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Author Topic: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?  (Read 8661 times)

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Offline Happyfella

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  • Neg fella, educating myself for my Poz BF
Hiya guys,

I have recently met a guy who I am very keen on and we have been dating now for 2 months (I'm 34 and he's 28)... yep early days! After a few weeks of getting to know one another, he got really upset one night and told me that he has hiv. He was diagnosed 3 years ago and I am only bloke he has dated in that time, so he was initially quite nervous about me finding it all too much and eventually leaving him.

For some reason I wasn't that shocked and nor was I scared for that matter... I honestly don't know why. I guess I just feel as though that yes, it's a hurdle, but I would an idiot if I let this awesome guy slip away all because I was uninformed and naive. He has been so upfront about everything with me and it's always been left as an open subject. And besides, I've usually used condoms with partners anyways.

Since then, I have met his specialist at St Vincent's Hospital here in Sydney who again was so upfront and informative. I think my bf was more nervous than I was haha! And funnily enough, his specialist actually directed us both to this forum...

Initially we were with-staining from any intercourse as well as oral sex. But since we met with his specialist we have both grown bolder and are now having sex as regularly as any other new couple. Some things I am slightly confused about though... the professor said I would be more at risk if I topped my bf rather than the other way around (in case the condom broke). From what I have read on here, it sounds like I would better off topping? Can anyone shed some light on that one?

He also mentioned that we will be fine giving and receiving oral sex without a condom if neither of us have ulcers, sores or bleeding gums in the mouth. Though to be fair, my bf can precum a fair bit, so should I be using a condom at all times in that case?

And lastly... If there are any other Neg lads on here, who like me, started a relationship knowing their partner is Poz, it would be great to hear back from you. If you have any tips or happy to share experiences, id greatly appreciate it!

Thanking you in advance... Dan

Offline buginme2

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 05:48:19 AM »
Hello, good for you for going to your bf's dr with him to inform yourself about this.  I am positive and my partner is negative and he also has been to see my dr as well as his own and it helped us both out quite a bit.

One question that you didn't mention is..is your bf on meds?  If your boyfriend is on stable HIV medication and his viral load is undetectable, this greatly reduces the chance of spreading the virus.  I beleive it reduced the chance of spreading the virus by 96%.  There are a few recent studies about this that you can read about online.

Of course condom use during intercourse is also a good idea.  As far as being told that topping is more of a risk than bottoming, that goes against everything I have been told.  My understanding is the bottom is more at risk.

Oral sex, even unprotected oral sex has a very small (nonexistant) risk of transmission. 

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline Happyfella

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  • Neg fella, educating myself for my Poz BF
Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 06:14:23 AM »
Thanks for your reply bug!

Yeah I forgot to mention that part. He is on meds (can't tell you which one's as I have no idea except for the fact he is popping heaps of pills daily). His viral load is undetectable also, which like you mentioned, is a major plus!

You know it could be that I have it a bit mixed up as there was loads to take in, but my other half also thought the Dr said that if I was to top, I would be at greater risk if the condom broke. I think i'll be looking into that one a bit more to be honest.

It's just a bit strange that he was discussing that part of it for over half an hour and even explained how the glands in my partners bum carry the virus and that because im uncircumsized, it can be easier transfered onto the skin under my foreskin. Apparently it can make me suseptiable to aborbing/holding onto the virus once my foreskin went back over the head of my penis after sex (as it could hold onto the virus and provide the conditions for me to become infected).

Yep I think more study is required...


Offline buginme2

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 06:21:42 AM »
Sorry I'm in the U.S and we dont have uncircumsized wankers here (kidding) ok your dr may be on to something, uncircumsized men are at a greater risk of infection than circumsized.  Hopefully someone with more knowledge about this than I will chime in.  I just dont know.
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 09:58:01 AM »
Hi mate, As long as you guys use condoms for anal sex you should be fine. There is an added comfort in the fact that your bf has an undetectable viral load and from everything I have read, your risk of being infected in case of condom break, is very very small (provided that your partner continues to be on effective treatment with a suppressed/undetectable viral load).

As per my understanding, uncircumcised guys are at a greater risk than circumcised guys if one is having unprotected sex- which you are not. Also from everything I have read, bottoms are at a greater risk than tops (but that in no way means that tops are risk free when it comes to unprotected sex).

I may be wrong but I think what your doctor meant was that due to you being uncircumcised you might be more susceptible than a circumcised top as far as barebacking is concerned.

Edited to Add: Google "Swiss Statement HIV" and that'll throw some light on how non-infectious one is when the viral load is undetectable.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 10:13:18 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2011, 10:22:30 AM »
I'm in the U.S and we dont have uncircumsized wankers here

I'll be happy to inform the 16.3% of the population that is Latino.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Happyfella

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 07:38:38 PM »
Thanks for the reply spacebar! I'm planning a visit to my GP today also for something unrelated, so I might bring this up too... just to get some more info.

Oh Buginme2... we have plenty uncut fella's here in Sydney lol... and plenty of wankers too though lol

Offline drewm

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 07:50:23 PM »
I'll be happy to inform the 16.3% of the population that is Latino.

(kidding)
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline mecch

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 08:07:47 PM »
Its great the doctor was so willing to give transmission advice but I think its been counterproductive to you two developing a healthy sexuality.
Look, he's on HAART.  You are using condoms. This minuscule calculations of tiny advantages of top or bottom or cut or uncut are hypothetical and nothing to do with your long-term sexual happiness.
Just do what you feel like, top or bottom, safely with condoms, and worry about a condom break if it ever happens.  I think a more constructive conversation to have with your bf and the doctor is to decide what to do if the condom break ever happens.  Where to go to get  a risk evaluation, whether his HAART might be emergency PEP for you, what clinics or hospitals offer PEP, etc etc.
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline Happyfella

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  • Neg fella, educating myself for my Poz BF
Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 04:45:53 AM »
Cheers for that mecch. We have discussed all that, and I'll be getting emergency PEP to start with in the event of a condom breaking. His Dr also said he would want me to go straight to his Hospital the following day, which is pretty close by.

To be fair I'm not that worried, I think most of it is self explanatory... I was more looking for some extra advice from you guys as some of you, if not most of you have had more experience in a relationship since either you or your partner was diagnosed. This is all new to me as I have never dated a HIV positive man before. And I'm the first lad my partner has been with since he was diagnosed 3 years ago.

I'm just trying to learn about it... and possibly get some tips on how to deal with his emotions and fears that I'm sure I will eventually encounter. Not to mention mine.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 04:52:22 AM »
There is also something called PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis). It is basically preventive medicine which one takes BEFORE the risk occurs.

I found out about it fairly recently and don't know all that much about it.

You might want to read a little bit on this, although i honestly think that with condoms you'll be fine and everything else is just an extra buffer.

Popping pills to prevent HIV infection probably makes sense if one is regularly barebacking with a poz partner, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 05:18:56 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline mecch

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 08:42:20 AM »
PrEP for a relationship in which the HIV+ person is on HAART and they are having sex with condoms???!!!!    Seems like overkill.

Please to the OP, I am sure there is a lot to think about. I was in relationships with HIV+ men when I was HIV-.  (As discussed above, who tops or bottoms or is cut or uncut are extremely minor issues in your particular couple and you should put these matters aside as to their transmission risks).

While there is a lot to think about for the serodiscordancy, another way to see it is there is not very much at all to think about regarding HIV, considering the entire life you pass in a couple, HIV status is just another thing to tack on and handle appropriately.

Its good your partner is back on the horse, by the way.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 01:19:31 PM by mecch »
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 09:22:39 AM »
PrEP for a relationship in which the HIV+ person is on HAART and they are having sex with condoms???!!!!    Seems like overkill.

I agree about the overkill part.

But then it leaves me wondering as to what is the target demographic (risk group) for PrEP? People who have unprotected sex with people of unknown HIV status? Surely not, right?

I thought PrEP is being recommended for serodiscordant couples as an overkill. I might be wrong (??)
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Ann

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 09:43:36 AM »
Hi Fella, welcome to the forums.

You being uncut does not mean that you are more at risk if a condom breaks when you are topping than you would be if you were bottom and a condom broke. I've been working in the Am I Infected section of these forums for ten years and I have yet to see the insertive partner end up positive over a condom break, cut or uncut. I vaguely remember one who ended up poz when his top was poz, not on meds, and came before the condom broke.

Also, I was with an uncut, hiv negative man for eighteen months before I was diagnosed and we never used condoms pre-diagnosis. He tested negative and still tested negative when we split up after eight years. We used condoms after my diagnosis, but not before. I've never been on meds, so I always had a detectable viral load.

With his undetectable VL, I wouldn't bother using PEP if a condom breaks while you're topping.

If a condom breaks while you're bottom and he has actually cum before or while it broke, then you should consider using the PEP.

If it breaks before he cums and you notice the break right away, PEP wouldn't really be necessary, but it would be your call. For anyone else reading this, please remember this is based on his partner being undetectable.

However, a correctly used condom rarely breaks. Read through the condom and lube links in my signature line - the first one is particularly informative. You may need to change the language from Dutch to English (there's a drop-down box of various languages in the upper right-hand corner of any page there).

Make sure you're using and storing them correctly, and make sure you are using plenty of water-based lube. Spit isn't enough. I only had one condom break on me ever. It was during anal and we neglected to use lube. We noticed right away (broken condoms are usually very obvious), stopped and got a new condom out - and lube. He tested negative - despite being uncut - as I expected him to.

I agree with Mecch (!), with him being on meds with an UD VL, PrEP would be overkill. Why take a med when it isn't really necessary?

Hiv isn't everything, it's just another facet on the diamond of your relationship, not the whole ring. As long as you love and respect each other, you can face this together and be strong. Good luck!

Ann
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 09:50:49 AM by 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 Miss Philicia

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 10:33:19 AM »

However, a correctly used condom rarely breaks.

This can't be stated enough times. The biggest mistake, IMO, that gay men make is carrying out-of-date condoms around in a humid, hot wallet in tight jeans.

I managed a relationship (actually more than one) as a bottom, and with a consistently elevated viral load without my partner(s) becoming infected due to consistent proper use of condoms. In addition to proper condom use, BOTH partners have to pay attention to those heated moments when liquor is in use. That's usually the moment when the top gets messy and starts trying to stick it in without a condom. 

I can't think of a single time that I had a condom break.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Ann

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Re: Neg lad, not long in a relationship with a Poz fella - Any advice?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2011, 10:52:56 AM »
The two leading causes of condom breakage are...

1. Not using enough lube, particularly during anal.

2. Not making sure there is no air trapped in the tip of the condom, particularly when using reservoir dogs tips. You need to pinch the tip of the condom while you roll it down and have a quick check to make sure there's no trapped air.

These two factors can be a problem even if the condom is brand new and has been correctly stored. Add in an old condom or one that's been stored in a warm place like a wallet (heat degrades latex), and you're just asking for trouble.

If you want to take condoms out with you, either put them in a jacket pocket (not one where you put your keys or other sharp objects) or put them in the front pocket of your jeans, again away from any sharp object(s). If you don't use it, take it back out when you get home.

If you want to keep condoms in your wallet for those unexpected encounters, use polyurethane condoms such as Avanti. Do NOT store latex condoms in your wallet! Polyurethane condoms are more expensive, but worth buying a pack of three for insurance in your wallet. 
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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