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dos and don'ts for a +/ - married couple
Dec 28, 1999

can you give me a guide or direct me to where I can get a one on how to safely live with an HIV+ partner. I am negative and we just found out he is positive. i need to know how we can leave together without my making him feel like an outcast but at the same time ensuring i do not get infected. Basic things like using the same cutlery, manicure set, kissing, etc. the bottom line is, we want try leave as normal a life as possible. who can i talk to or what information would help me. at this point i am totally at a loss.

Response from Dr. Remien

First off, you need to know that it is possible to live a "normal life" while being a mixed status couple. At the same time, yes - it does bring particular challenges, practically and emotionally. You're right to seek information - that is an important first step. However, you will also need time to become accustomed to the change. Support from others is also helpful. You need to allow yourself the range of emotions you will experience. And, you and your partner will need to be able to talk openly about your concerns, fears, and doubts. Bottom line is open communication is important, and you both need to think of the important ways that you can "protect" and "take care of" each other.

For practical information about transmission concerns, see what other couples have asked and how I have responded to them on this forum. Look especially at the following questions: "Good relationship but fear of infection (8/18);" Recent diagnosis of HIV+ status in lover (9/20);" "Sex and hiv poz partner (11/1);" "Scared to infect (11/2);" and "Also fear infecting family (11/22)."

If you think that over time your difficulties are greater than to be expected you should seek professional help, as a couple, to help you cope better with your situation.

I hope you can enter the New Year finding the information you need and with renewed hope for a long, happy, and healthy relationship.


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