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HIV Life >> Relationships and Dating

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New User

Reged: 02/12/13
Posts: 1
Dating a Positive Guy.
      #270597 - 02/12/13 09:25 PM

Hey there.
I have been seeing a guy for a couple weeks now. He just let me know that he is HIV+. The last thing I wanted to do was react negatively because I was so thankful that he was comfortable telling me. He informed me that he is taking his meds, and that he is currently "undetectable." He asked if I had any questions, but at the moment I didn't. Now that it's been a few days I think I have just come to the realization about how little I know about HIV/AIDS. I understand that condoms are the first thing people think of for prevention, but what other precautions should we take? What does it mean to be undetectable? What do the meds do? How does HIV turn to AIDS? I would ask him these questions, but we only get to see each other like once or twice a week and I'd prefer to not text about it. Also, I'd like to be able to show him I've done research on how we could make this work as a serodiscordant couple, and I'd like to talk to him about what I've found here. Any advice and answers to my questions would be great. Thanks!

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Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1886
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Dating a Positive Guy. new
      #270607 - 02/13/13 10:44 AM

You have come to the right place for nswers. You'll find them throughout this website and you can always pm people that seem to be quite informative.

Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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New User

Reged: 02/13/13
Posts: 4
Loc: San Antonio
Re: Dating a Positive Guy. new
      #270674 - 02/18/13 02:09 PM

It can work i am hiv + and my husband is negative and we have kept him that way for almost 3 years now. i take my meds every day which keeps me undetectable. but we always use a condom that is a must. when we are undetectable there is a smaller risk of passing the virus but a condom used always be used. if u have any questions feel free to ask me

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Reged: 12/20/12
Posts: 33
Loc: NYC
Re: Dating a Positive Guy. new
      #270679 - 02/18/13 09:08 PM

It's very kind of him to tell you about his HIV positive before you having unprotected sex."undetectable" does not mean 100% safe to have sex,Always use a condom to lower the risk.

Wish you the best

Wish you the best

Meet Singles and friends share your HIV

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New User

Reged: 12/05/12
Posts: 13
Loc: kenya
Re: Dating a Positive Guy. new
      #270684 - 02/19/13 07:20 AM

its good that you are being supportive to your boyfriend. the best way to go about thi i to see a counsellor both of you.

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Reged: 02/26/13
Posts: 25
Loc: NYC
Re: Dating a Positive Guy. new
      #270857 - 02/27/13 11:50 PM

Hey, buddy. "Undetectable" just means:

1) He's being responsible and keeping his viral load down - this is a good thing in every way!
2) Using whatever test is used where he is, his viral load is so low that it can't be detected easily (if at all) by that test. This does *not* mean 0. This does *not* mean "cured". It does, however, mean he's less likely to pass the virus on to someone else. So, yes: use condoms, etc., but his undetectable VL means you're that much safer than you would be otherwise.

I just realized you may need a bit more of a primer. What is a viral load, you ask? In a simple sense, it's how much HIV is in the blood plasma. This number could be 0 (if you're HIV-) with no upper limit, though in reality, you can only physically squeeze so much HIV in one space. FOr reference, my initial VL on diagnosis was 132,683. This is considered high-ish, but I've seen much higher. I don't know what mine is now. I'm waiting for some lab results. I hope it's undetectable. We shall see.

You want it low, which not only lowers your chance of passing the virus on, but also keeps you from experiencing the effects of symptomatic HIV infection. The virus itself (and the inflammation it brings, etc.) is what causes a lot of the problems with chronic HIV infection - not just the later immune damage.

Meds: I don't know what he's on, but if he's comfortable sharing, ask him. Some people don't want to talk about it, but I can go on for hours and would *love * to be asked. Basically, though, most of us are on what's called HAART. This sounds scary, but it's a throwback to scarier times. HAART stands for highly active anti-retroviral therapy. HIV is a retrovirus (which always makes me picture it in bell bottoms), and we say "highly active" because we hit it in multiple places at once aggressively. You may have heard the term "drug cocktail". We say this not because we're getting HIV drunk to slow it down: HAART therapy consists of multiple drugs, even if it's one pill. Each of these drugs interferes with HIV's life cycle at different points. I'd love to go on about why and how (no, really, it's fascinating), but I'll stop there for now since you have immediate needs.

Finally: HIV --> AIDS. This is more controversial than you might think since an AIDS diagnosis has clinical and legal (in some places) ramifications. Technically, you need a CD4 ("T-cell") count lower than 200 or you need to have had what's called an AIDS-defining opportunistic infection. My last CD4 count, for reference was 920, and this is high for someone with HIV. I'm lucky to have caught it early. A normal healthy range, I believe is anywhere from 500 to 1200 (ish), depending on the person.

This is all fascinating too, but would take a much longer post. Let me just say that HIV is the infection we all have. Most of us are just HIV+ and perfectly healthy otherwise. Some of us are living with symptomatic HIV illness (meaning, we're HIV+ and actually physically sick), and some of us (fewer and fewer as treatments get better and people are living longer and longer with HIV) have AIDS. Even with a CD4 count below 200 it's possible to live decently these days, whereas that number used to be a sort of point of no return. It's just not true anymore, so some people question the automatic AIDS diagnosis based on numbers. And some of the AIDS-defining opportunistic infections are really rare. If you keep your viral load down and your CD4 high, you just don't get the nastier ones as much. Anything *can* happen. I'm talking about likelihood and probability here. I mean, part of the sky fell down in Chelyabinsk, Russia a couple of weeks ago, and who expected that?!

I hope this helped. If you have other questions or want clarification on any of these, do not hesitate to ask! I think it's great that you're interested and involved. Whatever happens with this guy, being educated about HIV is a good thing.


PS: Here's an article from this site on "undetectable". I hate to just throw a link at you, but it's a short read and references sero-discordant couples specifically:

PPS: I've also heard the term "magnetic" couple for sero-discordant, but it sounds like "husbear" to me: a little too cutesy for my personal taste.

I'm sorry. I can't hear you over this popcorn.

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New User

Reged: 04/01/13
Posts: 8
Re: Dating a Positive Guy. new
      #271780 - 04/23/13 07:29 AM

Abstinence is the best way that you could possibly do in order to prevent yourself in acquiring hiv or any type of std.. AIDS prevention is not the only reason for condom use. STD prevention as well as AIDS prevention are important reasons for condom use. Refraining from having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner is the best way to achieve AIDS prevention and other STD prevention. Latex condoms are highly effective when used consistently and correctly.


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