Could I have contracted HIV from my partner?
Aug 14, 2017
Hello. I have been dating my now fiancé for over 4 years now. We had a discussion regarding sexual health when we met and I had been tested 3 months before. He told me he was also negative and I believed him. About 2 years ago I found a pill in a jacket pocket and googled it which came back as a pill to treat the HIV virus. I confronted him about this and he told me it was a friend that use to stay at the house. Anyway I found out 3 weeks ago by our doctor slipping up during my visit and ther for asked him outright and my partner admitted it but said he's never put me at risk due to the drugs he's taking and has had hiv for the last 20 years. He treated the situation so blasay and made me feel like I was I. The wrong for finding out. I use to get tested every 6 months when I was single and often wondered why he was against getting tested together. Obviously I now know. I am so stressed out that I have it too and can't bring myself to get tested. We have had unprotected anal and oral sex both ways for 4 years so I'm guessing I have it too. How could someone do this. I have lost all trust in everything to do with him as I feel I have just been lied to since we met.
Response from Mr. Jacobs
First - I am so very sorry your trust was violated like this. Learning that a partner directly lied to you can be confusing and traumatic. It is especially painful when that person had tried to say you were "wrong" for previously bringing up such questions. It will take time to heal through this, and I hope you have access to a qualified therapist in your area, as well as supportive friends, who can help you learn how to survive and trust others again someday.
You don't mention if you are still engaged to him. If so, I hope you strongly consider the consequences of marrying someone who is so readily capable of lying and hurting you. Marriage is not only an emotional step, but a significant legal and financial agreement as well. I would not advise anyone to enter into a legal and financially binding arrangement with someone who is so willing to lie, mislead, and deceive.
To answer your question directly: The only way you are going to be able to learn your HIV status is to get tested. There is simply no way that I, or anyone, could tell you your health status without testing you. However, if your partner has been living with HIV for 20 years, and is in medical treatment, then it is quite possible that he is currently "undetectable," meaning unable to transmit HIV to others (http://preventionaccess.org/). The medications available for people living with HIV are extremely effective now. If someone has an undetectable viral load for six months or longer, they are medically unable to give HIV to others (http://www.thebody.com/content/77932/sex-58000-times-with-undetectable-partners--zero-h.html). So it is quite possible that despite the emotional violations you described that you are still HIV negative.
You ask how someone can do this? There are no clear answers. But I can tell you that it is not unusual to for someone to hide their HIV status from others as long as there are social and legal consequences for being open. In some areas a person living with HIV can be arrested for having sex with negative partners, even if they use a condom and/or are undetectable and unable to transmit HIV. Often times people with HIV are rejected, taunted, and threatened for disclosing their status to others. Until these social and legal atrocities end, people living with HIV may be inclined to withhold the truth.
What I'm saying here is not in anyway an excuse for his actions, but a possible explanation for this behavior. If we lived in a world where everyone was accepted, celebrated, and loved for being honest, then we would have a lot less deception. But as long as stigma and HIV criminalization are parts of everyday life, we will all be at risk for more pain, hurt, and trauma.
Moving forward, I hope you get the medical answers and emotional support you need. It is a reminder that each and every one of us are responsible for getting tested regularly for HIV, other STIs, and following doctor recommendations for maintaining one's health regardless of what a primary partner dictates. Assuming you are HIV negative, you may wish to discuss the option of using PrEP with your doctor, as that puts your HIV status completely in your own control (https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrEPFacts/). Ultimately, I hope this experience enables you to trust your own intuition again and eventually experience intimacy and joy with others again.
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