Confused about carriers and transmitters of the hiv virus.

Question

My partner is Hiv positive, he says that he is a carrier. I have unprotected sex with him but I have been tested 4 times since we have had unprotected sex and the results are negative. I don't understand this. Can anyone help me out on this? Also, is there a difference in a carrier and a transmitter?

Answer

Hello,

There is no such thing as an "HIV carrier" who can not transmit the virus to others. That you did not contract the virus after your four episodes of unprotected sex with a positive partner is lucky. Fortunately not every HIV exposure leads to HIV transmission! However, that you have been fortunate in the past does not in any way guarantee or even suggest you will be equally lucky going forward. Each time you choose to have unprotected sex you place yourself at risk. If your partner is telling you he is only a carrier and cannot transmit the virus, he is either woefully (and dangerously) misinformed or he is unconscionably disingenuous. Go with him to his next visit to his HIV specialist and address this specific issue openly so that both you and your partner are absolutely clear about the risks of unprotected sex. Also, please do not put yourself at any further risk. Because of your past exposure, you need HIV testing at both three and six months from the date of last exposure (unprotected sex).

Good luck.

Dr. Bob