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Why am I negative
Sep 24, 2005

My husband just tested positive for HIV 3 days ago. He informed me of this and I went with him to our local health department and was tested with the OraQuick or OraSure test and it came back negative for me. The party testing us became concerned about my negative result and retested my husband with the same type of test -- his came back positive again. I truly do not understand, though I see it as a miracle, why I am negative. My husband and I have led a very active sexual life with each other. I am upset, however, that he did not tell me while he was waiting the week for his test to come back because I initiated sexual contact with him and he allowed me to have sex with him not knowing that he might be HIV positive. I feel guilty that I am negative, is this normal to feel this way? I think that I feel bad because he feels so alone going through this. I am there for him and I will not leave him. We have been married for 13+ years and I do love him and will stand by him. Can you tell me, am I going through a type of grieving process? I fell okay sometimes and then I become angry and then I cry and I am so confused about all of this. I know that at this time I cannot even bring myself to touch him in any way that is sexual. I want to be close to him, but I do not want him to think that I want to have sex with him. I feel this is selfish, but I cannot help it. Will I come to terms with this and get over it? Am I at risk even if we use condoms? I know that I am not out of the woods yet, I have to retest at 3 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. If I test negative through all of these does that mean that I AM negative for HIV? I am scared and feeling rather lonely myself. Can you tell me anything to help me to better deal with this life altering event? Please!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First off, I'm sorry to hear about your husband's recent diagnosis. Next, yes, if you continue to test negative out to six months, you are indeed HIV negative.

Regarding your current emotional crisis, yes, it's to be expected, considering the shock of your husband's diagnosis. I would not consider it a "grieving process." Certainly there is a component of anger regarding his not telling you his potential status and placing you at risk by having unprotected sex. In addition, there is "survivor guilt" over being negative while he is positive, confusion regarding the future, fear of possible infection and a host of other psychological factors at play as well. So what to do? First off, read through the information on magnetic couples in the archives of this forum. Next, accompany your husband on his visits to his HIV specialist to learn more about HIV. I would also suggest couples' counseling to help you both confront and cope with your new reality, as well as deal with feelings of guilt, fear and uncertainty.

Yes, this is a life-altering event. Although everything seems overwhelming at the moment, please know that things can and will get better.

I'm here if you need me. As you may or may not know, I'm part of a magnetic couple as well. Steve (Dr. Steve, the expert in The Body's Tratamientos Forum) and I have been together for 12 years and could not be happier. I am positive. He is negative. Opposites really can attract!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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