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Author Topic: New relationship - advice needed.  (Read 4292 times)

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Offline Neil

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New relationship - advice needed.
« on: January 07, 2012, 06:06:10 PM »
Hi everyone

I have recently gotten into a relationship with a guy who is HIV+. I know about using condoms for anal sex. I have a few questions, and I would be grateful if some members here could help me out. The internet provides a lot of conflicting information about oral sex.

• Is it safe to have oral sex both ways without protection? Some healthcare providers tell me it is, while others say it is not. Does anyone here have any links to studies on this?

• He is on ART. If his viral load were to increase, or he changes medication, would we need to do anything different?

• Do we both have to pay particular attention to oral health?

• Are there other serodiscordant couples here and what do they do?

• What is the best way to support my partner? He has low self esteem and has suffered social stigma due to his HIV. Sometimes he tells me I would be better off in a different relationship, but I want to be with him. He only found out 18 months ago.

Thanks in advance. Please forgive me if I am ignorant about these issues as the internet can be very conflicting, but I am trying my best to learn. Hope I have not offended anyone.

Many thanks

Neil

Offline NY2011

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 01:59:37 PM »
sex is safe as long as you use protection.  A recent study showed that if he is taking meds and has been UNDETECTABLE for six (6) months, there is only a 4% chance that infection can result, and that is from unprotected sex.  The study mentions that the semen has to be undetectable as well.   I am currently in a serodiscordant relationship, and it happened after I tested positive in late October, 2011.  It's a new world for me and more than he may have bargained for with me, but so far it's going well.   Tell him you're capable of making your own relationship decisions, and that you don't do charity work.  You're wth him because you want to be and for no other reason. 
10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud

Offline littleprince

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 03:55:53 PM »
Here's some info provided in a different thread.

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40869.msg508682#msg508682


Offline Neil

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 05:10:01 AM »
Thanks for your replies, much appreciated.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 11:57:54 PM »
I've had HIV since 1993.

Been in serodiscordant relationships (5 years, four years, two years). Used condoms for anal sex, not for oral. My negative partners remained negative for the duration of our relationship.

This is despite piss-poor med adherence (since more or less corrected) and sky-high viral loads.

Your BF on meds is a great thing. Use a condom for anal sex - and even in the unlikely event one breaks, your risks are minimal and likely don't even need PEP.

Of course you need to negotiate all this with your partner and find out where his boundaries are, and whether they come from science or from emotional trauma. You're a good guy to stick with someone going through this tough time.

As far as supporting him, please keep listening to him. Also, encourage him to seek out other poz folks (support groups, this forum, et al). Sadly, some of the stuff he needs to hear from us positive people. We've been where he is, and we're pretty good at knowing when to cuddle and nurture and when to smack someone around a bit.

Remind him that so long as he is on his meds, his chances of living a long and absolutely healthy life without developing AIDS is fantastic. His real enemies here are stigma, ignorance, and his own personal demons.

I wish the both of you the best.
"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 Loa32

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 11:11:00 AM »
Hello..

Im starting a new relationship with an HIV positive guy too..and have lots of quesions and little insight into this new situation..

Would love to keep in touch with you..My guy is awesome and aside from some of the anxieties I feel about sex I think we are doing well..

I just wanted to ask you a few questions about ur situation if you dont mind. Are u able to relax and " let Go" during sex..?..I find that If i bottom Im a bit more anxiouls than if I top. And Im just starting to get used to the idea of wearing condoms with a bf. Do u get used to the sensation of condoms..or can u recomend a durable yet sensations " enabling" condom?...

Id love to chat with u somtime..dont have too many ppl in my life who can relate to this situation..

Offline NY2011

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 12:05:04 AM »
So, I've been dealing with a confirmed diagnosis due to seroconversion for a little more than three months now (102 days) and I've received the news that I am officially undetectable. The virus has been reduced in my blood to < 25 copies/mL.  I am still in a relationship with the same guy, and we have been having a blast.   

My advice to you is to be extremely reluctant to do anything unprotected with him if he is not on meds: oral and anal.  However, if he is on meds, and the lab results are favorable, then unprotected oral sex seems to be okay.  Protected anal sex is completely fine too.  I'd be reluctant to let him cum in you when he tops.  It's an unnecessary risk.  Beyond that, I would relax and enjoy intimate time with him. 

My partner and I have discussed the possibility of unprotected sex after more than six months of being undetectable.  Being a top, it would be something we may decide to do on special occasions, and would definitely not conclude with cumming in him.  It's a serious discussion, and is months away, but the statistical data seems to support that people on meds and undetectable in both semen and blood are much, much less likely to transmit virus than positive people not taking meds.  I wouldn't even consider it with someone who isn't taking meds.  Mind you, my partner and I are both professional men who have researched this in great detail, and I put a priority on his safety.  Having said that, our sex life is fantastic, and we frequently talk about how hot the day will be when/if we decide to do it.

In the meantime, Boy Butter and Trojan bareback condoms are really working well for us.  We've been sexual since December, before I was undetectable, and he is fine.  So, just enjoy and realise that part of relaxing is knowing that you are making responsible decisions. 

 

10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 12:29:28 AM »
I'm curious. As the negative partner, topping an undetectable poz partner, how would your cumming inside him make a difference? Are we talking HIV transmission risk from him to you due to your ejaculating inside him, or the risk perhaps of other STDs?
"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: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 05:30:58 AM »
I'm curious. As the negative partner, topping an undetectable poz partner, how would your cumming inside him make a difference? Are we talking HIV transmission risk from him to you due to your ejaculating inside him, or the risk perhaps of other STDs?

Jonathan, it's not clear who you are speaking to here. If it's NY2011, he's poz and his partner is neg. If it's the other guys in the thread who are all neg, well, good question. We're always getting people in Am I who tell us in great detail whether or not they came, not understanding that it makes no difference to the neg partner (where hiv is concerned). It's a cumundrum conundrum.
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 NY2011

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 11:08:35 PM »
@JKinATL2:

So, I'm the one who is positive and a top. My boyfriend is negative and bottom. My cumming in him would make all the difference, which is why I would't engage in it.  If your bf is the bottom, then there is no risk to you or him if you bust a nut in him, assuming that you are wearing a condom. 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 11:10:15 PM by NY2011 »
10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 06:25:49 AM »
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 jkinatl2

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 12:53:12 PM »
@JKinATL2:

So, I'm the one who is positive and a top. My boyfriend is negative and bottom. My cumming in him would make all the difference, which is why I would't engage in it.  If your bf is the bottom, then there is no risk to you or him if you bust a nut in him, assuming that you are wearing a condom. 

Thanks for clearing that up! One of the myths I've encountered regarding HIV is that a negative top can have unprotected sex with a positive bottom so long as he doesn't ejaculate.

The notion is that the penis will somehow "suck up" infectious fluids during the contractions of orgasm.

I know, right?

"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 Neil

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 07:43:01 PM »
.  I'd be reluctant to let him cum in you when he tops.  It's an unnecessary risk. 



Do you mean even when he is wearing a condom? Surely that would be safe as long as it is not broken.

Offline Neil

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 08:13:18 PM »
Hello..

Im starting a new relationship with an HIV positive guy too..and have lots of quesions and little insight into this new situation..

Would love to keep in touch with you..My guy is awesome and aside from some of the anxieties I feel about sex I think we are doing well..

I just wanted to ask you a few questions about ur situation if you dont mind. Are u able to relax and " let Go" during sex..?..I find that If i bottom Im a bit more anxiouls than if I top. And Im just starting to get used to the idea of wearing condoms with a bf. Do u get used to the sensation of condoms..or can u recomend a durable yet sensations " enabling" condom?...

Id love to chat with u somtime..dont have too many ppl in my life who can relate to this situation..


Hello there
If I can help at all I am happy to. I know how you must be feeling, but really, my partner is the most amazing guy, and like I said to him today, things were rocky when we first started going out, and we both had a lot of learning to do. I have read for hours and hours on HIV now. He is reluctant to read about it at all, and I understand that. He says I know more about it than him now lol If you go to the correct sources, learning about HIV can actually relieve a lot of the anxieties you may have. Anyway, the fact of the matter is that this relationship has made me appreciate the stigma that HIV positive people face. I have had to take a good look at myself, and now I know what it really means to love someone and put someone else’s needs before myself, so I would not change any of it. I am also a much stronger person.

As to your questions, can I relax during sex? The answer  to that is yes, but remember, sex can be awkward with anyone new to begin with, so don’t be too hard on yourself about that, it’s quite natural to be a bit up tight the first few times. I can relax because I know he cares about me, and he does not want to put me at any risk. He is taking medications for his HIV. His CD4 is 1045 and his viral load Is undetectable. The risk of transmission is very low, and some say it might even be impossible. There may come a day when HIV medication will be so effective that as long as adherence to meds is used, condoms might not be required. However, a lot of that research is on heterosexual couples. For now, it is best to use condoms. Use plenty of lube, and take your time during sex, and use condoms properly and that will be fine. If you are anxious as a bottom, keep in mind that even without a condoms or medication, HIV is difficult to transmit, something like 1/1000 chance of transmission. However, I am not saying not to use them, but if you did use a condom, and it burst, the odds are in your favour that you will not be infected. Also, you could go to your local hospital for PEP, have you heard of it? It can reduce your risk of transmission by 80%.

As for condoms, they are fine. In using them, you are just like many many couples all over the world! Find a brand you like. Some are very natural, while being safe. Some feel as good as not wearing one. Condoms really have improved. Always have condoms and lube close to hand if you are worried about it ruining the mood. Get used to them, and try on lots of ones, and you could even play about with them on your own, just to get used to the sensation.

This is my real advice though. If you have anxiety, don’t have sex yet. Enjoyable sex is mostly psychological rather than physical. You should be relaxed with what you are doing before you do anything. If you take the right steps, you can protect yourself and him from any future grief and make your risk of transmission so low it is regarded as negligible.

Offline Ann

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 07:39:46 AM »
Do you mean even when he is wearing a condom? Surely that would be safe as long as it is not broken.

You are correct.

There have been three 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.

Condoms have been proven to prevent hiv infection, provided they're used correctly and don't break. Correctly used condoms rarely break. Read through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them correctly and with confidence. 

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 Neil

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 06:35:06 PM »
You are correct.

There have been three 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.

Condoms have been proven to prevent hiv infection, provided they're used correctly and don't break. Correctly used condoms rarely break. Read through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them correctly and with confidence.

Thanks Ann, I will have a read, thank you.

Offline NY2011

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Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2012, 08:49:09 AM »
@JKinATL:

I wouldn't advise anyone to take it too lightly if they are the negative top and they are sleeping with a positive bottom unprotected. In my situation,  I got it from being a top, and sleeping with someone who thought he was a negative bottom.  Statistically, I wasn't supposed to get HIV, and to be honest, the information out there falsely reassured me that i was at a much, much lower risk of getting it.  I'm also circumcised, which is supposed to lower the chances even more, and I did not have an STD prior to this.  He got sick a day after we met with what he thought was tonsillitis.  We now know that it was him seroconverting, and his viral load must have been through the roof the night we slept with each other, without him or me knowing.

So, I would be much happier if people began to dispel the belief that being a circumcised top puts you at a much, much lower risk.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 08:51:25 AM by NY2011 »
10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: New relationship - advice needed.
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2012, 09:30:47 AM »

So, I would be much happier if people began to dispel the belief that being a circumcised top puts you at a much, much lower risk.

It IS a lower risk than being an unprotected bottom, but by no means NO risk. I don't believe I've ever said it was a "much, much" lower risk, but it's lower nonetheless. The receptive partner (bottom) is always going to be at a higher risk of any STI. That's just the way it goes.

That said, we've got plenty of poz tops around here, including straight guys who have never engaged in receptive intercourse. My own partner is a poz top who never bottomed in his entire life (unless you count having his temperature taken rectally as an infant). ;)

It's really unfortunate that you topped someone who was in the process of seroconversion and you're right, his viral load was likely to be sky-high, which increased your individual risk. Sorry to hear about that. :(
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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