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Sep 2, 2012

I met who I think is the man of my dreams. He is absolutely wonderful. We met on an STD dating website because I have HSV. He listed he had HSV as well but as we got to know each other informed me he has HIV. He is on medications to keep his levels down and they are currently undetectable. I guess the emotional obstacles I am having now are getting attached and something happening to him. I really don't want to lose him. I am also a little fearful of our sex life. I want to give myself to him but I still don't feel 100 percent comfortable...even with protection. I am hoping to gain some advice as to how we can keep our risk low. He also recommended seeing his doctor together so we can discuss our issues but I was hoping for a little insight before then. I appreciate any feedback :)

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

It's understandable that you are concerned about his long-term health, and your own well-being. Armed with the right information, compassion, and the willingness to communicate, I am sure you can make this work.

Someone who is on HAART, has a suppressed viral load, and relatively high CD4 count can expect to live a normal lifespan. For many people living with HIV, they are more at risk for other diseases such as Stroke, Cancer, and Diabetes.

Using a condom for each and every act of penetrative sex is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the transmission of HIV and many STD's. That, coupled with his undetectable viral load would make the likelihood of transmission fairly low. I do not think you need to use a condom for oral sex, but that is my opinion. You are of course welcome to use a condom for both anal and oral sex if you wish. Another way to reduce the likelihood of transmission is to refrain from having him ejaculate inside of you, whether during oral or anal sex. If the condom were to break, the likelihood of transmission would be reduced.

If you do go to see his doctor, I would suggest discussing the use of PEP, should a condom break. PEP is a 30 day course of HIV treatment that when taken within 72 hours, it can reduce the likelihood of infection.

Our forum on Mixed-HIV-Status Couples is a great resource for you. You'll find questions (and answers) from people just like yourself.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I think the key word here is communication. Continue to talking with him about your fears, and work through some solutions together. Perhaps the two of you could peruse the Mixed-HIV-Status Couples forum together. This could be a great way to start some additional conversations between the two of you. Good luck!

In health,


HIV and Syphilis from a lap dance
Dear Dr Richard

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