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Personal question
Jan 10, 2010

Dear Dr. Frascino, I am in a 18 year relationship and got infected with hiv a year ago. My partner is hiv -. I have the worst of luck, I cheated on him once in 18 years and had safe sex and got hiv. The condom came off. I am still with my partner trying to sort this mess out. He is a MD like yourself. My question to you is.. Did you become hiv + before or after you met your partner, if after, how long was it before your partner became comfortable having sex with you again? I haven't had sex with my partner at all after becoming hiv+. I do not want him to do anything he doesn't feel comfortable doing, but it has been a year! any suggestions? I have tried to get him involved with my providers so they could answer any questions for him on the sex issue but he never brings it up to them.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The virus found me in January 1991 while I was at work! I was performing a routine procedure on a patient with advanced-stage AIDS and sustained a hollow-bore needle stick and laceration. Despite taking PEP immediately, I seroconverted to HIV positive. Steve (Dr. Steve, the expert in The Body's Tratamientos forum) and I found each other two years later. As we are both HIV/AIDS physician specialists, our knowledge base about safer sex and HIV prevention methods is no doubt broader and more detailed than that of most magnetic couples. The key to any successful coupling is communication. Both members of the couple need to jointly agree to the boundaries for their sexual rituals that are "safe" (or "safe enough") for both of their comfort zones. This is called negotiated safety and is a helpful tool for magnetic couples. It helps assure that both members of the couple take equal responsibility in preventing viral transmission. Harm-reduction techniques for magnetic couples can also be considered (such as having a course of PEP available in case there is an accidental exposure or perhaps considering PrEP). Couples counseling with an HIV-knowledgeable therapist may be helpful if you and your partner are having difficulty reestablishing intimacy since your diagnosis. I would suggest you and your partner read through the chapter in the archives of this forum devoted to magnetic couples. Hopefully that will help. Finally, I want to assure both you and your mate that happily-ever-after does indeed exist for magnetic couples (Steve and I have been together for over 16 years) and that happily-ever-after includes mind-blowing, own-name-forgetting, toe-curling, wake-the-neighbors sex!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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