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+ partner dismissive of my fears
Apr 8, 2006

My partner and I have been together two years. We were only a few months into our relationship when he found out he was positive. I love him and want to do everthing I can to help him through this. I'm ashamed to admit that I have a lot of fears about contracting the disease myself, and this has made me much less interested in sex with him. I have tried to discuss this with my partner, but he tells me I am overreacting, and that hIV is not as easy to catch as I think. He may be right. We are always safe, but I often shy away from activities where there is even a small chance of transmission (for example, oral sex after I've just flossed and gums are bleeding). I'm not sure if my fears are legitimate or if I'm just being ridiculous and hurting my partner's feelings for no reason. Any advice on how to approach the situation?

Response from Dr. Horwath

You are right to be concerned. Using condoms protects you, but the protection may not be perfect. Oral sex is a low risk, but not zero risk. If your partner has an undetectable viral load, that also lowers the risk. But it's understandable to have fears about having sex with someone who is HIV positive, even if you do love him. You are right to use protection and you are doing what you can to keep safe, but being afraid is human.



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