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Author Topic: Poz/Neg Relationships  (Read 17966 times)

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Offline pjames

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Poz/Neg Relationships
« on: March 23, 2008, 08:51:42 AM »
I am needing advice.  I have been dating someone for the past 3 months who I see myself being in a long term relationship with.   I am neg and he is poz, undetectable and is med compliant.  He told me the first time we met he was poz and in previous situations I would of not pursued the relationship, but with him we share this incredible bond  and are still together.  The past 3 months has been an accelerated amount of growth for me in understanding HIV, something I really didnít have an understanding of due to being in a 20 year  monogamous relationship which ended 2 years ago.

What I am seeking is information and suggestions on how other poz/neg relationships have handled this  dynamic; how other couples have handled being versatile and been safe;  the thought process of a poz toward a neg partner as well as the thought process of a neg towards a poz partner.   
Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Offline germangirl

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 11:55:12 AM »
Hello,
I am living in a pos./neg. relationship. My husband is positive. We use condoms to have protected sex, we are careful with injuries and bloody wounds. If you follow this nothing can happen to you, the risk is low.
If you have a condom break you can get a PEP (HIV medicine, which you have to take for 4 weeks to make sure not to get infected). Important is to start the PEP in the first 72 hours after the condom break, at best immediately.

I suppose you wonīt have childs anymore (cause you said you had a 20year long relationship before), cause that is a little difficulty too.

In my opinion HIV is not a reason for not loving someone who suits to me. When I got to know my hubbie was positive I decided to stay with him, cause he is still the same person like before or like he was if he hadn`t it.
Hope I could help you.

Eres el aire que respiro,
Eres el compania de mi soledad,
Eres el luz que me ilumina,
Eres el camino en la oseuidad.
Dedicated to my husband

My husband is positive, I am negative.

Offline pjames

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 04:59:25 PM »
Germangirl,
Thanks for you feedback.  Up to 3 months ago I had the mind set of the 80"s about HIV which is something I was not proud of.  Since then my knowledge of HIV has increased 100 fold.   It has been an incredible journey.  Wow!!!!!!!

Offline germangirl

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 06:19:56 PM »
Yes, there has been a great advance since then and medical research is still progressing.

Look forward and don`t panic, be supportive for your partner.

I always thougt how I would like to be treated if it was me. How I would feel if people have pushed me away cause of this.
Eres el aire que respiro,
Eres el compania de mi soledad,
Eres el luz que me ilumina,
Eres el camino en la oseuidad.
Dedicated to my husband

My husband is positive, I am negative.

Offline Ldn+

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 07:28:31 PM »
I'm also interested in others' advice about this topic - I was glad to see this thread because I was going to post something very similar. 

In terms of my situation... I too am in a new relationship where my boyfriend is negative and I'm positive.  We (like pjames and his partner) share this incredible bond and are ready to face being a "magnetic couple" together.  For my boyfriend, it means learning more about HIV... me too, to an extent - at least in terms of safer sex.  He means so much to me, so it's important that we're as safe as we can be.  We've discussed - and will continue to discuss - what is important to us, what we feel comfortable with, and what we will and will not do.  Communication is VITAL.

Additionally, my partner will be coming with me to my clinic for my routine check-up.  He wants to come along to support me, but we also want him to meet my doctor so we can ask questions together. We're also going to look into what other resources my clinic offers.  I know my old clinic used to have a poz/neg support group that met.  We'd both like to meet with other poz/neg couples - so if there are any of you out there in London, please drop me a private message.

Best of luck to you pjames, do keep us updated - as I will.  And to echo pjames' original questions - I too would love to hear more stories of how other poz/neg couples approach things.
28.02.07 -- Diagnosis
28.03.07 -- CD4 620 / VL 27,600
21.06.07 -- CD4 570 / VL 12,900
04.10.07 -- CD4 367 / 26.8% / VL 11,604
11.10.07 -- CD4 510 / 29.9% / VL 7,734
31.01.08 -- CD4 453 / 24.9% / VL 27,700 (Symptomatic)
21.02.08 -- CD4 395 / 27.4% / VL 27,000
02.04.08 -- Start Efavirenz + Truvada
15.05.08 -- CD4 509 / 32% / VL 78
12.06.08 -- CD4 557 / 28.6% / VL >50
11.09.08 -- CD4 744 / 35.3% / VL >50
27.11.08 -- CD4 798 / 35.5% / VL >50
19.02.09 -- CD4 726 / 36% / VL >50
21.05.09 -- CD4 654 / 43.6% / VL >50
02.07.09 -- CD4 558 / 39.8% / VL >50
02.07.09 -- Side effects on 1st combination. Switch to Atazanavir + Ritonavir + Truvada
13.08.09 -- CD4 686 / 40% / VL >50
10.12.09 -- CD4 901 / 37% / VL >50
04.03.10 -- CD4 704 / 35.4 / VL >50
20.05.10 -- Next results

Offline BT65

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2008, 08:01:54 PM »
It sounds like you guys have a great start.  Just staying close and being supportive.  Also finding some support for yourselves, you neggie people that is.  There is no reason not to be in a LTR with a positive person.  Love happens to everyone, positive or negative.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline leatherman

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 10:44:37 PM »
For many years with my best friend, I held off committing to a poz/neg relationship. I had already lost one partner to AIDS, and was afraid of putting my new partner (neg) in the position of losing me (poz). However, my friends and family pointed out that he would still be in love with me regardless of if I was his partner or just his friend, and would be heartbroken either way if he lost me, so why I should deny ourselves some happiness waiting on my "hypothetical" death. I couldn't agrue with that logic - especially after the meds have kept me going for another 10 yrs past what the doctors had predicted.  ;D

We recently celebrated 4 official years together, though it really should been more like 7.  :-*

However, from my own recent experience, I offer a word of caution. Make sure the negative partner is truly negative; and discuss a plan for testing periodically "just to be sure". For all those years I've have been with this partner now, we had believed him to be negative - though we never got him re-tested through the years. I had felt confident that we had practiced good safe sex. However, because we didn't initally get results nor get him checked through the years, it came as quite a shock, when after years of me being the poz partner and the "sick" partner, my partner recently ended up in the hospital not only testing positive (with a vl of 300,000) but also diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma.  :o

When I realize how long he has probably been infected (maybe even before we became a couple), and wasn't being treated, I could just kick myself for not having him tested throughout the years. When he got sick, and we had to wait those first four days to get any test results back to explain why he was ill, I realized that we had been fools to have not been keeping track of his health while only worrying about mine. Let's just say I have a lot of empathy now for those posters in the "Am I Infected?" thread.

I'm not saying any of this to discourage you from having a poz/neg relationship. Heck, there are people everywhere with all sorts of health problems and no disease is bad enough to keep someone from loving someone else. My sero-discordant relationship had worked fine for nearly a decade. I just caution you about making sure, and tracking your statuses, so you don't end up going down the road I'm having to travel right now. ;)

mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline sprockett9

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2008, 10:07:58 AM »
Pjames,

I was recently in a poz/neg relationship for over a year.  First I must say that I applaud your maturity and ability to understand -- seeking information and advice shows your commitment to this relationship.

There are alot of opinions about a person's ability to infect someone if they are on meds and no viral load.  You hear of the controversial studies (think one in Uganda?) and the recent Swiss statement that if you are undectable, you can't pass it on...

I say this not to encourage unsafe practices -- but to allay any fears that often happen with neg people in this situation.  It can always be in the back of your mind (I lived through this as I said) and it can be one of the things that tear at your relationship the most.  Keep working on understanding and keep it in perspective...

Dean

Offline structuredjen

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 10:26:16 AM »
Welcome pjames!

(and germangirl too! - I've somehow missed your intro post) (and Ldn+ too!)

I agree with Betty...you've already got a great start. And finding a support group or therapist is an excellent idea.  I am the neggie in a sero-discordant relationship too.  Finding these forums last August was a life saver for me.  It was so great to find REAL information and people who understood, people in similar situations.

I've been with my boyfriend for 2 years... and we're coming up on 1 year since his diagnosis.   It's certainly been quite a year, but the more time goes by, the more we educate ourselves and communicate with each other - the more things seem comfortable. 

Educating myself in HIV (with accurate info, it's so easy to find bs) was the single most important thing I did to come to terms with the diagnosis.  After that, it was being supportive of him, but also realizing I need to be supportive of me too.  When we first found out, I remember feeling so stressed, upset, scared - our lives turned upside down - but I felt like I wasn't allowed to feel those things because it wasn't me who was diagnosed, it was him.  I remember trying to squelch all my issues whether it be a bad day at work, or fear that we weren't going to be able to have children,  because I felt like they paled in comparison to what he was going through.  What I eventually realized is that life goes on - both of our lives.  I realized that although I needed to be strong and supportive for him, I was allowed to feel my own pain and stress too. I was still allowed to lean on him for support as well.  That in turn made me stronger for him. And I think it returned some of the strength he felt he lost in the turmoil of the diagnosis by being able to be there for me too.

Is there any specific questions you might have?  I'm by no means an expert, but I'm more than happy to share any of my experience with you - ask away! :)

Looking forward to hearing more from you!

Jen


Offline bearby

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  • April 2007
Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 01:25:09 PM »
OK y'all this is coming from an old timer on this subject :D.
 I say it that way because I am the poz one in our sero-diverse relationship.
 I was diagnosed as poz on 12/24/1992 ( just found the exact date because I went back to the hospital to get my discharge records and read them as if they were scripture ).
  Now I have to be honest and tell y'all that my man has never faltered in his care for and about me in these past years ( we will be a couple 22  years come April 27Th 2008 ) and altho he still remains negative to my poz status we still watch out for each others health status because just over a year ago we found out from his Va Dr that he was an onset Diabetic which as well all know has it's own list of things to deal with .
 I take my meds  daily as he does and we have even arranged to take our meds at the same time ( He also has high cholesterol among other ailments ).
 That way when one checks the others med boxes it makes us aware that a dose has been missed which is a big ol red flag that adherence isn't being met for what ever reason and that's when the other one has a chat with which ever medical professional that he can reach ( now neither of us likes to wait at the hospital but this is some thing that be both see as a token of love because we care about  each other that much which I am sure the rest of you do the same ) .
  Now that we have each given the other one control of our medical lives and thereby our remains ( thanks to the medical power of attorney we each singed at year 17 ) we felt that having our combined families has empowered us to be able to handle just about any situation that can come our way because even tho  we each have varied sexual interests we are living proof that safe sex is the RIGHT THING to do in an type of relationship and just  because we happen to be a gay couple that no one should have to endure the sides effects with out the help of  a partner to care  for and about him or her no matter what the side effects may be .
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 01:31:56 PM by bearby »
Have you preformed your random act of kindness today ?

Offline BT65

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 07:04:18 PM »
The only way anyone is having control over my medical state is if I'm incapacitated.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline LakeEriePoz

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  • Was tested poz late Nov 2006
Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2008, 08:06:25 PM »
I too have been in a poz/neg relationship for the past year and a half and my bf has been supportive from the onset. I am glad to hear about the medical power of attorney and it is definitely something we will look into, especially since he is 30 younger. We use condoms only for anal sex have never broken one. Thanks for reminding me that he should get himself tested at least annually

Offline leatherman

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2008, 09:41:10 PM »
The only way anyone is having control over my medical state is if I'm incapacitated.

that's what the medical power of attny is good for.  ;)

For example, there were several times during this recent crisis with my partner Jim that, quite frankly, he was too doped up, too sleep deprived, or just too damned depressed to advocate properly for his own care and treatment. With that trusty piece of paper in my hand, the doctors were obligated to explain everything to me, as they had to Jim in his condition, and to get my informed consent also.

As with wills and living wills (and whether you're straight, gay, with or without kids, HIV poz or not), you always hope to not use the medical power of attny; but when life throws you that curveball, it's good to have those legal papers are all ready in place. Keep in mind, it's hard to get a signature to okay treatment from someone when they're unconscious ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline BT65

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2008, 10:30:16 PM »
Oh, I have a legal power-of-attorney.  But the only way she will do anything is if I'm truly incapacitated.  Otherwise, I make the calls.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline pjames

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2008, 11:16:27 PM »
Hey everyone thank you for all the positive feedback.  It is very much appreciative.  We do practice safe sex and in my mind and heart I know it is all going to be ok.  It always is.  The bond we share is incredible and mutually felt.  By him telling me he was Poz immediately I feel it allowed us to develop a strong bond of friendship initially which now has developed into a love/intimate  relationship.  (Just the opposite of the way it is usually done). 

Like I shared in the past my growth and understanding of  HIV in the past 3 months has been substantial.  If anything I get upset at myself for not learning about HIV till recently, especially being a gay man.  I realized how much phobia/fear I had about HIV and the only way I have been able to break down that fear is by asking questions and  education.  What a life lesson of how everything is a choice (Choosing between fear or love).  Wow!!!  We all deserve to be loved. 

What I am needing advice on is how do you allow yourself to totally relax  around the subject of HIV (Both Poz and Neg).  I can honestly say that 95% of the time I am fine with it all and don't give it any thought or energy, but it is the other 5% where my mind at times  just runs with it all.  So my question is how do you stop that 5%?  Hope this makes sense.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 01:18:26 AM by pjames »

Offline BT65

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2008, 07:52:19 AM »
Well pjames, I suggest you get a good therapist who you can work through all this with.  If you're wanting one specific to HIV issues, then ask the local ASO (Aids Service Organization) or your partner's ID.  Either should have a list.  It's alright to have that 5%.  Just acknowledge it.  Don't try to push it down.  If you do, it will only come out in negative ways. And the more you acknowledge it, the less power it will have.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline structuredjen

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2008, 09:37:53 AM »
I think that 5% will always be there.. and if it wasn't 5% worrying about HIV, it's 5% worrying about something else!

I think that 5% is healthy.  It keeps you concious, but in the grand scheme of things, it's only 5% - that means you get a 95% on the opposite side - and last I checked, that's a solid "A".  :)

And when ya get worried... check in here.  You can ask questions, rant, rave, cry, whatever you need.
 


Offline sprockett9

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2008, 09:46:28 AM »
Betty and Jen are right -- it is normal and will always be there.  The only thing I will add is always share that 5% with your partner!!! I often believe it isn't the feelings themselves that kill the relationship but it's the not sharing.  It is normal to feel (and like Betty said will become less and less) but the guilt and shame that can also come with feeling that way can be lessened by sharing with your boyfriend. 

Good luck -- wish you all the best.
Dean

Offline germangirl

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2008, 06:43:22 PM »
I have to admit that I also always have this 5% in my mind.

I think it's normal as we are human beeings.

But I got more confidence when I got my last negatives results which showed me that the risk is very low if you have safe sex. There are many couples (pos. / neg) in which the negative partner has stayed negative for years now. And I have always in my mind that there is the possibility to take a PEP after a condom break (but I never have had a condom break in my whole sex life and I have used condoms mostly all the time).

My husband's ID doctor told us that there is nearly now risk for transmission if he is on meds (he still is not) and his VL is undetectable.

Is your partner on meds yet?

He told us that this is safer than a PEP.

Eres el aire que respiro,
Eres el compania de mi soledad,
Eres el luz que me ilumina,
Eres el camino en la oseuidad.
Dedicated to my husband

My husband is positive, I am negative.

Offline Lucifer

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2008, 06:10:21 PM »
I have been in a serodiscordant relationship now for 5 months, with him being positive and me negative.

He was honest from the start about his status and gave me the chance to walk away, which I just couldn't do!!

Unfortunately in the new year we had an incident with a split condom which resulted with me having to take PEP, which made me a rather icky bunny for the duration of January.  However, I persevered with it and have just had my 3 month results back which were negative which is pretty much conclusive!  Due to the PEP I still have to have a 6 month test which is pretty much routine.

At the end of the day I know that no matter how careful we are then there is still a risk but...  there's also a risk that a plane could fall out of the sky and land on your head, or you could be run over by a bus.  We do as much as we can to be careful but it doesn't mean that we don't enjoy ourselves at the same time! ;)  In fact I enjoy myself a damned site more than I used to with my previous negative partners!!

Offline thunter34

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2008, 06:18:58 PM »
I'm suddenly saddled up next to a negative boy myself.  Certainly didn't see this one coming, as I have always had it planned to serosort and confine myself strictly to other poz boys.  And to be completely honest about it, we haven't yet done the whole dirty.  We've only been seeing each other for the last few weeks (mostly on the weekends), so it's way early to say how it will all play out or if it will last awhile.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline pasadenasrick

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2008, 11:09:32 AM »
Hi there, I was reading your delema, and to tell you the truth, I'am in the same situation, I have been positive for 23 years and my boyfriend of 8 years in negitive, but we do is take care of ourselves when we have sex, so you can have a happy healthy relationship together, as long as your careful.
I do wish you guys the best of luck in your relationship, God has blessed me with mu soulmate, and you know how hard those are to find, Right ?
Im Rick Guzman in Texas
you can contact me at : Guzmanric@aol.com
Again best wishes,
Rick

Offline pasadenasrick

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2010, 07:38:49 PM »
Please pray for those positive people, and never fofget that thet are human too

Offline pasadenasrick

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2010, 09:04:34 AM »
Just wanted to say, for the people that are Positive, it is a heavy burdon for the families and friends that are not only infected but affected, the best medicine is a great support system, that will get you through a lot .

Offline pasadenasrick

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2010, 09:09:09 AM »
Hi there, I was reading your delema, and to tell you the truth, I'am in the same situation, I have been positive for 23 years and my boyfriend of 8 years in negitive, but we do is take care of ourselves when we have sex, so you can have a happy healthy relationship together, as long as your careful.
I do wish you guys the best of luck in your relationship, God has blessed me with my soulmate, and you know how hard those are to find, Right ?

Offline azgirl

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 03:11:40 PM »
I'm a negative woman who was in a relationship with a positive man for 2 1/2 years. We have a lot of love for each other and it is hard to break up...but...

During our time together we were in denial and did not practice safe sex. I brought it up many many times and nothing changed. I could insist he use condoms and he'd "forget" or not have any...or remind me that he is testing undetectable...

I finally realized that his lack of respect and desire to protect me was a deal breaker and I left him. I also realized that I was not protecting myself as I should and I put his needs before my own health and well being. I was in denial also. So I decided to leave him and in a few weeks I will get tested (13 weeks after I left him). I have been tested in the past and was negative. I'm thankful for that, but I'm not going to go back to him and give him another chance, when he's had 2 1/2 yrs to do the right thing and he never chose to do the right thing and protect me.


Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 03:27:25 PM »
azgirl, you are totally doing the right thing.  I'm sorry that someone put you through that.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline azgirl

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Re: Poz/Neg Relationships
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 04:19:11 PM »
azgirl, you are totally doing the right thing.  I'm sorry that someone put you through that.

Thank you for that validation Miss Philicia. I needed that! Because I love & care about him so much, but I know it is wrong to allow someone to say they love me, yet put their own needs ahead of mine. He says he loves me...I know he does...but is it really love when someone puts your health and life at risk?

Is love...real love...worth my health and life and being unselfish at the expense of my life and health.

I do not think so!

This is what I've been coping with...I love him...but not at the expense of my health and life! Real love puts the other first...but never at the expense of yourself!

 


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