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Magnetic Couple Dilemma

Aug 15, 2007

Dr. Bob, First and foremast I would like to thank you for the wonderful work you do. I have read many posts on your site but still need some reassurance. I met a really great guy about four months ago, and while on our first date he told me he was HIV positive. My initial reaction was shock but we talked about his status (currently not on meds) and I felt comfortable dating, holding hands, cuddling and kissing. We have had some wonderful times together and I have really started to fall in love. In addition to those times enjoyed, we have talked openly about his status and my fears. He agreed that intimacy would be on my terms and when I was ready. I have always had a 90 day rule before sleeping with anyone. About a month ago we started to sleep and cuddle naked, we both agreed spooning was not an at risk activity. I decided this past weekend to take the plunge and finally make love to this person whom I have really started to fall in love with. It was wonderful as the sharing of two bodies and souls usually is. I was the receiver for unprotected oral and the giver for protected anal, there was no condom breakage and the proper lube was used. I gave him oral on the shaft of his penis and his balls. I know you will probably say that the risk here is non- existent but the anxiety that I have felt since waking up the next morning is overwhelming. I have not said anything to him about my anxiety because I know how important it is for him to stay stress free, but my friends - they cant believe that I would have sex with him when they repeatedly told not to date him (Queens can be such bitches sometimes). My response to them is that he is a warm and caring person with wonderful qualities and should not be judged by his HIV positive status. It was protected sex and it was wonderful for both of us (they act like we barebacked all day until we were raw). I have had diarrhea for the last 3 days and they say it is because I am infected and I tell them - No, it is from being a nervous wreck and youre not helping!! My question is- Does this ever get better? Will there be a time when we can be intimate and I wont be a stress freak afterwards. I know there are other sero-discordant couples out there including you and there is no reason to be worried but the anxiety of possibly losing my negative status is overwhelming. Any suggestions on dealing with this magnetic couple dilemma? Thanks Worry Wart

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Worry Wart,

Does worry about losing your negative status ever get better? Yes, certainly it can. But it will take some effort on your part. Anxiety can best be confronted by rational thought, common sense and solid information. A thorough understanding of real risk helps put irrational risks into their proper perspective. Counseling can often be very helpful in this regard. I would suggest you and your new Mr. Right read through the archives of this forum. There is an entire section on magnetic couples. Communication is the real key. Don't hesitate to share your concerns, rational or not, with your boyfriend. He could be as afraid of infecting you as you are of being infected by him. You need to establish sexual rituals that you both agree are safe or safe enough for both of your comfort levels. Once those boundaries are established, sex will become less scary. You can expand your sexual repertoire over time as you become more comfortable with your mixed-status relationship. You can also talk to his HIV specialist if you have any specific concerns. Plus you could arrange to have a starter pack of PEP available just in case there was an unavoidable significant exposure. The important thing is that you shouldn't let Mr. Right get away for all the wrong reasons.

I would also suggest you have a firm talk with your clueless friends. Not only are they being immature, but they are incredibly nave. Chances are they have had sex with an HIV-positive person without even knowing it. Twenty-five percent of the over-one million Americans estimated to be HIV positive do not know they are infected. If they are not assuming their sexual partners could be HIV positive and taking all the necessary precautions to protect themselves, they are placing themselves at far greater risk than you. Please feel free to share this insight with them.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Your suggestion of a HIV DNA test?
No test needed, I know I'm positive

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