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Found someone special! Advice Please from Magnetic Gay Couples

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moving_forward:
Hello,

Pardon the length, but I think it is important to set the scene.  I posted my story nearly 4 months ago about my diagnosis with HIV.  The good news is I had a PCR test done within 1 week of infection and.  Boom.  I was confirmed.  The silver lining was because I found out so quickly (what I found out is only about 3% of all cases are ever diagnosed this early).  I was able to start Stribild @ 9 weeks post diagnosis.  My viral load went from 450,000 to 4,500 in 5 days on Stribild with no side affects!   :D

While it has taken me time to come to grips with my diagnosis, the funny thing is I feel more healthy now than I did 5 months ago.  I have lost 20 pounds (both the HIV, stress and exercise), I eat much better, take vitamins and have improved my overall mental state through therapy and gasp... coming out of the closet!!  :)  That alone has improved my mental outlook!

What is even better?  I have met someone who I am really into and he into me.  I did not wait to tell.  I disclosed after the second day that I was HIV positive in case he needed to run.  I am of the mindset to be selective of whom I can trust and I trust this individual so I wanted to be clear and honest in the very beginning.  He stayed.

The past few weeks have been some of the best weeks I can remember in a very long time.  We have held each other, talked, and deep kissed.  He is not afraid of the HIV, but cautious (rightly so) and wants to make sure before we do anything further that we are well educated on what we can and can't do from a safe sex perspective.  I have read the forums, and I was wondering if I could solicit advice from other Magnetic Couples (preferably gay).

I am the bottom in the relationship and he the top.  Kissing, cuddling, touching, all is safe, no worries there.  Let's get to oral sex.  I understand that I need to be Undetectable (my hope is by now I am but will find out in 10 days once labs will be back from appointment this week.  If I give him a blow job (my oral health is great)  What are the risks for him?  If he were to give me a blow job (his is great as well) what risks are we looking at.  I am not sure if we would use condoms for oral sex.  Likewise, if we have anal intercourse, what are his chances with a condom?  I have heard very low to nearly zero, given I am on meds.  Do any other couples have advice?  Do other couples have Post exposure drugs available just in case?  Any thoughts here for his perspective as a negative top would be very helpful.  I really want this relationship to work and I don't want HIV to define who I am or define our relationships if we treat it with respect.  Thanks for the advice!

jkinatl2:
I have been HIV since 1993, and have been in three long-ish term magnetic relationships (five years each) since. I am almost to the two-year point in my third magnetic relationship.

I have also devoted a significant amount of time researching HIV prevention and transmission, and have (hopefully) added something of that work to these forums in the last ten years helping out in the AM I INFECTED forum.

Like you, I am the bottom in this relationship.

I practice what I preach.

Onto the facts:

ORAL

There is no way you are going to give him HIV by giving him oral. It's never been documented, and the science is firmly against it.

If you guys are in a mutually monogamous relationship and you have no other STDs (which have been known to cause a spike in seminal viral load even when blood viral load is undetectable)  then there is no real danger to him giving you oral either, especially if you are undetectable. Saliva contains over a dozen identified elements that neutralize HIV and render it incapable of infecting. In addition, the receptive cells that are targeted by HIV are not found in any abundance in the mouth and oral cavity.

There have been no fewer than three separate serodiscordant studies done. One lasted ten years, one five, and one three. In these studies, condoms were used for anal and vaginal sex but no barrier at all was used for oral activity or any kind. These studies followed people on and off meds, with viral loads ranging from UD to the millions.

There were absolutely no infections associated with oral sex in any of those studies.

ANAL

If you are a bottom, and If you have an UD VL,  you and your partner have several options.

You can use condoms for anal sex and forego condoms for oral sex.

Your partner can take PrEP, usually Truvada, and you can either use or forego condoms for anal sex.

Or, depending on your mutual level of trust, you can forego condoms for anal sex if your VL remains UD for a length of time.

These scenarios range in levels of controversy, but from all I have read, the only real controversy seems to be when plugging in the gay male notion (pun intended.) PLENTY of straight magnetic couples choose to forego condoms to procreate, and the number that returns to condom use after conception is certainly not overwhelming. No one seems to shout down folks in the women's Forum who make such choices.

You are taking meds, and responding well to treatment. As a bottom, your risk to your partner is minimal to none with an UD VL - and that's referring to unprotected anal sex. As far as oral is concerned, there is essentially no risk at all.

It is important that your partner arrive at his own conclusions, but I urge you to show him the data. Conjecture and hypervole have no place in discussions as important as this.

You are very lucky to have someone understanding and compassionate in your life. And so is he.

buginme2:
Very sweet story.  Good luck in your relationship, it sounds fun!

I'm also gay, positive, and my partner is negative.   I don't really have much to add to what JK stated, he pretty much covered it all. 

One thing I will say if you choose to forego condoms is you need be careful about other stds besides HIV.  More so for you than your negative partner. 

Syphillis can be a bitch if your hiv positive and isn't something you want to get.  There are others as well.   So, if you are completely monogamous and have an undetectable viral load and your bottoming, I think it's ok to forego the condoms (but that's just my personal opinion) if you both are comfortable with that.   If your not completely monogamous I would consider keeping the condoms on or at the very least make sure you are both getting routine std screenings.  Your partner should also get routine std and HIV screenings (maybe even once every six months).

Anyway, good luck, feel free to follow up with any questions.

friskyguy:
spot on and concise excellent advice from buginme2 and jkinatl2.

good move by you to start meds early too and protect your body from damage.

i seem to recall being on meds and UD in the blood for a period of greater than 6months is usually the most quoted time period to 'safely' engage in unprotected anal sex without other STIs. For me personally I would be more comfortable to be UD for 6mths to 1 year before negotiating this 'grey area' with my magnetic partner....and I would want to be 100% meds compliant but that's me!

Even if you come across someone who says that UD in blood does not necessarily mean UD in seminal fluid and therefore a real risk is still apparent for unprotected anal sex......you can reply yes but low levels of HIV in seminal fluid does not necessarily mean that these low levels will actually translate into HIV infection and furthermore you can mention that bottoming in the relationship with HIV again further lowers the risk.

Best of luck

mikeyb39:
Congrats on your relationship.  I think its cool that folks can do that, 'My' preference is to only date other positive guys.  I guess it takes special people to date magnetically. For me it would be a constant worry that I would do something to the negative person.  Plus when I date someone I would prefer condom-less at some point in the relationship.  I know some folks don't like to talk about that, but condom-less is why the majority of us are here.

I'm not trying to discount your relationship, I think it's awesome, but personally myself I would always have that thought in my mind of what he was thinking. Did I do something wrong. If we break up is he going to have me arrested for criminalization.  I guess I think too much, thats why it takes special folks like Bug to do it.

I certainly hope everything works out for you, it certainly can be done there are few folks on here that do it just fine, just have to be cautious all the time.

I'm just speaking out loud, not trying to be a Debbie downer, Just playing devil's advocate i suppose.  Looking at it a different way so you can look at both sides of the issue. 

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