sex and antiretrovirals
Dec 12, 2008
Hello doctor Frascino, My partner and I were diagnosed HIV+ about a month ago, we never thought that this would happen to us, naive or what! Unfortunately my partner has had to start haart medication, I do not have to start yet, would there be a chance of my partner passing on resistence to certain classes of drugs by kissing, through saliva etc? I have been so worried about my boyfrend starting medication, he says I am having more sid effects than he is! Also we were advised to abstain from sex, which was hard as we went on holiday a week after being diagnosed, can we resume sex now? we have a big bag of condoms and we want to start to use them up. Thank you for your answer and your time and happy christmas to you and your family. uk
Response from Dr. Frascino
Sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. The "we never thought that this would happen to us" is a direct reflection of the failure of our current HIV-prevention efforts. Twenty-seven years into the AIDS pandemic, HIV/AIDS remains 100% incurable but 100% preventable. Improving HIV/AIDS awareness and education is essential to making prevention efforts more effective. For example, your query about HIV transmission (or contracting a different strain of HIV) via kissing and/or saliva is as question every grade school child should be able to answer, if we had age-appropriate, science-based sex education in our schools. It's a question I've responded to so many times in this forum that I've labeled it a QTND (question that never dies). The answer is that kissing is not considered to be an HIV-transmission/acquisition risk. Saliva is not considered an HIV-transmission risk, unless visible blood is present.
I was amazed to read that you were "advised to abstain from sex!" Why??? Not only is such a demand unreasonable, but it also is completely unwarranted. Open up that "big bag of condoms" and start making up for that unnecessary dry spell! If latex condoms are used properly and the condom doesn't break, the risk of viral transmission is essentially nonexistent. Take a read through the archives of this forum. We have entire chapters devoted to HIV sexual transmission and safer sexual techniques. You will also find much information pertaining to HIV superinfection (dual infection).
Good luck to both you and your partner. Happy, healthy holidays to you both.
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