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Unprotected sex with my partner
Feb 25, 2009

Dear Dr. Bob, Your advice and compassion is so greatly appreciated. I hope you can help me be safe and know the best thing to do with this situation. I have been with my partner in a monogamist relationship for five years, long distance for the last year. We have both been tested regularly with results coming back negative. We have been having unprotected sex for the last three years. I do truely believe we both were monogamist during this time. Recently my partner told me that he did have unprotected sex with a guy that was positive which happened after the last time we were together. He has reached the six week mark and his results came back negative. He is going to test again at the six month mark to be sure. We have agreed to only practice safe sex and have really reduced all sexual activity. We have talked through many of the issues that this has raised. My partner is a good man and some may think me a fool, but in my heart I really believe this won't happen again. All that other stuff aside, from a medical stand point, once we get results back at the six month mark and they are negative, would it be safe to go back to having unprotected sex or is there a chance that sometime in the future he may be positive? I know this may sound like a crazy question and that I am setting myself up, but I want to know the facts and not make any assumptions if it comes up. Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

From a medical standpoint, HIV-antibody testing following a significant exposure to someone confirmed to be HIV positive should be done at the three- and six-month marks to assure transmission did not occur. In other words, if your partner tests negative at six months, this would be considered definitive and conclusive. That said, I should mention that monogamy can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. Monogamy plus a long-distance relationship may be unrealistic for many couples. Considering you've had one scare already, why not just practice safer sex (latex condom for penetrative sex) for that extra layer of security??? The old adage "better safe(r) than sorry" applies.

Be well. Be safe.

Dr. Bob



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