I am HIV neg and my partner is HIV pos

Question

My partner and I have been together for 11 years. He is HIV positive (~15 years) and I am HIV negative. I should also mention that the virus has been undetectible for the 11 yeras that we have been together. I have two questions:

1.) In addition to the "normal" safe sex techniques (i.e. condom use and others), should I press my doctor to prescribe me a drug such as Truvata for PrEP?

2.)In the 11 years that we have been together, there have been a number of instances when I have been exposed. 11 years later, I am still HIV neg. Should someone in my situation join a vaccination study?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Answer

Hi,

  1. A number of HIV specialist physicians have been offering PrEP as an additional harm-reduction measure for magnetic couples for a number years, based on very preliminary data that showed it might be helpful. With the publication of the iPrEx study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, we now have solid scientific evidence that Truvada is highly effective in preventing HIV transmission in men who have sex with men. Formal recommendations and guidelines for PrEP are still pending and there are a number of other PrEP clinical trials still underway. Certainly in light of the new evidence, a discussion with your HIV specialist regarding the risks (some unknown) and potential benefits is warranted. This story is rapidly unfolding. Stay tuned to The Body and we'll keep you updated as it evolves.

  2. Not necessarily. Your situation really doesn't have any bearing on whether you decide to participate in a vaccine clinical trial. Again, a discussion with your HIV specialist could prove helpful in deciding if you should consider a clinical trial.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob