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When is it safe to have sex again?
Aug 22, 2012

My husband and me have an open relationship (we play together and separate). We found out he had AIDS some 6 months ago. I'm HIV-. We've always practiced safer sex with each other and with others (his infection seems like a freak event). He's pretty healthy, on meds, and his CD4 count has risen from under 50 to about 175 (that was about 2 months ago, our next appointment is in one month). He's taking antibiotics to prevent opportunistic infections. All in all, we're confident in his health and progress. BUT the thing is, I'm terrified of having sex with other people because I fear I could catch something (not only an STI, anything, any virus or infection) that I could pass to him and that could harm him... So, at what CD4 count should we feel comfortable having sex with others? (remember, we play safe only, and his viral load has been undetectable for a couple of months or more). It might seem like a very trivial or even selfish question, but having an open relationship was an integral part of our life, and we'd like to retake that, but I'm afraid to...

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

From the situation you are describing, I would say the biggest risk would be from Syphilis and Herpes because they are both transmitted via skin-to-skin contact. Using a condom reduces the risk of transmission but does not eliminate it. I do not think that you need to wait to get back onto the playing field so to speak.

Since your husbands HIV infection is new for both of you, I would suggest the two of you check out our Just Diagnosed section and our forum on Mixed-HIV-Status Couples. Both will offer a wealth of knowledge that I am sure you both will find informative. With an open-mind, empathy, and compassion I am sure you two will find your way. Good luck!

In health,

Richard



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