your mental health, attending regular check-ups and maintaining healthy relationships will help you thrive. It's also important that you know your rights and transmission risk as a person living with HIV.
Hormones and HIV treatment
If you're living with HIV, your antiretroviral treatment will be tailored so that it can be taken safely alongside your hormone treatment.
Currently, it seems that most antiretrovirals are not affected by hormones. However, there are a few drugs that don’t work well together. It’s important to have your hormone levels monitored and that your HIV healthcare team knows about any hormones you're taking (including unprescribed ones).
Lipodystrophy (body fat changes, such as losing some fat from the face, legs, arms or buttocks, or gaining fat elsewhere) is a side effect of some of the older anti-HIV drugs. These drugs are now avoided as much as possible for long-term use.
More resources for people living with HIV
i-base has a useful Q and A page for trans people who are living with HIV.
We offer a range of online and offline services to support people living with HIV, whether you're newly diagnosed or have been living with HIV for decades. Our My Community Forum is a free, safe online space for people living with HIV to meet others living with the virus.