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i'm positive but my boyfriend is neg. and wants unsafe sex
Jun 2, 2003

I am a 29 y/o male who has been positive for 6 months. Recently, I met someone online who advertised for barebacking. I assumed (wrongfully) that he was positive. We were immediately infatuated with each other. We had unsafe sex, but I did not ejaculate inside him. We later discussed our status and he told me he was negative. He explained that for some reason, he has not caught hiv, although he has been exposed to it many times. He has told me repeatedly that he does not want to live in fear of catching hiv, and that our love surpases the fear of catching the disease. We have fallen deeper and deeper in love with each passing day. We have continued to have unsafe sex , but I always pull out before ejaculation, even though he asks me to ejaculate inside of him. I live in horrible fear of giving him this disease, mainly because if it doesn't work out between us, he will always know that I am the one who gave it to him and he may regret his decision. He is young (23) and has been through a lot. I feel he is very mature, but still I cannot help to think that he is naive. He sees me taking meds every day, calls me to remind me, yet he is truly unfearful and unrestrained during intercourse. What should I do? Should I consider myself lucky or irresponsible?

awkward case

Response from Dr. Remien

Yes, your boyfriend indeed is putting you in an "awkward" position. And he and you are taking a significant risk in your behavior. He's been lucky thus far, in terms of not acquiring HIV, however, it is very possible that he could become infected if more caution is not taken. It is also not uncommon for the HIV+ partner to be more concerned about transmission than the one who is not infected in mixed status relationships.

While pulling out before ejaculation may lower the risk for transmission, the bottom line is that transmission can occur in this relationship when intercourse is unprotected. You do need to consider how you would feel if that were to happen. There is responsibility on both of your parts and your concerns about this need to be considered by him as well. Perhaps you need to ask yourself whether you want to play along with him in his game of "Russian roulette?!" There is no good reason why you cannot love each other, have a satisfying sex life, while also protecting each other - physically and emotionally.

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