Luke HIV Story – Sexual Health Education Failed Him

Read Luke’s Story about being newly diagnosed with HIV and discover why he thinks Sexual Health Education in schools and in HIV education in general failed him.


19 Luke was diagnosed with HIV last year in June. His reaction when diagnosed was one of absolute fear and was very scared for his future with him not knowing what his life might hold for him in later life. He didn’t know much about HIV and initially thought that his life was going to be very short and very secluded with no one coming near him. Luke was worried about not having relationships, worried that he wouldn’t be able to keep himself healthy and ultimately was thinking he was going to die quite young and very along.

However, he found out that HIV is not like that anymore and is a fully manageable chronic illness.

Luke contracted HIV through unprotected sex with another man. He remembers at the time he was scarred because he thought it was going to be a death sentence having such a diagnosis but actually found out he can live an entirely normal life. He takes just one pill every day before he goes to sleep and that keeps his HIV under control.

Luke has frustrations with the education systems which included schools, as there is not enough education at all about HIV. Luke, like many of his friends didn’t know very much about HIV or STI’s before his diagnosis. Alarmingly he feels maybe and hypothetically that if he had better sexual health education, including HIV education something could have been avoided.

A lot of Luke’s friends initially were a little fearful that they could contract HIV through casual contact like saliva, touching and every day normal contact, which is just not the case.

Luke Talks about his sexual education in school and remembers:

When I put my hand up and asked, ‘What about anal sex?’ I expected a professional and engaging answer but I was met with a look of disgust and the awkward reply, ‘Well, we don’t recommend that.’

As an openly-gay 15-year-old in high school, that reply really did feel embarrassing.”

He admits that not knowing about HIV and safe sex was idiotic on his behalf but pin points that his schools sexual education failed him and his peers by not giving them the toods and environment to learn how to protect their sexual health

Living Well is committed to improve the lives of those who are newly diagnosed and living with HIV. Living Well also provide leading young people sexual health education programs and sexual health helplines to improve young people’s access to sexual health education, sex and relationship advice. To find out how you can help Living Well or gain access to their HIV and young people services please call 020 31 373 373 or email

To view the original Story from BBC Newsbeat

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