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Soap, water, vinegar, and love

Jul 14, 1999

A few months ago my boyfriend and I began to have unprotected sex. I am HIV+ and he is not. I read somewhere that soap and water and things like vinegar kill the germs that make up HIV. He washes after each time we have sex but I am still worried that he might be infected. What do you think? HOPELESS IN LLOVVE

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. Soap, water, vinegar, and love will not provide adequate protection against HIV (nor other STDs). Only condoms will provide adequate protection against infection. Based on what you told me, your boyfriend is at high risk of infection if he had unprotected intercourse with you. You can no longer assume that he is HIV negative. There is a significant chance that he may already be infected. It is therefore recommended that he gets tested. The longer you continue to have unprotected sex with him, the greater the chance that he will become infected (if he is not infected already). I also strongly suggest that you begin using condoms with him immediately, just in case he is not infected yet.

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

Taking a shower before and after sex
Self-prescribing HIV medications to prevent infection

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