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HIV (-) partner won't use condoms with HIV (+) partner

Aug 2, 1999

If you are HIV+ and your partner is not and he ejaculates inside you will he automatically get HIV. I really don't want to expose him to HIV, but he will not wear a condom. what should I tell him?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. There is a common myth that only the receiving (bottom) partner can get infected during intercourse, and that it is safe to have unprotected intercourse as the inserting (top) partner. Unfortunately this is not true. In reality, when having intercourse with a person who has HIV or another sexually transmitted disease (STD), the inserting partner is at high risk, and the receiving partner is at even higher risk. Note that neither partner is at low risk of infection. Therefore, if you are HIV positive, and you have unprotected intercourse with your partner (with you as the receiving partner), you are still putting him at a significant risk of infection.

In addition, if your partner has another STD, and you have unprotected intercourse with him, he is putting you at a significant risk of infection. In fact, STDs in persons with HIV can be much more serious than what is normally seen. Here are some suggestions as to what you can do under these circumstances:

1) Insist that he uses a condom every time you have sex with him without exception. When talking with him, keep in mind that there are many reasons why he may not want to use condoms with you. Discuss your concerns with him. Tell him you want to use condoms to protect his health as well as yours. 2) If he still refuses to use a condom, make sure he understands that he is at high risk of infection for HIV, even as the inserting (top) partner.

3) If he still refuses to use condoms during sex, you always have the option not have sex with him, or to engage in lower risk activities with him (for example kissing, mutual masturbation, receiving oral sex, etc.).

4) Strongly suggest to him that he gets tested for STDs, since if he has an STD, he is putting you at a significant risk of infection, and is putting your health in further jeopardy.

5) Strongly suggest to him that he gets tested for HIV, since he is considered at high risk of infection. The more times you have unprotected sex with him, the greater his chances of infection. He may already be infected. If he is not already infected, and you continue to have unprotected sex with him, sooner or later, his luck may run out, and he may end up HIV positive as well.

6) If he truly cares and respects you, he will abide by these requests.

If you are in a Gay relationship and you are barebacking with him, keep in mind that some Gay men will choose not to use condoms with a positive partner, even when they know the risks they are taking. For more information and insight on this issue, read the posting Barebacking in the Gay Community.

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

Technical and theoretical sexual risks
Transmission from woman to man

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