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Help me understand
Feb 12, 2005

I have been dating an HIV poz woman and have real issues with it. I have read many of the responses saying someone being HIV poz is no reason not to pursue a relationship. How can you say this when the is never 100% chance of being a safe. I could die from getting this. Please explain what you mean by this so I can understand. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Remien

Yes, it is true that there is not a 100% chance of never contracting HIV when an uninfected person is an ongoing sex partner with someone who is HIV infected. However, a lot is known about how this virus is transmitted and consistent and correct use of protective barriers can reduce the risk of transmission to a very minimal level.

There are many reasons as to why one person may not want to pursue a relationship with another person. There are a lot of "risks" (physical and emotional) when we make ourselves vulnerable by truly opening ourselves to another person and daring to "fall in love." I do not believe that HIV status, in and of itself, needs to be a reason to not pursue a relationship. With that said, you or anyone else certainly has the right to select a partner based on whatever characteristic may be important to the person - whether that be HIV status or any other physical, health, or personality attribute.

To put some of this in another perspective, there is never 100% chance we will not get hit by a stray bullet or a "hit-and-run" driver, die in a plane crash, get sick from food poisoning, be injured by falling debris when walking down the street, be abandoned by a lover, etc. etc. (the list can go on and on) but we do not stop ourselves from leaving the house and engaging in life and relationships.

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