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Dating HIV+ guy, sex question, want to make it work
Jul 3, 2003

hey Dr. Bob! -- Greetings from the Big Apple -- I'm sure you've heard this a million times but you are amazing and wonderful ...

OK, here's the situation. I'm an HIV-negative guy who's had a longstanding fear of HIV, but I'm in therapy for it, got my Zoloft and getting over it!

Now -- I met a wonderful guy who's HIV-positive. We've been taking it slow and two months after meeting, have decided to do the relationship thing. I just wanted to give you the little list of stuff we do, so I can be reassured that it's safe: We like to kiss (not wild-animal french kissing, just the regular-old variety), and he likes to rim me and occasionally go down on me very lightly (he ain't the deep-throating type). Sometimes he fingers my hole. And we engage in mutual masturbation. I never suck him and we don't have anal sex either way.

I know rationally that this stuff is safe but every once in awhile I read a website that says "Kissing can be dangerous," "Fingering can be bad if there's a cut," "If there's an open sore on your knee and someone cums in it...watch out!", etc. When I am with him I'm rationally aware that I don't have even a possible exposure -- but then I start to freak out a little bit when I'm not with him. He's patient and wonderful, and says that b/c of my fears, we don't ever even have to have anal sex (though I'd love to get over that fear too...)

I'm not gonna ask you to be Oprah and ask if the relationship can work b/c of my fear -- but I do want to try to make it happen, so my initial step is being confident that the stuff I've decided to do with him, mentioned above, is safe. I really enjoy it, and enjoy him. If you could answer this I'd be so grateful.

Anyway, that's all. Thanks so much for your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Im so glad you are not going to ask me to be Oprah. I couldnt stand all that weight gain, weight loss, weight gain, weight loss stuff. Besides, that Dr. Phil dude gets on my nerves.

OK, Im glad you are getting treatment for your "longstanding fear of HIV," and that youve met a wonderful guy!

Regarding your question, I should mention that various sexual practices carry various degrees of risks for different types of STDs. Some STDs are much easier to contract than others. If I limit my comments to HIV (your major concern), then your risk is nearly non-existent. There have been no recorded cases of getting HIV from rimming or getting rimmed. Kissing, anal digital play, and mutual masturbation are not considered risks for HIV. Insertive oral sex is considered to have an extremely, extremely low risk.

So, should you worry about those websites proclaiming, "Kissing is dangerous?" No, of course not. You should stick to more reputable sites, like this one, for instance.

To help you and your partner develop sexual rituals you are both comfortable with, perhaps he could attend some of your counseling sessions. Communication is the key. Knowledge is your friend and irrational fear, your worst enemy.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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