The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Magnetic Couple (NOT a sex question, I swear!)

Jun 1, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob,

You recently answered a question for me about possibly being a magnetic couple. You wished your good karma upon me and it worked! (At least for now, Rapid, Elisa, NAAT all negative at 5 weeks- though I will continue to be tested).

Anyway, as I said in my previous question, my boyfriend was diagnosed with HIV on May 20th. I am pretty confident that I am negative based on the above testing. I love him and want to be with him and be strong for him. Most of the questions on this site involve sex, as HIV is a "sexually" transmitted disease.

My question is this: What are the chances of transmitting HIV infection from living with an HIV positive person? He has/had a pretty high viral load, though it is likely on the decline. How risky is it when we:

1) Closed-mouth kiss on the lips 2) He lays his face on my bare chest 3) I hold him - clothed 4) I kiss his body (not genitals, mostly his trunk) 5) We use the same bathroom and sleep in the same bed 6) He cooks for me 7) I do the dishes (I kinda hope I can tell him this is HIGHLY risky behavior :-) 8) We hug

I am trying to be strong for him and I love him, but in the back of my head all of these non-sexual questions come in to play. I'm worried that somehow I will contract the virus from living with him.

Also, do you know of any books/resources that talk openly about being in a magnetic relationship aside from sexual risk factors? I want to continue to show strength for him but sometimes I get anxious about these low-risk exposures.

Thank you for answering my question. As I did last time, I plan to leave a donation and encourage others to do the same. I'd love to volunteer for this site as well, is there any way to help?

Thanks again,

Magnetic and Worried In LA

Response from Dr. Frascino


HIV is not transmitted by casual contact. (See below.) Addressing your specific questions:

1. No risk. 2. No risk. 3. No risk (clothed or buck naked). 4. No risk. 5. No risk. 6. No risk. 7. No risk. 8. No risk.

As for resources for magnetic couples, check out the archives of this forum. We have a chapter devoted to the subject. As for non-sexual HIV risk, I also suggest you check out the archives, because we have chapters devoted to HIV non-sexual transmission and HIV non-sexual prevention. You could also consider going with your partner when he visits his HIV specialist to discuss any further concerns or worries you both might have pertaining to HIV transmission. The more you understand about HIV transmission, the less anxious you'll be.

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

Finally, sorry I couldn't help with the dishwashing issue!

Be well.

Dr. Bob

Grandfather and HIV (CASUAL CONTACT, 2009) Mar 25, 2009

My mom said to email you, I'm 15 and just found out my grandpa has HIV. I'm so scared because my grandpa hugs/holds me for LONG periods of time(like 5 minutes), he also ALWAYS kisses my face, cheeks and when he's hugging/holding me, he kisses the top of my head. My mom says to stop worrying, and I want to get tested now! She said I'm ridiculous and that I'm worried for nothing. This is why she showed me this website. My grandpa used to share drinks with me and hot chocolate from those to go cups from donut places. This was before I knew he had HIV. I'm not sure if any blood was on his lips when he kissed my face and top of head or if I had cuts on my face or head, or when he shared hot chocolate.

If I do get tested can i test 5 months after the last time he held/hugged me or kissed my face and top of head? Will this be definate enough at 5 months?

My mom says she will donate money to you on behalf of me. I don't want to be afraid of my own grandpa!! Please help me.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your mom is right about this issue! Your fears are completely unwarranted. HIV testing is neither needed nor recommended. HIV cannot be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging, holding, kissing, sharing drinks or food with, or living in the same home with someone who has HIV. (See below.) So many kids would love to have a grandpa who loves them like your does. Not only should you not be afraid of your grandpa; you should stop being so self-centered and selfish and love him back! Yes, at 15 it's time for you to grow up. HIV is real and your grandpa has it. He needs (and deserves) your love, not your irrational fear. Check out the information below and then go give Gramps a big hug and kiss from me, OK?

Dr. Bob

New Friends have HIV (HIV TRANSMISSION, CASUAL CONTACT) Jul 30, 2008

My wife met a nice couple and we have been hanging out with them. They told her when they first met that they are HIV positive. I know it is just my ignorance of this disease but I admit I'm a little nervous and I shouldn't be. I know most transfers come from sex and blood contact. I just want to make sure we are safe and learn all I can about this. Are there other things we should be on the lookout for when we are at their house or with them?

Response from Dr. Frascino


You're correct. You're a little nervous, but you shouldn't be!!! HIV is not transmitted by casual contact. See below. Also, check out the archives of this forum. We have an entire chapter devoted to nonsexual HIV prevention.

Enjoy your new friends. Don't let HIV spoil the party.

Dr. Bob

THANK opended my mind (HIV TRANSMISSION, CASUAL CONTACT) Oct 23, 2007

I wrote to you about 3 to four days ago about my fear of contracting hiv by casual contact with my father. Well, I just want to thank you for making me see how wrong and uneducated I was by my behavior and HIV. I know now that with proper percautions I can stay negative but still give the love and support that my dad needs. Yes, if I ever were to contrat the virus I would not like to be descriminated against in any way and specially by my own family. Thank you, for making me understand that HIV is more that a virus...HIV is a virus that inhabits people as me and you. And, this people are heroes for not letting themselves get defested by this disease

Response from Dr. Frascino


I very much appreciate your writing back! I'm delighted you now have a better understanding of what HIV is, what it means to those of us who are infected and how HIV is and is not transmitted. Please "pay it forward" by helping us increase HIV/AIDS awareness in others who may also benefit from such enlightenments. Give your dad a hug from me. OK?

Dr. Bob


My father is a very promiscous man that likes to go to many strip joints and sleep around. He tested positive about 6 months ago and since then I' have lived in total panic. I'm afraid to have casual contact with him. Like every time I give him a kiss on the cheek I freak out if he has a a cut or something. Like today I gave him a kiss on the cheek not notesing that he has a rasor cut on his cheek with dry blood. Or what I think it was dry and I have had chapt lips for a while. So my question is how risky is that? thank you for your time

Response from Dr. Frascino


Let's start with a very basic fact: HIV/AIDS is not transmitted by casual contact. Period! This basic information has been readily available for over a quarter of a century! Your comment, "I'm afraid to have casual contact with him," is alarming and disappointing. It demonstrates once again a significant lack of general and very basic HIV/AIDS knowledge! (I could also point out you have a significant lack of general spelling knowledge as well: promiscuous, not "promiscous;" noticing, not "notesing;" razor, not "rasor;" chapped, not "chapt;" etc., but that's another issue entirely!) I'd suggest you spend less time worrying and being freaked out and more time perusing the wealth of information on HIV/AIDS available on this site, its archives and its related links. I'll reprint some basic information from the archives below.

Your father needs and deserves your love and support, rather than your "total panic," as he copes with the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS. Being excessively judgmental and ill informed is certainly not helpful.

Dr. Bob

AIDSinfo What You Need to Know About HIV and AIDS

How HIV is Spread

The most common ways HIV is spread are: By having unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex with one who is infected with HIV

By sharing needles or syringes ("works") with someone who is infected with HIV

From mothers to their babies before the baby is born, during birth, or through breast-feeding. Taking the drug AZT during pregnancy can reduce the changes of infecting the baby by two-thirds, but will not prevent all babies from becoming infected with HIV.

Earlier in the AIDS epidemic some people became infected through blood transfusions, blood products (such as clotting factors given to people with hemophilia), or organ or tissue transplants. This has been very rare in the United States since 1985, when the test for HIV was licensed. Since then, all donated blood and donors of organs or tissue are tested for HIV. Health care workers, such as nurses, risk getting infected if they are stuck with a needle containing infected blood or splashed with infected blood in the eyes, nose, mouth, or on open cuts or sores. In a few cases, a person sharing a house with a person with HIV infection or taking care of a person with AIDS has become infected themselves. These infections may have been caused by sharing a razor, getting blood from the infected person into open cuts or sores, or some other way of having contact with blood from the infected person. If you are taking care of a person with HIV infection, carefully follow the steps on protecting yourself from infection discussed later.

How HIV is NOT Spread

You don't get HIV from the air, food, water, insects, animals, dishes, knives, forks, spoons, toilet seats, or anything else that doesn't involve blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. You don't get HIV from feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine, or vomit, unless these have blood mixed in them. You can help people with HIV eat, dress, even bathe, without becoming infected yourself, as long as you follow the steps described later in the section on "Protecting Yourself" later in this brochure. You do get other germs from many of the things listed above, so do use common sense.

Can a child contact HIV from a carrier who's "dads friend"? (CASUAL CONTACT, HIV BASICS) Dec 12, 2007

My daughters (5) and her father, is in a relationship with a girl who is a HIV Carrier on medication. Can the virus be given to my child? I want to make sure to protect her from getting it.

Response from Dr. Frascino


First of all, there is no such thing as an "HIV carrier." Someone is either HIV positive (infected) or HIV negative (not infected).

Next, HIV is not transmitted by casual conduct and you should have no fears about your daughter visiting Dad, even if he is involved in a magnetic coupling (one poz plus one neggie). See below. I'll reprint some basic information about HIV from the archives.

Dr. Bob

Facts for Life What You and the People You Care About Need to Know About HIV/AIDS

Series of Symptoms followed by Inconclusive Test, Please Help
you must be totally tired dr bob - part 2

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint