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Hiv+ / HIV- gay couple
Nov 21, 2001

Dr. My partner and I have been together for 10 years. He was diagnosed with HIV last May. Our sex life is suffering becaus I get so much conflicting info from everyone. What can we do and what can we not do. I enjoy the top and he enjoys the bottom. I really need a little help with this.

Response from Dr. Remien

It is challenging to cope with becoming a mixed status couple after being together for so many years. I actually don't think anyone can tell you what you can and cannot do, sexually. The reason you may feel like you are hearing conflicting information is because different activities are believed to carry different levels of risk and "how risky" something is is ultimately a subjective perception. What may seem like a very low or "okay" risk to one couple (or person) can feel like a "not acceptable" level of risk to another couple (or individual).

You and your partner need to try and understand, as best you can, the relative levels of risk that different behaviors carry. And this needs to include the potential for transmitting HIV (from him to you) and the potential for transmission of other STDs (from either one of you to the other). Read what the "experts" say - on this website and in articles or prevention materials given out by clinics and community based organizations - and then become your own "experts," deciding what levels of risk you are comfortable with. You'll need to balance concerns about diseases with your particular pleasures and desires. Both of you need to be involved in this process if sex is going to continue to be fun and enjoyable for you both.


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