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My girlfriend is positive - how do I keep myself safe?
Apr 13, 2011

Hey all, Just going through the most stressful and worrying event I ever had to deal with. Only found out 24 hours ago my girlfriend of 6 months is hiv+ who I love dearly (I am HIV-negative - I'm waiting for test results to see if I have caught it from her). She caught it from her ex and she is currently taking meds and has a low VR (we used condoms for most of the relationship but there have been a few occasions where we had unprotected sex- condom breakage and a few times before we knew). My question is if my test results do come back negative how do I maintain a sexual relationship with her and keep myself safe from infection? My heart wants to stay as I love her so much but logic says I should go. Am I a complete nutter to want to stay in this relationship?

Thanks for any advice

Response from Dr. Fawcett

You are in a complicated situation that is shared by many couples. Given your strong feelings of love for her it seems logical to me that you both would try and work through this. There are many ways that serodiscordant couples share satisfying sexual relations and intimacy, but each must work out what is comfortable for themselves in terms of risk/benefits. If she has been on meds yet you just found out 24 hours ago, communication may be a problem. This situation will require complete honesty and trust. See if there is a support group for such couples in your area. The experiences and support of others can be extremely helpful. Also try reading through the posts in one of TheBody's archived forums on mixed HIV status couples. There's lots of useful information there. With good communication skills, love for each other, and a willingness to find solutions, there is no need to leave.



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