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Give me a chance to choose
Jul 10, 2010

Hi Doc,

This is the second time i am writing you, as i didn't get any reply the first time (which is understandable -u busy). I am really fed up with people. The last 2 months, i am dating someone, a very nice guy, thought he was a real catch... After talking about our future as a couple (whatever) and having something more stable, he decided to tell me he is HIV by a text. Yeah right by a text. Of course i was shocked, but more because of the way he told me about that. He is very calm, keeps telling me no worries you are fine, as he has undetectable viral load (so what? that's only about the amount of the virus in the blood - right?). We never had unsafe sex, i know it's a low risk case.. I have been tested, it was negative, but there is always the open window period. So i would like to know your opinion.. I didn't give oral sex (don't ask why - i had a strange feeling something was not right, i gave anal always with condom). I think i am writing you, because i need to start trusting people again, not sure how i am gonna do that.. Anyways last but not least, i wanna tell guys, no matter what, give your partner, lover or whatever the chance to choose what he wants, sometimes a bad attitude can be more scary even than HIV.

Peter

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Peter,

I agree disclosure by text is beyond impersonal; it's downright tacky. However, at least he did disclose, so that's in his favor.

Regarding undetectable viral loads, you are correct: It refers to HIV plasma/blood viral load. We do know that driving down the viral load in the blood to undetectable levels significantly decreases, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of HIV transmission.

As for trusting people, my advice is to consider all sexual partners as potentially HIV infected and act accordingly. It's important to note that 20% of the over-one-million HIV-positive Americans have absolutely no idea they are infected with the virus.

I'll repost my original response below.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

wanna have a chance to choose Jul 8, 2010 Dr, i'm writing, because i'm a bit confused and i need an answer. The last 3 months, i'm dating a guy, who is very nice and i started getting attached to him... Anyway when we started talking about our future(whatever), he told me, he is HIV+ with an undetectable viral load and i shouldn't be worried! we never had unsafe sex, but his actions and the way he told me(by a text) make me feel stupid and quite insecure. i have been tested in the past-neg and i think i should be again after what happened - what u think?. Btw guys give a chance to your partner or lover to choose what he wants.. Thank you dr, sorry for my long post.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex condoms were used properly and did not fail (break).

Disclosure of HIV status is never easy. What is absolutely essential is that we assume that all our sexual partners could be HIV infected and take all the necessary precautions to prevent spread of the virus. (By the way, you did! BRAVO!) That way, should you find out a partner is positively charged after the first kiss or after three months of fusion-sex-shagging, you shouldn't worry. I certainly encourage disclosure, but it takes two to do an unsafe horizontal mattress mambo and each of us must take personal responsibility.

I'd suggest you and your partner take a read through the chapter in the archives devoted to magnetic couples, if you are planning to make a go of your relationship.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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are you not answering because you think I have HIV and don't want to tell me? it's ok I'll live
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