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mixed status couple
Feb 23, 2014

Hie, my fiance just got diagnosed with HIV whilst i was found negative now as well as 5 months ago. I am willing to stay on and try out the mixes status couple relationship but am scared. And the anonymous views i get from people to run as hell aint helping. My question is am i doing the right thing? or am i putting my life in jeopardy?

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi I'm glad that my husband didn't run like hell! I'm positive and my husband is negative we have been together for 7 years. I've been positive for over 20 years. As long as your fiance is in treatment and on medication and taking good care of themselves you two will have a fantastic life together.

In the research conducted so far, there have been no recorded HIV transmissions among heterosexual couples where the HIV-positive partner is on treatment and their blood viral load is undetectable. However, this does not mean the risk through condomless sex is zero. All of the couples studied to date have also reported using condoms often. This makes it difficult to determine the risk of HIV transmission when no condom is used.

Although there have been no studies among gay men and other MSM, there has been one report of HIV transmission occurring between two men when the HIV-positive partner had an undetectable viral load.

Also, the risk of HIV transmission when the viral load is undetectable may not be the same for all types of sex. This risk may be higher for anal sex than for vaginal sex, particularly if the HIV-negative partner is the receptive partner (bottom) during anal sex. This is because receptive anal sex generally carries a higher baseline HIV risk than other types of sex.

There are ongoing studies following serodiscordant 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.

Continue getting educated and continuing loving your fiance!

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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