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My boyfriend doesn't know my status
Apr 10, 2012

I have been living with HIV for three years now and I am taking Atripla. My boyfriend of one month is HIV negative. If we have sex we use condoms because I am really afraid of telling him my positive status. My question to you: is it possible to pass HIV by mouth as he used to lick me before we have sex. I am very concerned about this because I don't want to expose him. My viral load is undetectable.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Such transmission is theoretically possible (if there are sores where there might be blood contact) although statistically remote. Of more concern is the issue of disclosure of your status. Some people feel that as long as they use condoms it's permissible not to reveal that they are positive. I think this is flawed logic since the real issue, as you note, is fear (and condoms mishaps do occur). If the relationship develops you will have a serious problem down the road when he does find out you are positive. He will understandably feel a sense of betrayal and no doubt anger as well.

Build your relationship on a solid foundation and let him know what's going on.

-David



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