Can animal parasites give infections if I have HIV?

Q. I have read that some some animals can have parasites that might give me an infection because I have HIV.  What animals are included in this group and what kind of things should I look out for.  We have both a cat and a dog.  Can the animals be tested for any relevant parasites?

A. Animals may carry a host of infections and everyone needs to take reasonable precautions.  There is no need to carry out special testing and animals should be assessed generally to check they are reasonably healthy and their routine vaccinations are up to date.  Make sure they have treatment for fleas and be careful handling animals with loose bowels.

A. HIV positive people should wear gloves when handling litter trays for cats.  Animal faeces are particularly risky and hand washing rituals are important.  The pet should eat a healthy diet of cooked food and avoid the temptation to kiss the animal!  Cats and dogs may transmit Toxoplasmosis, Toxacara, cat scratch disease, hookworms, salmonella and a wide range of other infections.  Reptiles and exotic pets need to be avoided. – Dr. Laurence Gerlis

Find it hard to say hello on IM? Some ideas to get the conversation going

Some time ago we suggested that Wednesday and Thursday evenings should be IM nights on

The idea is to try to get as many people on the site after 7pm on those evenings. If we make this a time for IM and more people log on, the chances of successfully connecting with someone on this hiv dating and herpes dating website are much greater.

A few people have emailed and said it is really hard to just to strike up a conversation with a stranger. We realise that, and so to make it easier here are a few suggestions:

1. Take a risk. That’s what online dating is all about. You have to be able to put yourself out there and make people favourites, send messages, and try to chat. If you don’t get a reply, don’t feel badly, try a new person.

2. Be Polite. You might not be attracted or feel drawn to the person who’s making contact for the first time, but put yourself in their shoes. It’s not easy. So just take a few seconds to say hi. You never know, you might be in for a pleasant surprise :)

3. Asking a couple of questions is a great way of breaking the ice. Ask someone about their job or how their day has been. These are good ways to get the conversation going.

4. If you come on to IM one night and don’t connect with anyone or hit if off in a good way, don’t worry and don’t be put off. Come back and try again. Stay focused and be positive and you will find what you are looking for.

5. Be respectful. If someone says they don’t want to chat, be accepting and see if someone else is available.

We wish you all the best with IM and the whole site. Be daring, get out there and make contact, and make connections happen!

Purpose of a herpes dating website – getting support

In our last post about herpes dating and the purpose of a herpes dating website, we spoke about the need for a herpes dating website because it is very difficult for people with herpes to find a new partner.

The difficulty lies around the fact that often people will reveal that they have herpes to someone and discover that they are rejected, and their new date is not interested. So a herpes dating website deals effectively with that issue by removing the need to have that kind of conversation.

A herpes dating website takes away the need for that kind of conversation. You make your status clear as soon as you join, and do away with the difficulty, discomfort and potential rejection that “that” conversation can lead to.

But another reason for a herpes dating website UK is the issue of support – emotional support for people with herpes. You will find many like-minded who have struggled emotionally and felt down after discovering they have herpes. Some people have blamed themselves and been really hard on themselves, unnecessarily.

At a website like can offer a huge amount of comfort if you are feeling down and are looking for support.  You can find this by connecting with people who have had similar experiences and who understand where you are at. You can receive empathy and understanding at a crucial time in your life when you really need it.

We also have a counsellor section and if you are struggling you can send in a question to and we will happily get counsellor Frankie Hall to answer it.  This is the place to turn to for herpes advice UK, and we are here to help.

Please watch out for dating website scams and scammers

Online dating can be a great thing if it is used properly by the members of any site. If you fill out a profile, ad a photo and make contact with people your chances of having success and meeting someone are really good. You could find success and happiness.

But not everyone uses dating websites the same way. Some people – a small number – will use online dating to simply get money from others.  A lot of the scams originate in parts of Africa and Eastern Europe.

These people will join a dating website and set up a profile that looks real, but it is a mask for manipulation and fraud. This small number of people will make contact with lots of people and, more often than not, they will send lots of emails and pursue people who they think could be vulnerable or manipulated.  Their goal is to get money from you, and they will be ruthless in their approach.

This minority will be manipulative and appear genuine. They will tell you any kind of desperate and deeply sad story to make you feel sorry for them and want to help.

Please make sure you never, ever under any circumstances send money to someone you communicate with via or any other dating website.

You should immediately end communication with that person, and report them to us. Be sure to send us their username to

Thanks in advance for helping keep a safe and successful dating website.

Sexual Health Awareness Week UK 2012

The FPA is holding Sexual Health Awareness Week this week, running form Sept. 17 to Sept. 21.

If you have any questions or concerns about Sexual Health, feel free to send your questions in strictest confidence to the experts at  We have access to sexual health clinic doctor, Dr Laurence Gerlis, and counsellor Frankie Hall.  You can access these experts, free of charge, by going to our Ask the Doctor page or HIV and Herpes Counselling page.

This year, in partnership with Brook, the FPA is launching a major new national campaign XES – We Can’t Go Backwards.

Why the XES We Can’t Go Backwards campaign?

Contraception and other sexual health services, information and education are a basic right, earned through decades of struggle.

But through stealthy funding cuts, sneaky policy changes and increasingly aggressive opposition our rights are being eroded.

Join FPA campaign and speak up for the majority of the population who need and use these essential services and information. Refuse to go backwards!

Take action

Share your experience of contraception and other services. Add your voice to our map and help us build up a picture of what’s happening around the UK.