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Author Topic: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?  (Read 7322 times)

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Offline toughtimes

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I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« on: August 30, 2011, 04:25:56 PM »
I'm in a gay relationship and found out my partner was HIV+ back in April. Since then we've been practicing what I would call safe sex, but I've recently become paranoid whether or not I'm taking too high risks with some of the sex we have. We're both versatile, so we top & bottom - but I'm all too aware of the increase risk associated with being a bottom, compared with being a top. We use condoms properly and lube, but what if his cum or precum got on the outside of the condom and then he penetrated me? Could there be transmission? What about rimming?

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 04:39:31 PM »
We use condoms properly and lube, but what if his cum or precum got on the outside of the condom and then he penetrated me? Could there be transmission? What about rimming?

Hey Toughtimes,

It is No risk.

Use condoms properly and consistently for penetrative sex (with lots of lube) and you'll be fine.
 
Is your partner on meds? If he is on effective therapy with an undetectable viral load, then in the unlikely event of a condom break, any risk to you is also reduced greatly.


Also, is this a question for "AM I Infected" Forum?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 04:41:50 PM 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 Ann

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 05:04:47 PM »

Also, is this a question for "AM I Infected" Forum?

No, it isn't. TT is in a committed relationship with a poz person and is quite entitled to post in this forum, rather than in the super-paranoid Am I Infected forum.

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 mecch

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 07:16:38 PM »
The way you worded it, if his CUM, not his precum, got on the outside of the condom, sounds like unsafe sex to me.  But why would there be his cum if he is about to fuck you?  I guess you meant just precum.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline toughtimes

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 03:30:48 AM »
Thanks for your replies.

My partner is not on meds and at the last check had a high viral load, so I think this is where some of my worry stems from... I'm aware that with a low VL I'm less likely to become infected in the event of a condom break. I love him very much, so the idea of walking away just won't cut it with me. One thing that is bugging me though is he's missed appointments with the clinic lately and also told me he won't start meds if they asked him to... I think he might have his head in the sand a little.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 03:52:10 AM »
Thanks for your replies.

My partner is not on meds and at the last check had a high viral load, so I think this is where some of my worry stems from... I'm aware that with a low VL I'm less likely to become infected in the event of a condom break. I love him very much, so the idea of walking away just won't cut it with me. One thing that is bugging me though is he's missed appointments with the clinic lately and also told me he won't start meds if they asked him to... I think he might have his head in the sand a little.

Use condoms correctly with lube everytime (no exceptions) and you'll be ok. :)

How recently did he test positive? You say your partner tested positive in April. So he might still be in shock/denial and/or scared of making a lifetime commitment to therapy- which happens to a lot of us in the beginning. It does take time to emotionally process everything.

Also, if his CD4 count is over 500 he can afford to wait for sometime.

sexual stuff aside, if you're just there for him and listen to him it will be great- hopefully, once he comes to terms with his diagnosis he will come around regarding meds etc.

However, if you think he is escaping the situation then maybe you can have a firm (but gentle and understanding) conversation with him about how it is important for him to come to terms with his diagnosis- and how it is affecting you.

Best
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 04:37:35 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 next2u

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 06:27:18 AM »
if he goes on meds your risk is greatly reduced and his life will most likely be prolonged. it is a worthwhile option given the situation.

we don't know what the stats are for gay on gay poz to neg undetectable sex but i believe, from what i have read and what my dr tells me, that it would be very difficult for someone to transmit this virus to a sexual partner especially if we were engaging in safer sex.

not having a viral load is a blessing in more ways than one. until then, continue to use lube and condoms and everything will be fine.

if something happens there are also post exposure measures that can be taken.

best,
d
midapr07 - seroconversion
sept07 - tested poz
oct07 cd4 1013; vl 13,900; cd4% 41
feb08 cd4  694;  vl 16,160; cd4% 50.1
may08 cd4 546; vl 91,480; cd4% 32
aug08 cd4 576; vl 48,190; cd4% 40.7
dec08 cd4 559; vl 63,020; cd4% 29.4
feb09 cd4 464; vl 11,000; cd4% 26
may09 cd4 544; vl 29,710; cd4% 27.2
oct09 cd4 ...; vl 23,350; cd4% 31.6
mar10 cd4 408; vl 59,050; cd4% 31.4
aug10 cd4 328; vl 80,000; cd4% 19.3 STARTED ATRIPLA
oct10 cd4 423; vl 410 ;); cd4% 30.2
jun11 cd4 439; vl <20 ;); cd4% 33.8 <-Undetectable!
mar12 cd4 695; vl ud; cd4% 38.6
jan13 cd4 738; vl ud; cd4% 36.8
aug13 cd4 930; vl ud; cd4% 44.3

Offline mecch

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 07:24:06 AM »
There is no reason to walk away as you see it.

There is no reason you have to do some sex act you are not comfortable with.  Just educate yourself as you are doing and do the things that feel comfortable. 

Also I am not sure it would be kosher to suggest a partner go on HAART just because one HIV- partner is afraid of HIV risks.  Not that you said you would suggest this.  But just don't take that as our suggestion, even though some members are explaining the advantages of being on HAART, for both partners in a serodiscordant relation.   

HAART is finally between the HIV+ person, his numbers, his doctor, and his own wishes.

Back to the original post.  And your wording - "his cum" on the outside of the condom.  Frankly if he has a high viral load, any cum - ejaculate - should be washed up cleared away if the sex is going to continue, especially with more butt action.  That's just my opinion.  Perhaps its only emotional reasoning, but feeling secure is important to you, clearly.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 07:56:49 AM »
TT, sorry, I should have also responded to your question yesterday, instead of just confirming that you were ok to post in this forum. I had a lot on my mind yesterday.

We see this question in the Am I Infected forum all the time. Many people worry about cum, pre-cum or vaginal fluids being transferred by fingers (or through direct touch) to the outside of a condom before use. This is not a risk.

Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus that is primarily transmitted INSIDE the human body, as in unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse where the virus never leaves the confines of the two bodies.

Once outside the body, small changes in temperature, and pH and moisture levels all quickly damage the virus and render it unable to infect. This is why getting a bit of cum, pre-cum or vaginal (or anal, for that matter) fluids on the outside of a condom is not a concern.

Please read through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them with confidence. The first site I link to is particularly informative.

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 toughtimes

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 10:05:37 AM »
Thank you everyone for your replies, they've all been extremely helpful. I have learnt a great deal from this forum and other websites since we found out in April.

I absolutely don't want him to start meds until he needs to - I had to go on PEP, so I know how tough the regimen is in the early days. In the same breath, the moment his CD4 reaches the level that his doctor advises HAART, I want him straight on it. While the thought of him having a low viral load is appealing in terms of how infectious he would be to me - in the event of an accident - I'm unlikely to benefit from it, as I never intend to have unprotected sex. It therefore cannot be the motivator in this situation.

He is still going through the 7 stages of grief, but what concerns me is that we've spent a fair amount of time in the denial phase... There's still an unwillingness to want to talk about it, and he doesn't like it when I talk about the missed doctors appointments or rearranging one and going with him. "It's all under control" is the default answer, but I feel it isn't. Soon I will have to get tough an insist on some involvement in this, as while it is his illness and up to him how he deals with it, I do have a right to understand what's going on, if I'm to accept it too.

With regards to sex, we decided after diagnosis that I won't do oral any more, and any penetration is with a condom. We don't use condoms for mutual masturbation or general playing around, but from what I understand there is zero risk with this kind of sexual contact. I think I'm going to have to think about whether I can be the passive partner as well as the active partner any more. The risks are considerably higher, and fact I haven't been infected as a result of the high-risk behaviour we engaged in prior to his diagnosis makes me a very lucky man.

I guess the main reason I'm on here folks is that the sexual health clinic is useless - ask them to tell you if you have HIV or syphilis and they're prodding and poking and filling you with all the facts about what the disease will do to you. Ask them how to avoid getting it, and their stock answer is "wearing a condom is an effective barrier, but the only 100% way not to get it is to abstain". Great, thanks for that. They're too busy covering their asses, handing out only information that has been approved by the government, so you can imagine what decade STD education is living in... I'm just so glad I found this site.

Offline Ann

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 10:33:06 AM »

He is still going through the 7 stages of grief, but what concerns me is that we've spent a fair amount of time in the denial phase... There's still an unwillingness to want to talk about it, and he doesn't like it when I talk about the missed doctors appointments or rearranging one and going with him. "It's all under control" is the default answer, but I feel it isn't. Soon I will have to get tough an insist on some involvement in this, as while it is his illness and up to him how he deals with it, I do have a right to understand what's going on, if I'm to accept it too.


I'm glad to hear you recognise that he is going through the seven stages of grief. It's not uncommon for a newly diagnosed person to get stuck at the denial stage and it's also not uncommon to go through one or more of the stages more than once. It's a process that is longer for some than for others, just like when dealing with the death of a loved one.

You are also living with hiv, albeit indirectly. Some here may disagree with me, but I do believe you have the right to be somewhat involved in your partner's health as it affects you too.

He needs to understand that this is an illness that one just cannot afford to ignore. Even someone like me who has been treatment naive for many years must go for quarterly blood tests. If he's not being monitored regularly, then things most certainly are NOT "all under control".

You're going to have to walk a thin line between showing you care and nagging. Not easy to do, but if he feels nagged chances are he's going to dig his heels in even further. I know I would. Do you best to come at any discussion about his appointments (or more to the point, the lack of appointments) from a loving place instead of a frustrated or angry place. You might want to think about putting your feelings and concerns down in a letter that he can read and digest in privacy, on his own.


Concerning you being the passive partner, this is still do-able. A correctly used condom rarely breaks - and I do mean rarely.

The two main causes of condom breakage are the following:

1. Not using enough lube, or not using the correct type (water-based). Experiment and find one that suits you both. Some can be a bit sticky or fast-drying. Others here may be able to give you their preferences. I used to have a preferred brand, but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called. (my current partner is poz too and we do not use condoms)

In addition to lubing up the outside of the condom, you can also lube yourself up too. This part of the process can be incorporated into your foreplay with a little bit of imagination.

2. Not making sure there is no air-bubble in the tip of the condom. This can be a problem particularly with reservoir tips (and if your partner cums a lot or cums forcefully, reservoir tips are recommended).

The way to avoid this happening is to pinch the tip of the condom between the finger and thumb of one hand while you roll it down with the other. Once the condom is on, give it a firm stroke from tip to bottom to make sure there's no air-bubble present.

Read through the condom and lube links in my signature line. The first link is particularly informative. Other things to consider with condoms is whether or not they are in-date and how they are stored. Latex stored near too much heat can degrade the latex and age will also degrade latex.
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 mecch

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 05:09:38 PM »
"It's all under control" is the default answer, but I feel it isn't. Soon I will have to get tough an insist on some involvement in this, as while it is his illness and up to him how he deals with it, I do have a right to understand what's going on, if I'm to accept it too.
Yep but take care to explain to him you want information, not "involvement".  That's all you have a right to, in my vision of relationships, information.  Sounds like for the moment he doesn't want your involvement or participation or opinion.

You have a right to information and if you don't get it eventually, you move on.  Cause that is what you need.  Info to make choices about what you want and can deal with.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline toughtimes

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2011, 09:16:56 AM »
Hi again. He's opened up a lot more since we last spoke, but we had some upsetting news today - his CD4 has dropped from 500 to 170 since the last draw in April. He's been told he needs to start treatment & says he will. I'm really worried though. Does anyone have advice?

Offline SunnyFlorida

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Re: I'm neg, he's poz - can we keep if that way?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2011, 06:09:05 PM »
Hi again. He's opened up a lot more since we last spoke, but we had some upsetting news today - his CD4 has dropped from 500 to 170 since the last draw in April. He's been told he needs to start treatment & says he will. I'm really worried though. Does anyone have advice?


I'm glad to hear he's much more open about it now!

If the doctor says he needs to start on the meds, and he actually goes with it, then there shouldn't be a reason to worry. I have a friend on here whose CD4 skyrocketed after a month on Atripla. You can see his thread here.. I visited him at his work two days ago and he seems to be doing great, albeit exhausted from juggling work and five classes at the same time!

As long as he follows through, breathe easy!

 


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