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magnetic couples and being truthful

Jun 24, 2013

Dear Shannon, Thank you, thank you for being so honest about your partner and you choosing not to use condoms. My partner who is negative and I who have undectable virus have gone back and forth about using a condom. We are both in our 50s and he has difficulty staying erect when a condom is put on. Yet, we continue to try using condoms almost all of the time, due to my anxieties and fear. I am on truvada and am religous about meds. Have there been any studies or research finding out how many "magnetic"/serodiscordant couples are not using condoms? It would great to see truthful results and having open discussions. Thanks Phil

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi Thank you for your comments. The decision that my husband and I made is definitely one we made together and with my doctor. There are ongoing studies following magnetic heterosexual and same-sex couples who are taking HIV treatment, have an undetectable viral load, and do not always use condoms. These studies will provide a better understanding of the risk of HIV transmission when the viral load is undetectable. Although we know having an undetectable blood viral load can greatly reduce the risk of HIV transmission, it is unclear exactly what this risk is reduced to. But there is an estimate of reduction by up to 96%.

If condoms are a barrier you can try a few different things, one is try to put a little bit of your water based lubricant inside the condom. Also trying different condoms as there are many different types, colors, flavors, additions!!! There are also cock rings, that you can put on after the condom is on and this will help blood flow stay in the penis and may help with maintaining an erection. My husband is 50 as well and we try all these things as well when there are times we chose to wear a condom.

Be well and stay safe!!! Shannon

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