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Is he HIV Positive?
Oct 28, 2012

Hello,

I've been dating a man on and off for a couple of years. Over this time we did not see each other frequently, but lately it has become more so. I feel as though I've started developing feelings for him, and feel he has for me as well. I want to continue to see where it may lead. Though, in the past, I have noticed that in our sexual encounters he is quite shy about getting naked. He seems to only want to preform oral on me (fellatio) and was not very responsive when I want to preform oral on him. He claims to be versatile, so something doesn't add up. We have had vague conversations about HIV statuses regarding other sex partners we have met. I have revealed to him that I am negative. He has not yet said whether or not he is, I feel he may be hesitant to reveal it. Do you think he is avoiding telling me?

However, during our last sexual encounter, he finally got naked and allowed me to preform oral sex on him. I was very careful, as I always am with a man I'm unsure of his status. It was very sensual and even though neither of us climaxed, it was an incredible and heated evening of passion! I can't stop thinking about it..which tells me that I am, in fact, developing deeper feelings for him.

At this juncture, I'm not so much afraid that he might be positive, even though it would be comforting if he were not. I am now more terrified to ask him. To be honest, I would continue to date him even if he was, and in advance am curious about the "rules" of being in a magnetic relationship. I just don't want to upset him, or scare him if he is not yet ready to talk about it (assuming he is positive). I'm not sure how to go about it. He doesn't seem to have any physical symptoms. However, I have learned that there are not always symptoms, especially positive individuals with a lower viral load. How should I go about asking him? I feel as though I should have done this years ago when we were first active. I usually do, but for some reason, with this man, I did not. Additionally I feel I am starting to fall for him, regardless of his status. I just want to do the responsible thing so that we can move forward.

Thank you in advance.

Response from Dr. Wohl

I favor a direct approach. You have known each other for a while and have shared intimacy. You deserve to know each other's HIV and other STI status. You can raise this again during a quite private moment and ask point blank when he was last tested for HIV and what the result was. I would couch this as something that is important to you know now that your relationship is moving to a more serious stage - and that you care deeply for him.

Recognize this is a test of sorts for your relationship as a strong bond can only be forged with honesty.

If he is unsure of his HIV status, you could suggest both of you get tested for HIV, HCV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Make it a date. Get tested and then go somewhere fun to laugh about love in the modern era.

DW



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