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HIV positive couple married but not having any sex

Aug 17, 1999

My husbnd is 48 and has been HIV+ for almost 12 years - hiscell count varies from 4 to 207, which I understand is "fullblown Aids". He is however strong and fairly healthy except for the fact that he suffers from hear fatigue. I am 58 and was diagnosed as HIV+ in February 1999. I feel young, well and hve always enjoyed a very sexually active life with my previous husband. I have now been married to Bill for approximately 1 month and he cannot/ will not consummate our marriage either with or without a condom. His excuse is that he "respects" me too much and does not want to give me "his bug". I have to work very hard to get some sort of erection from himand he never ejaculates. My question is this : Knowing that there is a risk of low testosterone due to long term use of inhibitors and also having not had any sexual intercourse whatsoever for the past 12 years, by choice, have anything to do with his behaviour. I am most unhappy and do need to have answers. He does not believe in mutual masturbation or masturbation at all for that matter. I await your anwer.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question.

There may be several reasons for your problems with your husband:

1) There may be medical issue going on here, as described in the posting, Decrease in sex drive and libido in people with HIV.

2) If this is directly related to a fear of HIV reinfection or a fear of other STDs, you may want to go to an HIV support group, or a private counselor, to talk out this issue. You can either go with your husband, or if he refuses to go, you may want to go alone. This would also be a great opportunity to learn more about safer sex, in case this is the source of the problem.

3) There may be a relationship problem going on here that is not related to HIV/AIDS issues. Just because both of you have HIV, does not mean that you can't have problems unrelated to HIV/AIDS. You may want to talk to a marriage counselor if this is the case. You may also want to go to Dr. Ruth's website for more information on sexual problems such as this.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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