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what in the hell do i do now??
Apr 13, 2008

hi dr. bob! hope all is well with you and yours. i am just wondering what your advice would be in my predicament. ok, i have been with this guy for about six months. we have been having un-protected sex pretty much since this started. i know, i know, stupid. anyway, this is my question. we did talk about hiv and other std's before this started. we decided from past experiences and tests that we should be ok. again, i know, stupid! so i had a one time fling on a short split from him, it was un-protected but there was no ejaculation. i freaked and stopped what i was doing shortly after it started, like 2 mins in. i was completely honest with my bf upon restarting our relationship and told him everything. i told him my fears of hiv or other std's. he simply decided that he didn't want to use condoms. (and yet again, stupid) i let this carry on. well now here is my problem. i have recently been tested for all std's, as i do regularly, and my hiv tests came back indeterminate. my doctor suggested that i tell him because he may still have a chance at not contracting the disease if i am positive. also she suggested we start using condoms. is there any hope at all that even if i am infected, that he will make it out of this ok? do i have to tell him about this result or can i spare him the agony i am going though? i am hoping that i can somehow just enforce condoms now and not have to tell him about this result until i know for sure. it's not about being selfish here. i know he has a right to know, but i know how much grief i am going through right now and i think it would just be pure hell if we were both going through it. besides, it could still turn out in my favor right??? please don't think i am a moron here. i just don't think he will take the initiative to go and get tested or educated on this. he knew i was going for the tests, i was totally honest about that. he has never asked me what the results were. also, i think he will probably blame me for the infection in the case of a positive result. likely it will have came from me due to my little stupid incident. but, do i have to tell him at this point? or can i wait until i know for sure? we've had a lot of un-protected sex since the "incident". what do you think? is it too late for us? thanks in advance for taking the time to sift through my little rant here... donations will be forwarded.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You report: "We did talk about HIV and other STDs before this started." And after your fling you state: "I was completely honest with my bf upon restarting our relationship and told him everything . . . . he simply decided that he didn't want to use condoms." Now you have an indeterminate test and suddenly you don't want to tell him? Sorry, I don't buy the wanting to "spare him the agony" excuse. If you decide to wait until you know your definitive status, one way or the other, how can you expect your boyfriend to ever trust you again? If you're positive, he might feel you've him at risk unnecessarily (even if you try to enforce condom use now). If you are negative, he might wonder why you didn't trust him enough to tell him what you were going through. Either way this spells disaster for the level of trust and honesty that you've built up over the course of your relationship. It could also spell disaster for your relationship itself. I strongly urge you to level with him. And the sooner the better.

I'm also very concerned about your comment: "I just don't think he will take the initiative to go and get tested or educated on this"!!! What's up with that? Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It apparently is alive and well in your boyfriend as well! It's time he wakes up and smells the Starbucks! You've both managed to make unwise decisions about HIV to date. Compounding those unwise decisions could lead to disaster. It's time you and Mr. Hear-No-Evil, See-No-Evil, Speak-No-Evil have a heart-to-heart talk about HIV. If he wants to continue placing himself at risk and pretending he's invincible to HIV that should be his (hopefully informed) decision (wrong-headed and self-destructive as it is). You obviously know better.

Could this still turn out to be a false alarm? Sure. Indeterminate is not HIV positive and ultimately you could be confirmed HIV negative. However, poz or neggie, you must consider this a long overdue wakeup call and I strongly advise against hitting the snooze alarm again.

You ask: "Is it too late for us?" Good question. It's never too late to wise up and protect yourself and your sex partners. It's also never too late to be honest.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

If your repeat HIV-screening test again reveals an indeterminate result, you could consider getting an HIV DNA PCR qualitative test. This test is not used for routine screening for a variety of reasons, but can be helpful in sorting out unclear or indeterminate HIV-antibody test results.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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