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Author Topic: Non-detectable, not transmittable?  (Read 11329 times)

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Offline notpos59

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Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« on: July 17, 2008, 02:47:27 PM »
I am HIV Negative (recently and regularly tested). I socially met a guy, a doctor, who I  informed of my status before we had sex. He said he was pleased. While having sex (oral and anal) he asked to remove his condom as he couldn't maintain an erection and wanted me to remove mine as he did not want to become irritated internally. As he IS a doctor, and under the circumstances, I did something I never do. I said OK, ASSUMING he was negative. A week later he told me he was POSITIVE but told me that there was no risk as he has been undetectable for 2 years and on regular meds, gets tested every 3 months, and has not been with anyone in 8 months. He showed me his test results and medical paperwork since he was diagnosed 2 years ago with a low viral load, along with a recent article from POZ written by some woman about the Swiss findings. He said his doctor said it was safe as well. I read the article but saw it was about heteros (we are gay). He wants to continue to a monogamous LTR and wants to bareback with the exception of topping me which he will not do for my safety, nor will he ejaculate during oral sex. I joined this site to learn more but do not find much on this. How safe is this really? and how do you who are HIV deal with this with HIV negative partners?.... and please..all...be honest up front to your sex partner as this is something that I could have dealt with before we had sex and continued with him but now it has created some trust issues. .

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2008, 03:04:25 PM »
Please post in the correct forum.

Offline Ann

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2008, 03:19:03 PM »
np,

I was of two minds where to move your post to - and I decided to give you the benefit of doubt and put you in "Someone I Care About" instead of "Am I Infected". I'm giving yout he benefit of doubt because I'll take you at face value that you care about this person and your relationship.

It is true that as someone topping an undetectable bottom, the risk is lower than if YOU were bottom. However, that does not mean it is completely without risk.

This also means that you will need to test.

If you do agree to go into a monogamous bareback relationship with him, you should both be sure you do not have any other STIs and you should be sure you're both monogamous. I'd also recommend you get tested every three months so if you do end up positive despite your parner's undetectable viral load, you'll know sooner rather than later.

Barebacking with an hiv positive person is never completely risk free. Swiss study or no Swiss study. You have to decide where your own comfort zone begins and ends. Educate yourself and make an informed decision.

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 notpos59

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2008, 03:35:54 PM »
Thank you Rapid Rod for your helpful advice on the issues of the Swiss test as it relates to gays, being upfront on your HIV status, or other specifics. This is a mutiple issue and set in it's own forum and I'm disappointed this was the only type of feedback you felt important enough to supply. 

Offline newt

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2008, 06:40:35 PM »
welcome

What Ann said

Viral load is key to risk of transmission, and viral load below 1,000 or so may well equates to no risk of transmission in some circumstances, all the studies to date have been among steady straight couples, where the incidence of anal sex is unknown/expected (ahem) to be minimal. The arse is different, somewhat less resilient, than the vagina, and this is a key moot point. Strictly speaking, the Swiss statement is an opinion, however well-informed and applies to straight, non-anal sex between men and women in steady, exclusive relationships. There has never been, to my knowledge, a really good study examining viral load in anal mucus among people on ARVs, or a study on risk of transmission via anal sex between gay men where on is on treatment.

Many of my friends in positive/negative relationships do not use condoms, or use them inconsistently, judging the risk with a well suppressed viral load minimal. Usually this is something that came to pass in time, by default/decision. ANd vice versa. It was not a precondition of the relationship either way.

This is a very personal matter.

Good luck whatever you decide

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 05:12:17 AM »
notpos59, I don't answer questions that are in the wrong forums. As for someone that has an undetectable serum viral load doesn't say that they have an undetectable semen VL. I totally agree with Ann's reply. It's up to you if you want to take a risk and MAY end up taking expensive medications the rest of your life. You are the one that will have to live with it.

Offline notpos59

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2008, 06:18:06 PM »
Thanks Matt for your response. It is the most helpful I have received from anyone to date. You hit all the points. Good to see there are people like you on here. I was starting to wonder if this site was just filled with unpleasant people with the wrong priorities.

Offline RedDirtGirl

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2008, 11:35:26 PM »
How safe is this really? and how do you who are HIV deal with this with HIV negative partners?

Hi NotPos59.

I'm an HIV negative woman in a relationship with a positive man. First and foremost I have to say I would have some MAJOR trust issues with his guy if I was in your situation. That being said, all I can tell you is that my guy and I ALWAYS use condoms but we did have a situation a few months ago where the condom came off and he didn't realize it until it was too late. We went to the ER and I took 28 days of PEP. My man had another VL test a few days after the incident which came back undetectable. The HIV clinic Dr informed me that due to this I could cut out one of the 3 meds I was taking. Even though I was VERY sick from side effects I chose to continue all 3 meds all the way through. Even with my mans undetectable VL the clinic felt PEP was advised and that was for vaginal sex, not anal. Please, please, please think this through. You've just recently met this guy and already he's put you at risk, even if it is minimal.



Offline md

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 09:11:27 PM »
As he IS a doctor, and under the circumstances, I did something I never do. I said OK, ASSUMING he was negative.

I have to admit to being a little surprised that you "did something that you never do" purely on the strength of "assuming" that the other person was negative when (as you are obviously well aware) the only safe assumption is that they might be positive.

While it sounds as if your partner didn't actually lie to you about his status he did accept your statement that you were negative (which, quite honestly he shouldn't have believed) and did not make any comment about himself.

While I am all in favor of people making informed decisions about the level of risk that they are prepared to tolerate in all sorts of activities, including sex, this particular incident does not sound to me like a good basis for either a long term relationship or or a model for future casual encounters.

... and never believe what someone tells you just because they are a doctor ...


Offline notpos59

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 11:05:41 AM »
MD, MD?

I will make another assumption and "assume" you are an MD. Failing to be upfront on something so important equates to a lie, no matter how you cut it. It is a transmittable disease and all I know with HIV, tell me they make this known initially before sex, otherwise, they said, it would be criminal. It's like someone pointing a gun at the back of your head and pulling the trigger saying "well, one of the chambers is loaded". As a doctor, who has taken an oath to save lives, not intentionally risk them, you KNOW far more (again an assumption) about the danger you are placing your partner in. Guess I had some old fashion notion that you have a bit more trust with a doctor. Think they call it integrity and adherance to your oath. Certainly, if I meet someone else, I will feel obliged to tell them of my exposure. Raionalizing why you placed someone else at risk is a cop out. If you are a doctor with HIV I hope you are not so irresponsible. It would be an embarassment to your profession and an eroding of the integrity of your peers. Unfortunately, I have learned not to trust doctors going forward with anything they do or don't say.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2008, 09:42:51 PM »

To consent to having unprotected penetrative sex is to consent to the possibility of acquiring an STD, including HIV. The person who requires integrity first and foremost in these situations is you, the negative partner. After all, you stand to lose the very most.

You chose to go bareback. As MD stated, that is your choice to make. However, your actions are your own. Should people be honest? Of course/ Should they lie? Not usually. But your sexual health, at the end of the day, is yours and yours alone. MD's assessment was spot-on in this case, and I am perplexed as to the tone of your reply.

I have known some amazing, truly ethical doctors. And I have known absolute scumbags with MD after their name. Holding others to a higher standard based on their profession is an understandable trait. But when dealing with your health, the standards you need to uphold are your own.



MD, MD?

I will make another assumption and "assume" you are an MD. Failing to be upfront on something so important equates to a lie, no matter how you cut it. It is a transmittable disease and all I know with HIV, tell me they make this known initially before sex, otherwise, they said, it would be criminal. It's like someone pointing a gun at the back of your head and pulling the trigger saying "well, one of the chambers is loaded". As a doctor, who has taken an oath to save lives, not intentionally risk them, you KNOW far more (again an assumption) about the danger you are placing your partner in. Guess I had some old fashion notion that you have a bit more trust with a doctor. Think they call it integrity and adherance to your oath. Certainly, if I meet someone else, I will feel obliged to tell them of my exposure. Raionalizing why you placed someone else at risk is a cop out. If you are a doctor with HIV I hope you are not so irresponsible. It would be an embarassment to your profession and an eroding of the integrity of your peers. Unfortunately, I have learned not to trust doctors going forward with anything they do or don't say.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline notpos59

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 01:13:30 AM »
I am on a site, poz.com, of what I assume is predominantly HIV folks who obviously took some chances and unfortunately acquired the virus.  Perhaps you even knew your partner was HIV and took the chance anyway. I am learning a lot about this disease since the encounter including that, even with a condom, there can be some danger. My initial questions had to do with the risk of transmission when a person has been non-detectable for a long period (in this case 2 years..according to his paperwork) and how those of you who are HIV positive handle your negative sex partner. Being new to all this I was seeking knowledge about the disease and tr ying to determine the merits of this man and a possible future. I was not looking for a slap on the wrist for apparently what you yourself had probably done.  We all have a responsibility for our own health, but if we KNOW we have a deadly communicable disease, we have a moral obligation to inform another before a sexual encounter. Otherwise, it is CRIMINAL. You can always throw the weight on the negative person but that does not give you a free pass to keep quiet while you expose someone else to your illness. Integrity is on the part of the person potentially transmitting the illness, not the recipient. Granted, there will always be those who don't know they are HIV. What I am seeing from the last two posts is defensiveness on the issue of responsibility by the HIV person. As a HIV negative person, I did take a chance and I never denied that, and no, it was not something I had done before, but like people in an LTR or heteros who want to conceive, it comes down, at some point, to the issue of trust. I gave a doctor more integrity and credibility than he deserved. Think about it though, do we check the engine on a plane before we get in? check the kitchen in a restaurant before we eat there, or check out someone else's car/bus/taxi before we get in it? or blame a woman for being raped because she dressed provacatively or went out with the wrong guy? or a person from getting shot because he was in the wrong neighborhood? Get real. Criminal is criminal. 'nuff said. I am done with this site.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2008, 01:17:39 AM »
Sorry you did not get the information or support you wanted from this site. Hopefully you will find it elsewhere.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Ann

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2008, 01:36:51 AM »
even with a condom, there can be some danger.

Only if the condom breaks. A correctly used condom rarely breaks.

If you made the choice to go bareback-, you made the choice to possibly be infected with a sexually transmitted infection. And yes, that includes hiv.

We're never going to slow the progress of this virus until people who identify as hiv negative get their shit together. Not everyone who is hiv positive KNOWS they're hiv positive. How can one disclose what they don't know - and often refuse to test for?

It is what it is.

Ann
(someone who takes complete responsibility for her infection)
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 md

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Re: Non-detectable, not transmittable?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2008, 01:58:33 AM »
MD, MD?

I will make another assumption and "assume" you are an MD.

Bad assumption.

Those letters happen to be my initials - nothing more, nothing less.

... and, by the way, I do think that your partner's behavior was, to say the least, somewhat reprehensible and not what I would want from someone that I was contemplating a relationship with, which is why I said

Quote
this particular incident does not sound to me like a good basis for either a long term relationship or or a model for future casual encounters

that remark being aimed more at his behavior than yours

« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 02:03:36 AM by md »

 


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