Mac is HIV positive, Alec is not. Two years ago, they started to hang out, just after Max knew he was living with HIV.
Both have participated in a large virus transmission study that showed that a person with HIV who was following an effective treatment could not transmit a virus through sex.
The couple shared their story with BBC Radio 5 in hopes of inspiring more people to test and eliminate some of the stigma that still exists.
The story of Max
"I was 24 years old when I discovered that I was HIV positive. FWhat a shock, a stroke in the stomach. When they told me, I started to cry. I did not know what to do. Should I go back to work or take a break in my life? Do I have to tell somebody? How will I find my boyfriend now?
The nurse at the clinic, where she gave me results, hugged me and said, "Do not worry, everything will be okay."
As I did the test regularly, I discovered it at a very early stage, and that was good news because as soon as he started treatment, the better.
Anti-HIV drugs work reduce the amount of virus in the blood on non-detective levels. This means that the virus can not be transmitted during sex, even without a condom.
Taking the drugs I need is pretty easy:only I need to one pill daily to dinner. Patients with type 1 diabetes require four or five injections per day.
Being HIV positive is more costly than physical: I feel anxiety when I have to tell other people about my illness.
My diagnosis was told to my closest friends and family. Most of them responded nicely, but not everyone supported me.
A friend who, as a mentor, told me: "Frankly, I would not ask for sex or have sex with HIV. I would always have a question if they were taking medication or not. "
I felt that I labeled people with HIV as "impassable" and myself as "responsible" for avoiding contact with people like me.
This vision appeared in the eighties when HIV was considered personal defect or death penalty. People are still linking HIV with these images of tombstones on television or with Princess Diana who hugged AIDS patients at the hospital.
Many then refused to touch people with HIV and much more to have intimate contact. But today, those living with HIV can expect to live the same as any other person.
The reaction of my mentor really affected me. I started with panic attacks. I have never experienced them before, but I could not breathe. I could not even get out.
Soon I met Alek after I found out that he was living with HIV. We were both academics and we were interested in gender and sexual issues, and a relationship was born. He already knew I was HIV positive, so that's not something I have to mention.
I'm not sure at what point We stopped using condoms when you maintain relationships Sexually I did not see him in torture, but I was worried that he would feel under pressure not to use condoms to make him feel better.
Last year we participated in the studio Partner, which has been shown to a large extent people with HIV can have sex without condom and they do not transmit virus if they take appropriate treatment.
I think that if more people knew it, there would be much less fear or stigma for HIV, and no one would have problems testing. "
How treatment works for HIV
• HIV is treated with antiretroviral drugs, which stop the virus replication.
• Then measure the amount of blood in the blood to see how well the treatment works.
• It may take up to six months for this viral load to become undetected.
• People with HIV who receive effective treatment for HIV and whose viral load has not been detected for six months or more can not transmit the virus through sex.
• The NHS, a UK public health service, says the condom is the most effective way to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STDs).
The story of Alec
"The first impression I had on Mak was this He was very sure of himself.
I met him at a political conference of the Green Party of the United Kingdom. I was with a group of young homosexuals – we were probably quite terrifying as a collective – and even he came and said, "Hello."
I discovered that I was HIV positive the day after I met him, when he posted on his Facebook status next to a photo with his medication.
One of the reasons I was attracted to him was precisely what he was so open when he was talking about having HIV. I have always admired his confidence and his refusal to undergo social pressure.
I also liked the fact that, even when dealing with the impact of his diagnosis, he devoted a part of his time and emotional energy trying to help others.
We met a few months after that conference and everything started.
Not I was scared outpositivenot at all. On the contrary, I was sad because I knew that after diagnosis I was once refused by other people.
About sex without a condom, I was not concerned at all because I was making HIV I knew my boy was taking medication.
I trust him completely. Some people say that people with the virus may not take medication, but it's just a bias. If you live with HIV, your health depends on taking this pill daily. It's not something you forget.
I did not tell my whole family that Mak is HIV-positive, I do not think it's that important.
I told my parents before I took him home for dinner, but just because he took the pill for dinner and did not want to get up from the table to do it.
It's a shame that it was not discovered better than that HIV can not be transmitted. Too many people suffer from a stigma that surrounds the disease for no reason.
Human thinking about HIV has been anchored in the past. We need to keep changing. "