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Living Positive Victoria and Straight Arrows Merger Frequently Asked Questions Updated 8 March, 2016

1. Can I get HIV from mosquitoes?

One common question about HIV transmission is that mosquitoes or other bloodsucking insects can infect you. Thankfully the answer is no. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. If mosquitoes carried HIV there would be many millions more people infected with HIV.

2. Can I still have children?

Many people living with HIV have formed relationships and have gone on to have children who are HIV negative.

Over time the medical professions understanding of HIV has increased. Following certain guidelines there is only a very minimal risk of possible HIV transmission from mother to child.

It is very exciting news to many people living with HIV. The question of children comes up time and time again.

Information on HIV and pregnancy is often evolving. Please contact us at the office for more information, of for the latest up to date resource on HIV and Pregnancy.

3. Can I still have sex?

This is a common question for many HIV positive people. The answer is simple - Yes you can.

Having HIV does not mean you can not have sex. It just means that when you do you need to use a condom for both vaginal and/or anal sex. Fortunately here in Victoria you do not need to disclose your HIV status to your sexual partner as long as you are using condoms. This can be a relief for many people living with HIV. If you live in another state of Australia you need to check your legal obligations re HIV, Sex and disclosure.

4. How do I disclose my HIV status to a potential partner?

Disclosure of your HIV status is often very difficult and can be one of the largest hurdles to entering a relationship. There is no right or wrong time to do this. Legally, here in Victoria, you are not obligated to disclose your HIV status as long as you are using a condom with your partner.

Some people choose to be up front and disclose straight away. Others prefer to wait a while to see which way their relationship heads before they choose to disclose.

Ultimately, there is no real easy way to do this.

For more information on all that's related to Sex we have a resource at the office called "Sex Matters". You can call us for a copy or download it from our resource page.

5. How do I tell my children that I am living with HIV?

Once again their is not one "way"for doing this. Some families never keep it a secret. Others decide to disclose when their children are older.

There is a "Disclosing to your child"resource here at the Straight Arrow's office. This is a collective of other families experiences of disclosure to their children. It can be used a a guide to assist you and or your partner with your decisions.

Please call us for a copy or you can download it from our resource page.

6. I am not working but would like to. Do you know who could help me?

Working is a great way to feel a part of the community as well as giving your life structure and routine. Sometimes finding a job can be difficult. There are agencies in Victoria that assist people with job training and job placement. Straight Arrows work closely with these agencies to assist in finding training and employment for our members. Please call the office to discuss any queries or to link in to the services.

Knowing your legal rights re HIV, workplace disclosure and discrimination is very important. We have literature in the office that we can send out re the above topics.

7. I want to meet a woman/man. How can I find one?

Being diagnosed with HIV can leave us with many questions.

A common question asked of us here at straight Arrows is "Where or how can I meet someone?"

It is a common thought that we need to meet another HIV positive person as a potential partner. This often seems the easiest way so as to avoid the complications of disclosure to a partner.

Realistically though, the majority of our members are in sero-discordant relationships. Sero-discordant means one of the partners is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative.

Straight Arrows does hold Quarterly dinners for its members. It is a great opportunity to meet other men and women living with or affected by HIV.

It is also a great way to chat to other people living with HIV and their partners about their experiences of disclosure.

8. I'd like to meet other people living with HIV. Can you help?

Straight Arrows hold regular dinners and other social functions that many of our members attend. Some of our events, like our dinners, are for adults only, whilst others are for families and friends.

Once a year we hold a camp called "Camp Seaside". This is a very popular event in which many families get together over the weekend for activities for the kids and respite for the parents.

Every second year we have an Adults only retreat. It is a great opportunity for our members to meet each other and relax over a weekend. There are also workshops available to attend as well as a social event on the Saturday night.

Please contact our office during business hours if you are interested in attending any of these events.

9. Is there a risk of HIV transmission through Oral Sex?

Oral sex is a 'low risk' activity for transmission of HIV. On saying that it depends on you and your partners oral and genital health. If you or your partner has bleeding gums, or recent dental treatment it is best to avoid oral sex or use a condom or dam. Oral sex can pass on other STi's such as Herpes or HPV (the virus that causes genital warts). If you or your partner have any STI's present it is best to avoid oral sex or use condoms and Dams.