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Author Topic: Women and HIV questions  (Read 5291 times)

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Offline HealthyMomma

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Women and HIV questions
« on: August 17, 2007, 12:55:57 PM »
Hi! I am HIV poz and have done tons of research. There is a couple things I dont fully understand and was hoping some women in here would have some answers. First of all, if I give oral sex to a guy he cant get HIV from me right? If he gives oral sex to me, he can get it though correct? I heard that oral sex isn't that much of a risk factor, but wondering if it is a pretty big risk for him to go down on me?
Also, since I have become poz I have noticed I get alot of yeast infections and was wondering if anyone else here has had that problem, and do you think it could be from being poz or maybe the meds I am on?
Thanks ladies.... =)

Offline catwoman

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 01:58:44 PM »
It could be the meds.  Are you taking any antibiotics?

Offline zachysmom

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 10:36:27 PM »
Hi,
I'm not quite sure about the oral sex thing, but I don't think it's that risky either way, there is something as a female condom, that might be useful when he goes down on you.
Yeast infections, are a bitch. I would get them all the time too. Yes antibotics can give you a yeast infection, and HIV in itself can make you more prone to having them and therefore having more of them.
The best thing I have found to keep those itchy, cottage cheese days away, is yogurt. One yogurt a day, is enough bacteria to keep yeast at bay.

good luck,
Nicole
From Russia with love,
Nicole

Offline BT65

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2007, 04:35:18 PM »
There is no risk of you giving head, but if he were to go down on you, make sure you use a dental dam or saran wrap.  You should be able to get dental dams from your ASO. 
  The yeast infection thing is a bitch.  I agree, yogurt helps immensely.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline IzPoz

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2007, 05:48:35 PM »
I will tell you what my doctor told me,

First, there is no risk in you giving head.
Next, there is a minute risk of infection if he goes down on you. That said, ANY risk is too great of a risk, in my honest opinion.
As for the yeast infections, they suck. Are you taking any antibiotics? Or have you been taking them? Ask your doctor to give you a script for Diflucan (or it's generic form) for about 10 pills. Explain that you tend to get yeast infections, and you'd like to have them on hand... just in case. They are a godsend!! Usually one will do the trick. If you take one, and within a day or two you show signs of not clearing up, take one more.

Also, if you have a regular boyfriend/significan other, you may want to suggest he take a diflucan in case he has the infection too and doesn't realize it. Men are lucky in that respect. They don't suffer like we do with these things!
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline Ann

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2007, 08:49:40 AM »
Hi HM, welcome to the forums.

I'm sorry I didn't see this thread earlier - because you have had some responses that are wrong.

It is true that giving your boyfriend a blowjob is absolutely NO risk to him.

But neither is it a risk if he returns the favour. Going down on an hiv positive woman is NOT a risk.

There have been long-term studies of couples where one is positive and one is negative. In the couples who used condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, but no barrier for oral activities, not one of the negative partners became infected with hiv. Not one.

I practice what I preach too. My hiv negative partner and I have been together for eight years now - and there's been plenty of oral along the way, without barriers. He's still negative.

Make sure you use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse and you'll (he'll) be fine. Have a look through the three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them with confidence.

As for the yeastie-beasties, while yogurt can be an excellent preventative, it's not such a great cure, especially when hiv is involved. Talk to your doctor about taking a course of oral anti-fungals. When you do this, start taking preventative measures at the same time and continue on with them.

In addition to yogurt, there are quite a few things you can do to keep the yeastie-beasties at bay. Don't wear jeans/trousers that are skin tight in the genital area and wear cotton undies as opposed to a man-made fabric. Make sure you really are dry after a shower, before you get dressed, especially in warm, humid weather. A hairdryer can help in this regard. (seriously!)

Changes to your diet (in addition to the yogurt) can also help. Try eliminating or cutting back on sugars and starchy foods like breads. Some claim it is also good to avoid mushrooms and any food substance with yeast in it, such as beer.

And by the way, make sure the yogurt you use isn't loaded with sugar and make sure it is what's called bio-active. Not all yogurts are.

Sometimes latex condoms - especially if they have spermicides in the lube - can irritate the vagina and make you more prone to yeast. If you think this may be contributing to yours, try Avanti condoms, or the female condoms (they are discussed in a link found in the left-hand sidebar on the second two condom and lube links below) both of which are polyurethane, instead of latex. Polyurethane condoms also prevent hiv infection.

Good luck!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline HealthyMomma

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2007, 03:46:49 PM »
Wow thanks everyone! I was really kinda concerned but Ann, you rock! Thanks for the info! Thanks very much ladies for helping me sort through some of this stuff!

Offline IzPoz

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2007, 07:15:53 PM »
But neither is it a risk if he returns the favour. Going down on an hiv positive woman is NOT a risk.

This is not what my doctors have told me, and I tend to steer on the safe side and would rather not have a negative man go down on me. But, that's my choice.
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline Ann

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2007, 07:28:19 PM »
This is not what my doctors have told me, and I tend to steer on the safe side and would rather not have a negative man go down on me. But, that's my choice.

A lot of doctors err on the side of caution and a lot of doctors aren't aware of the serodiscordant studies.

And by the way, it's not such a good idea to take diflucan in fits and starts. You should always take it as prescribed, which is usually a course taken over five to seven days to ensure the infection is eradicated, as opposed to temporarily subdued. One pill may be ok for hiv negative women, but it's better to treat yeast a little more agressively in the presence of hiv.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline IzPoz

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2007, 08:04:35 PM »
Well, those who have doctors that are pretty well informed know what I'm talking about. And those who have gone the route of diflucan (at their doctor's advice of course) also know what I'm talking about.

HM, I certainly hope that things go well and you find the answers you seek. Perhaps a good conversation with your doc is in order, just so you can get your medical advice straight from the horse's mouth.
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2007, 09:17:14 PM »
I'm glad you did ask the question about oral Lil Momma because I knew it couldn't be passed to a man giving him a bj but always wondered about the other way around. Cause the Queen always likes to put a man to work on his knees.... ;) ;D
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
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01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
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Offline HealthyMomma

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2007, 10:37:31 PM »
You and me both Queen! LMAO!!!!! Thanks ladies!

Offline Ann

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 05:21:11 AM »
Well, those who have doctors that are pretty well informed know what I'm talking about. And those who have gone the route of diflucan (at their doctor's advice of course) also know what I'm talking about.

HM, I certainly hope that things go well and you find the answers you seek. Perhaps a good conversation with your doc is in order, just so you can get your medical advice straight from the horse's mouth.

Well, my doc, who happens to be one of the leading experts in the UK, agrees that it's not a risk for a man to go down on a woman. He's up to date on the serodiscordant studies, maybe your doctor isn't.

He also would never tell an hiv positive woman who is having chronic yeast infections to take one diflucan here and there. As I said earlier, this is something that needs more aggressive treatment in the presence of hiv. Why subdue when you can eradicate?

Usually, by the time a woman gets the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, the little beasts are already well out of control. Those diflucan tablets might be strong, but the beasties are strong little buggers too.

And while we're on the subject, ladies, if you're someone who is prone to yeast infections, you'll probably know what happens when you have to take antibiotics. It's a good idea to remind your doctor that a side order of diflucan is in order. I do this and I time the diflucan to finish a couple days after the course of antibiotics. Otherwise, ~shudder~ it's yeastie-beastie time!  :-\


HM, don't forget to talk yeastie-beasties with your doctor at your next appointment. ;)

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BT65

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2007, 08:11:46 AM »
Thanks for clearing the oral sex thing up Ann.  Now I know how to get even more pleasure (hopefully I'll have some again someday ;)).
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Ann

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Re: Women and HIV questions
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2007, 11:04:18 AM »
You're welcome, Betty.

When I was newly diagnosed, my partner and I'd been together for a year and a half. We started using condoms immediately and luckily, he wasn't already infected.

We skirted the issue of oral - him to me - for quite a while. I was given some dental dams by a nurse at my clinic, but they were really thick. We decided they were better suited for use as groundsheets for the mice over at Kamp Klutchmenow. ;D Did I mention they were green?  :P

When I finally got internet access a few weeks later, I found a reference to saran wrap and we tried that - eh. Unsatisfactory. He hated it and I found it, shall we say, boring. He was pretty upset about it not being any use - let's just say it's an important activity for him. ;)

As an aside, I've since heard that microwave-safe plastic food wrap has tiny holes to allow steam to escape, so that sort wouldn't be a barrier to hiv anyway. If you cannot bring yourself to trust the science of hiv transmission, you're probably best off cutting male condoms in half length-wise for use as a dental dam.

But anyway, as I did my homework into hiv transmission, I realised that it doesn't stand a chance of happening via female genitals to mouth - there are just too many obstacles on the oral route.

The first obstacle is the mouth itself. The mouth is a veritable fortress, standing against all sorts of pathogens we come into contact with every minute of our lives. It's a very hostile environment and saliva has been shown to contain over a dozen different proteins and enzymes that damage hiv. Hiv is a fragile little bugger - literally. Its outer surface doesn't take kindly to changes in its preferred environment and - importantly - it needs this outer surface to be intact before it can latch onto a few, very specific cell types and infect. 

Which leads to the second obstacle. Hiv can only latch onto certain types of cells, cells which are not found in abundance in the mouth.

This is the point where you'll often see reference to oral health. Put it this way, if the person you were with had such bad oral health that it would put him at risk, chances are very good you wouldn't allow them to go down on you anyway. Let's face it, a mouth in very poor health is not attractive. Don't make me spell it out!  :-X

The third obstacle to transmission this way is having hiv present in the first place. The female secretion where hiv has been shown to be present is the cervicovaginal fluid. This fluid is actually a thick mucus that covers and protects the cervix. If you know a person who can reach the cervix with their tongue, I'll pay you for contact details. ;)  (Trust me, they don't exist.  >:( )

The fluid a woman produces when sexually excited comes from the Bartholin's glands, located on either side of the vaginal opening. I have yet to discover one shred of evidence (and believe me, I've looked) that shows this lubricating fluid to have any more hiv present than other bodily secretions such as saliva, sweat or tears. Saliva, sweat and tears are NOT infectious fluids.

So there you have it. Once the results of the serodiscordant studies started rolling in, what we know about hiv transmission on the cellular level was validated. The only people who were getting infected were those who had unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. Period. One of the three studies went on for ten years and involved hundreds of couples. That's a lot of nookie.

For some reason, the subject never came up with my doc until a year or maybe more after my diagnosis. When I told him about the oral dams, he  :o ::) went like that. ;D The only cautionary word he had was about oral sex during a period. It was my turn to  :o ::) I've got nothing against it, but it's not my cup of tea. I would tend to agree though, oral would probably be better avoided, or with a barrier, than au natural during a period - but that's for all sorts of reasons, not just hiv.

My partner and I discussed what I learned and I showed him various things online. He's confident he's not at risk - very comfortable with it. He's had enough negative results over the years and I'm sure that helped a lot too on the comfort factor, especially in the early days of adjusting to safer sex.

I recommend having a long-term partner test regularly, at least during the adjustment period. I don't mean every month, but twice a year. I know the first three or so negative results my partner had helped our confidence immensely. Well meaning but over-cautious doctors who advocate over the top barrier use can really knock that confidence at times, especially in the early days of diagnosis.

Any close relationship deserves to have relaxed intimate moments. It's part of the glue that keeps people together. People in good relationships tend to be healthier than singles, so this is actually very important for our health in many ways. With this in mind, what's most important is that both you and your partner feel confident and comfortable in your sexual practices. If you need to have a split-open condom between your bits and his lips in order to relax, then go for it - but it isn't necessary.

:)

Ann

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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