Sex Life: How HIV Changed My Sex Life

April 18, 2020

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.


The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 31-year-old queer man living with HIV. He talks about how it affected his relationship and why he now chooses to disclose his status to potential sexual partners.

What was your first sexual experience?

I was in JSS 1 when it first happened. I had just gotten into boarding school and my room captain at the time would insist that I spend the night in his bunk and fondle him. I later learnt that he had been doing it with a bunch of other boys too.

What did you do?

I didn’t like the experience at all, so I changed rooms. The next room I got assigned to, the same thing happened with my new room captain. I changed rooms again, and it was the same thing the third time around. 

What the hell?

Yeah, I was a very effeminate child, so that kind of put a target on my back. The funny thing is, while all of this was happening, I wasn’t even aware that I was attracted to guys. It didn’t really click until I dropped out of the hostel after just one term. 

How did you realise?

It was a gradual process for me. I started noticing that whenever I watched porn, I was way more focused on the men than the women. Then that attraction and curiosity grew from there. 

When did you have sex for the first time?

I was in 100 level. I don’t even remember who it happened with. For me, it was more experimental than anything. I just wanted to get it over with and decide if sleeping with men was something I liked or even wanted to do. 

So, did it help you decide?

At the time, it didn’t. However, it made me realise it was something I was capable of doing. It also showed me that I could do it without feeling any kind of shame or guilt. Then I experimented with women too.

Did you enjoy that experience?

No, I didn’t. It was a struggle, but not for the reason you might think. At the time, all the women I was meeting were virgins, and I have a relatively big penis. The pain and discomfort they were clearly feeling completely turned me off. 

Did you ever try again?

Yeah. I eventually had a heterosexual experience that was a lot better. For one, it was much less of a struggle. That being said, sleeping with women is just not something I care to do anymore. 

Fair. So, what’s your sex life like right now?

Since I tested positive for HIV, the rate of masturbation has really increased for me. Sure, I still have sex occasionally, but it’s just stressful having to always explain the state of things to new people.

When did you learn that you were positive?

I found out in 2014 and I’m still not sure how exactly I got it. 

What made you decide to get tested? 

I was working for a health-related NGO at the time. They were having a seminar and offering free tests, and someone suggested that I take it. It’s not like I was sick or anything, but I just decided to do it.  

How did you react to the result?

When it came back positive, I wasn’t exactly shocked or moved. I wouldn’t say I was in denial, but I figured it was bound to happen someday. So, I just took the test results, folded it into my pocket and went back to work. 

Why do you think you weren’t shocked?

There are a million ways you can get the virus, not just through sex. Sure, I didn’t use protection every single time I slept with someone, but I didn’t base my conclusion on that and try to blame anyone. 

There are so many ways I could have gotten it, and I thought dwelling on my sexuality alone would have been the lazy option. It’s a virus that is making its way across the world, so I wasn’t surprised that it had found its way to me. 

Alright. What happened next?

Well, I was referred to an institution to start treatment, but I didn’t bother going for about a year. By the time I decided to start getting my treatment, I had already started showing signs that I had the virus.

Why did you wait so long?

I wanted to be sure I was ready. It’s a lifetime commitment and I’d read that if you start taking the medication and you’re not consistent, the virus could mutate and become resistant to the drug. So, I was just taking my time to mentally prepare myself. 

Did your status immediately affect your sex life at the time?

I was dating someone at the time and it sort of put a strain on our relationship. I made him take the test and it came back negative, so there was that reservation that he could still get it from me.

We began to drift apart slowly. Funny enough, the sexual frequency didn’t reduce, but we were disconnected emotionally. We eventually broke up. After that, I became a lot more careful when meeting people for sex.

Do you always disclose your status to sexual partners?

Yeah, I do now. That wasn’t always the case though, but an experience I had made me start. I initially didn’t want to tell people because of the fear that ignorance about the virus might make them leave

What was the experience?

I had a sexual partner who didn’t know about my status. I really liked him, and I didn’t want to risk him leaving. So, we were having sex one day and the condom broke, but I didn’t stop.

He later found out — he saw my drugs and googled them. He was understandably very angry. So, yeah, I always disclose now. If we are going to be having penetrative sex, I owe it to the person to let them know.

What is that conversation usually like?

I tell them that I’m currently undetectable and very consistent with my medication. If they are fine with that explanation, then great. If they aren’t, I don’t actually hold it against anybody. 

How do they typically react?

The reactions vary. Some guys are indifferent, some are inquisitive and some are cautious. As of now, I’ve never actually been turned down because of my status. Well, not to my face anyway.

That’s great. How would you rate your sex life on a scale of 1 to 10?

I’m practically celibate now, so 0.5. I’m mostly busy with work and I rarely have time to interact with people. I’m also not a fan of meeting people online, so, yeah, my sex life is currently non-existent.

Check back every Saturday by 12 pm for new stories in the Sex Life series. If you would like to get this story in your mail before everyone else — complete with inside gist that doesn’t make the final cut, sign up here. Catch up on older stories here.

NerdEfiko

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

June 5, 2021

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians. The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year gay man who has a reputation for being a player. He talks about how his reputation for sleeping around is affecting his sex life and […]

April 1, 2020

A few days ago, a clip of media personality, Toke Makinwa saying that every woman should own at least one sex toy went viral on social media, and a lot of men were legitimately distraught by the idea. The debate it spawned revealed just how little people (read: men) seem to know about the usefulness […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Sex Life

September 25, 2021

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 29-year-old bisexual woman who talks about deciding to have sex after a car accident, getting over sex guilt and how she started grading her male sexual partners.

September 4, 2021

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians. The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 36-year-old man who has slept with almost 200 women. He talks about being discouraged from sex by his mother when he was young, discovering sex as […]

August 28, 2021

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians. The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 21-year-old straight woman who talks about being averse to sex for a long time, discovering that she loved BDSM through her ex and navigating sex with […]

August 14, 2021

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians. The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 20-year-old bisexual woman who talks about her initial struggle with the shame of masturbation, discovering her kinks and chasing sex fuelled by danger. What was […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X