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HIV positive woman with HIV negative man

Sep 8, 2017

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a month now and I recently found out that I am HIV positive. We have been using condom in most of our intimacy and he got tested and is negative, we now are in a situation where we trying to make this work because we both love each other but he is scared to be intimate with me, I am not on treatment yet as my CV4 count is still high... how can we go about being intimate as intimacy is our way of getting closer, I feel now like I am losing him and I wish there was more information to this in how we can have safer sex in order for him to never be infected. Please help

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thank you for writing. The best way for you to protect your boyfriend is to get your viral load to undetectable. For this you need to be on medications. The standard recommendation is no longer to wait until your CD4 count drops to a certain level but to start medications as soon as you are diagnosed. The sooner you start medications (even if your CD4 count is high), the less likely you are to have complications in the future. I am not sure what country you are writing from but I encourage you to speak to your doctor about starting medications right away.

If available, you should also encourage your boyfriend to start PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis which will be an extra protection for him. PrEP is the use of an HIV medication, Truvada, that prevents transmission of HIV from one partner to another.

Finally, you should continue using condoms at least until your viral load drops and, hopefully, your partner can go on Truvada. NO matter what, condoms are always an extra and important component of effective protection.

You find out more information about mixed-status couples at this resource page on TheBody, and more information about PrEP here. HIV should not interfere with your sex life - ask your physician and check these resources.

All the best,

David



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