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Negative should I disclose this?
Oct 23, 2005

My last boyfriend was HIV positive and I was and still am negative. I am a heterosexual female and now in a relationship with a heterosexual male. I didn't want to lie to him about my last relationship as it was very painful breakup. I told him that my last boyfriend was HIV positive. He wants me to go for testing. I told him that I had already gone for testing and it was negative but agreed to go again. I have now changed my mind. It was my understaning that negative test means negative. Plus my last boyfriend was very careful we used a female condom and we went to health nurse so I would understand the risks as well as how to protect myself. I am a very honest person this will be the second man that I have discolsed this information to and has not been understanding. Do I in the future tell or just let sleeping dogs lie?

Response from Dr. Remien

You didn't say anything about the timing of the HIV test since potential exposure to HIV. Most people feel reassured when they confirm a negative antibody test 6 months, or even a year after exposure. So yes, you are right to view a negative test as being accurate. However, it is possible for someone to test antibody negative and still be infected if they had not formed a sufficient number of antibodies at the time of testing. Most people develop antibodies within weeks, up to 3 months after becoming infected. But there are some cases where it can take longer.

I don't know the specifics of your relationship, but it may be wise for BOTH of you to test together, so that you can reassure each other of your HIV negative status. In regard to future disclosures, I am generally in favor of openness and honesty in intimate relationships. And having been involved (in the past) in a relationship with someone who was HIV+ is nothing to be ashamed of. However, each situation should be judged in its own context.


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