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Future for +M & -F?
Jan 1, 2003

I was recently diagnosed positive, and I have probably been infected for about 6 months. My wife is Negative. Although we still have sex, using condoms, she has started voicing concerns about a 'normal' sexual relationship. And rightly so. Our health advisor has told us that she will not need to go for another test so long as we continue to be cautious. And we will! By the way, her idea of 'normal' sex is unprotected (with her using birth control). My question is this (and bear in mind I am new to this): Is a vaccine, to protect her, a possibility in the near future? I understand there are tests undergoing, how successful are they going? Are they likely to be published soon? Etc. I think my problem is worrying whether she will leave me because I cant give her what she wants. I dont have any hangups about any other part of sex, and besides that no worries about anything else regarding our relationship. I guess the question I want answered is: Can my wife and I enjoy a 'normal' sex life?

Response from Dr. Remien

Yes, there is the possibility that there will be an effective vaccine in the near future. However, it may not happen for several years and it is also likely that any vaccine developed will not be 100% effective. I'm curious as to why your wife (and perhaps you) define "normal" sex as "unprotected but with birth control." There are a range of birth control methods that people use to prevent pregnancy. If prevention of pregnancy is important to a couple, then that is what becomes "normal" for them. Certain birth control methods (i.e, barrier methods such as condoms) are also effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. To prevent the transmission of HIV couples need to use barrier methods correctly and consistently. Why are you both not able to consider this to be "normal" sex for your situation? Two people who care about each other should want to protect the physical and psychological health and well-being of each other. Discuss this with your wife and see where it takes you.


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