Negative Woman Going on PrEP With Pos Man?
Nov 11, 2017
hello, I recently met a great guy been talking for a few months and now we are at the point of getting intimate....he says he has been undectavle for ovwr 6 years but doesnt like/perform well with condoms....i recently got put on prep and was wondering, if we did have condomless sex while me taking prep would I be protected? I have heard that u dectable means he can't give it to me and he's told me that I don't need the meds but for my peice of mind w antes to be on them...thank you for your time I am trying to learn as much as possible because I can see a long term future with this man...
Response from Mr. Jacobs
Hello, thank you so much for writing in. I'm glad you have met a great guy, and are at the point where you feel like you want to proceed to greater sexual intimacy. Let's look at your questions one by one in order to offer you the best choices.
If he has been undetectable for six months or more, he is not capable of transmitting HIV to others (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/dcl/dcl/092717.html ; https://www.preventionaccess.org/faq). Only recently has that message been discussed with people outside the medical professions, and it is still an unknown fact for most adults. The U.S. CDC just recently posted this information on their website, much due to the encouragement and pressure from women and men all over the world who want you and everyone to be able to make your sexual decisions from a place of empowerment and knowledge.
At the same time, PrEP would protect you as the negative partner if you were exposed to detectable levels of HIV. PrEP is considered more than 99% effective when used as a prescribed (http://www.natap.org/2016/ICAAC/ICAAC_02.htm). However, it is very important that women using PrEP for vaginal sex take it daily, as PrEP builds up in vaginal tissues differently than in rectal tissues (http://www.thebodypro.com/content/79848/hiv-vaginal-sex-and-prep-initiation-what-should-yo.html).
Given that the science behind his undetectable status is so clear, do we agree with his statement you don't "need" to be on PrEP? Technically, that is correct if he is your only sexual partner.
HOWEVER - you wisely point out something which I think is really important here. PrEP can also be taken for your own peace of mind. It might be helpful for relaxing and enjoying sex - especially while you are getting to know him, trust him, and feel comfortable sharing your body with him. Many men and women have used PrEP because it helps them to feel in control of remaining HIV negative even when they are not at immediate risk. You may choose you to use it for this reason for now, and may feel like you don't need the extra protection in the future. Ultimately it is your body, your choice.
There is no definitive "right" or "wrong" answer here. But hopefully the facts about undetectable and PrEP can help you to make a decision that is right for you. Some HIV negative people with HIV partners choose to stay on PrEP for that peace of mind. Others decide they really don't need it. Either way, I hope you can make decisions that help you to feel proactive, responsible, and empowered about your sexual pleasure and protection.
For more information about PrEP, please feel free to join the international PrEP Facts group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrEPFacts/.
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