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Would like to be able to answer boyfriends questions.
Nov 29, 2009

I am a 45 year old positive female, who was diagnosed about 6yrs ago. My Cd4s are around 450 and my viral load is undetectable. I am on Epzicom and Sustiva. I am dating a 49yr old negative man. My question is, how do I reassure him that he will not get hiv through protected sex or kissing. He has different ones telling him that he can get it if he kisses with a cold sore on his mouth. Others have told him he can still get it with a condom. I just don't want him to be so paranoid of me or of every little thing. He says he isn't worried about it, but I can tell sometimes he wonders because of what others have told him. I know he really cares about me, and I really care about him. We have already had sex a few times with a condom. Recently though, I feel like he is pulling away a little, and I know its because of all the people that are talking stuff to him that they don't really know about. I just need to be able to send him answers to all these questions, like fingering, condoms, kissing. So many doctors, and sites contradict each other, and its frustrating. Even people in the medical field seem to be educated wrongly in alot of this. How do I get him to believe, what I know to be true, when he has an EMT telling him that they have to wear gloves, and take so many precautions just to be around someone with hiv. I thought the stereotyping and prejudice was on this subject was long gone, but I am finding that there are still people who have wrong information, and who don't understand it, and treat hiv positive people like they are lepers. I would never treat anyone like that. Please help me be able to answer his questions once and for all with proof, that most of these people just don't know what they are talking about. I understand you have to have safe sex, and I would never knowingly put a person at risk. I am very careful, but when I was diagnosed, I had already had it for 5yrs and didn't know it. During that time I never used protection and know for a fact that I didn't infect anyone, although I know that it could have been possible. I just want him to know the facts, and the percentages of what is possible, and not all the crap he is hearing from so many other people that don't have a clue. Please help me be able to answer his questions. I don't feel right about just trying to convince him myself. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You thought "the stereotyping and prejudice" related to HIV was long gone? No, not by a long shot. HIV stigma, misinformation and myth are unfortunately alive, well and thriving! There are many reasons for this, including our ineffective HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention programs, as well as the lack of an HIV/AIDS national strategy during the Bush Reign of Error.

1. I would suggest several things:

2. You and your Mr. Wonderful-But-Worried should read through the information in the archives of this forum. We have chapters devoted to magnetic couples, HIV sexual transmission, HIV sexual prevention, safer sex techniques, etc. You should pay particular attention to the harm-reduction strategies for magnetic couples.

3. Invite your boyfriend to come with you to your next doctor's appointment with your HIV specialist physician. Encourage him to make a list of all his concerns and review them with the physician.

3. As for getting information off the internet, stick to reputable HIV information sites, such as TheBody.com.

4. You can reason with him regarding concerns such as the EMT. EMT stands for emergency medical technician. These guys are not doctors. They are called into "emergency" situations to stabilize folks and transport them to hospital emergency departments. They should wear gloves, because in emergency situations they don't know the scope of the problem they may be forced to confront. The gloves are a routine precaution.

Dr. Bob



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