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THINKING OF A CHANGE

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deprivedlol:
New to this site. I have been positive for 25yrs and have never dated another positive person.  Why you might ask?  IDK just never really crossed my mind until now.  I have been with an array of idiots in my time and some were ok with my status and some were not.  I have come to a point in life where I just need a change....and some decent sex!  Geez I've been with the same idiot on and off for 3yrs and I think we only ever had sex like 10 or so times total....3 times in the last 2 yrs!! So needless to say I am BEYOND deprived. 
I did a little research of my own to see what the risks were.  I was not thrilled with what I learned.  I have been extremely healthy all this time and even though I'm looking for a change I'm wondering if it's worth the risk or not.  I suppose I could talk to my ID Dr. about it but I'd rather get info from other people first as to what is OK to do and what isn't. 
Not to be too graphic but I didn't think I was able to receive oral all this time. (yes the whole damn 25yrs) I'm not using any plastic or any ridiculous stuff like that.  Defeats the whole purpose of feeling good. So my question is  it it ok for 2 ppl who are undetectable to have oral...give and receive...or is there still a risk there?  I have NEVER talked to ANYONE about these things until I joined this site other day.  And these guys are giving me conflicting information.  Not sure what to believe.
To be completely honest I am kinda neurotic about a lot of things since my diagnosis.  Sex...as infrequent as I've had it...has become more of a procedure than the stress relief it's supposed to be. I'm a germaphob as it is and this just intensifies that. 
Please help!  I need some legit information and suggestions.  I'm too young to have a life void of intimacy!!

Ann:
Hi Deprived, welcome to the forums.

Wow, no oral in all that time? I feel for you! Even more so because there was no need for all that caution. Even with a detectable viral load, it's not a risk for a guy to give a woman oral sex (or for him to receive it from her for that matter). Hiv isn't transmitted that way.

Between a man and a woman, the only risks for hiv infection are unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. That's it. Seriously.

If you've been undetectable for years, you'd be hard pressed to infect a guy even if you had unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse with him, provided you do not have another active, untreated STI.

Poz/neg couples are having children the "old fashioned way" all the time these days when the poz woman has been undetectable for at least six months, with no other active STIs. The man remains hiv negative and the baby is born hiv negative.

I'm glad you reached out to us here. There's no reason why you can't have a fulfilling sex life regardless of your partner's hiv status. It's true! :)

Hugs,
Ann
xxx

PS - I strongly urge you to read a thread from another section of these forums entitled Zero Transmissions through condomless sex if HIV+ Partner on suppressive ART.

In a nutshell: The study looked at the transmission risks during condomless sex in serodiscordant couples where the positive partner was under suppressive ART (undetectable). All positive partners were under ART for at least 2 years.

The estimated number of total sex acts was 44,439. Zero transmissions took place within the couples.

(ART = AntiRetroviral Treatment = hiv meds)

deprivedlol:
Hi Ann,

Thanks for your quick reply.  I'm not sure whether I should do a happy dance or cry because of all I've missed out on!
Now is it (receiving oral) only OK because I'm undetectable?  Obviously I've been misinformed all this time, but I know that even if you're undetectable the virus is still present, as little of it as there may be.

What about the scenario where the guy (who hypothetically has HIV) also  has an STI that is dormant like herpes or something and didn't know or care to tell me and were to give oral?  Isn't that a risk for ME not only for the herpes but to get his strain of HIV also? I  Have been undetectable for well over 12 yrs. (not sure exactly) and have no other STI's....and am not about to put myself in a position to acquire one.

Also, what's this I have read about superinfection and drug resistance?  Is that only a possibility if one person or the other is undetectable?
I just don't understand how unprotected oral can be less of a risk than unprotected vaginal or anal for that matter.  The guy's face is down there!  How is that safe??
And if I was giving oral to a man who's pos. how is that OK for me?

I have no intentions of reliving my youth.  That's what got me into this mess to begin with.  But I do need to expand the dating circle a bit.  I'm bored,lonely and need to kick the current guy to the curb for good.  I just didn't think anyone else negative would accept me 'as is'. The disclosure part is too much for me anymore. The guy I dated before him I was with on and off for 9yrs and I learned at the end of us that he was also with 6 other women at the same time.  So trust is kind of non-existent in my world when it comes to men. But that's a whole other topic.

The main reason I posted this was...well obviously for information... but also because I wanted to see if it would be less of a hassle to date other pos. men. I just need to be sure that I will not be putting myself or my potential partner at any risk.  I couldn't live with the consequences.  I plan on being here for a good long time yet and I don't want to shorten anyone else's life either.

Ann:
Brace yourself, get a hot drink and make sure you're sitting comfortably because this is gonna be a long one! ;D


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 05, 2014, 03:42:48 PM ---
Now is it (receiving oral) only OK because I'm undetectable?  Obviously I've been misinformed all this time, but I know that even if you're undetectable the virus is still present, as little of it as there may be.


--- End quote ---

There is no risk to the person giving a woman oral whether or not she is on meds and undetectable. Here's the cut and paste explanation I use over in the Am I Infected? forum:

Hiv transmission doesn't stand a chance of happening via female genitals to mouth - there are just too many obstacles on the oral route.

The first obstacle is the mouth itself. The mouth is a veritable fortress, standing against all sorts of pathogens we come into contact with every minute of our lives. It's a very hostile environment and saliva has been shown to contain over a dozen different proteins and enzymes that damage hiv.

Hiv is a very fragile virus - literally. Its outer surface doesn't take kindly to changes in its preferred environment; slight changes in temperature, moisture content and pH levels all damage the outer surface. Importantly, it needs this outer surface to be intact before it can latch onto a few, very specific cell types and infect. 

Which leads to the second obstacle. Hiv can only latch onto certain types of cells, cells which are not found in abundance in the mouth.

The third obstacle to transmission this way is having hiv present in the first place. The female secretion where hiv has been shown to be present is the cervicovaginal fluid. This fluid is actually a thick mucus that covers and protects the cervix.

The fluid a woman produces when sexually excited comes from the Bartholin's glands, located on either side of the vaginal opening. I have yet to discover one shred of evidence (and believe me, I've looked) that shows this lubricating fluid to have any more hiv present than other bodily secretions such as saliva, sweat or tears. Saliva, sweat and tears are NOT infectious fluids.

So there you have it. Once the results of the serodiscordant studies started rolling in, what we know about hiv transmission on the cellular level was validated. The only people who were getting infected were those who had unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. Period. One of the three studies went on for ten years and involved hundreds of couples. That's a lot of nookie.


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 05, 2014, 03:42:48 PM ---
I just don't understand how unprotected oral can be less of a risk than unprotected vaginal or anal for that matter.  The guy's face is down there!  How is that safe??


--- End quote ---

You do know that hiv cannot infect skin cells, right? He could rub his whole face on your vaginal area and he wouldn't be at risk for hiv from you. Even if you weren't undetectable, the fluid where hiv may be present in a woman's genitals is deep inside the vagina. Even Gene Simmons (from KISS) is unlikely to get his tongue, never mind his whole face, that deep. And besides, even if he did get his tongue that deep, it doesn't have the correct cells with the correct receptors that hiv can latch onto and infect. Add in saliva's protective properties and transmission just isn't going to happen.


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 05, 2014, 03:42:48 PM ---
What about the scenario where the guy (who hypothetically has HIV) also  has an STI that is dormant like herpes or something and didn't know or care to tell me and were to give oral?  Isn't that a risk for ME not only for the herpes but to get his strain of HIV also? I  Have been undetectable for well over 12 yrs. (not sure exactly) and have no other STI's....and am not about to put myself in a position to acquire one.


--- End quote ---

Yes, you are potentially putting yourself at risk for genital herpes if the guy has active herpes on his lips when he goes down on you. While it's true that the herpes virus can still at times shed from an outbreak area when there isn't actually an active outbreak present, personally I doubt it results in transmission very often if at all. It's the times when a person has an outbreak coming on, active, or not quite healed that are most likely to result in transmission.

You are NOT at risk for getting his "strain" of hiv from receiving oral, regardless of his STI status. Hiv simply is NOT transmitted through giving a woman oral. Saliva is NOT infectious regardless of the person's STI status.

Most of the other STIs aren't normally transmitted from the person giving oral, to the woman receiving. It's mainly herpes you need to watch out for when receiving oral.

Blowjobs are a different matter. Gonorrhea and syphilis can be transmitted from the blower's mouth/throat to the blowee's penis. (Is blowee a word? LOL) The person doing the blowing can also become infected orally with syphilis or gonorrhea if they're blowing a person who has either of these problems. It's not terribly common (either way), but it can and does happen. It seems to be a problem mainly amongst gay men.


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 05, 2014, 03:42:48 PM ---
Also, what's this I have read about superinfection and drug resistance?  Is that only a possibility if one person or the other is undetectable?


--- End quote ---

"Superinfection" doesn't mean super-strenght. In this case, super is a prefix like in the word superimposed. Superinfection means one hiv infection on top of another hiv infection. It is referring to the exact same situation as reinfection - the words are interchangeable.

There have only been a very few cases of reinfection and none of the persons were on meds when they became reinfected. They were all newly infected in the first place and their bodies hadn't come to grips with the first infection. Reinfection is NOT something that a person who is stable and undetectable on meds needs to worry about.


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 05, 2014, 03:42:48 PM ---
And if I was giving oral to a man who's pos. how is that OK for me?


--- End quote ---

Giving blowjobs isn't the huge risk for hiv infection that many think it is. It's really only possible when the person being blown has a sky-high viral load (such as happens in early infection when a person probably doesn't even know they're poz yet) and the person doing the blowing has terrible oral health. I don't mean a bit of blood when you brush, I mean terrible oral health like meth mouth for example. You don't need to worry about this whatsoever. You're on meds and meds will act as a preventative against a new infection.

The only thing you really need to worry about when having sex with another poz person is other STIs. Seriously. That includes giving a poz guy oral as well as him returning the favour. You really don't have any hiv worries with other poz folk.

Overall, you've been undetectable for years and years and you'd be more likely to suddenly develop the ability to wave your hand and turn a frog into a prince than you are to have the ability to infect - or reinfect - anyone through sex, even if you wanted to. (I know you don't want to, I'm just sayin'.)


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 05, 2014, 03:42:48 PM ---
The main reason I posted this was...well obviously for information... but also because I wanted to see if it would be less of a hassle to date other pos. men.


--- End quote ---

In my own opinion it is easier with a poz guy, but not out of any concern for transmitting my virus to a neg guy (because I'm undetectable), but because a poz guy understands living with hiv like no neg person ever could.

I was with a neg guy when I was first diagnosed. We'd been having unprotected sex for a year and a half before my diagnosis and yet he remained hiv negative. We stayed together, but started using condoms for intercourse - nothing for oral either way. I was never on meds during our relationship (nearly eight years) and he is hiv negative to this day.

Hiv is difficult - but not impossible - to transmit from a woman to a man.

We split up (nothing to do with hiv) and I started seeing an old flame again, and he's poz. He has been on meds the whole time we've been together (this time) - over six years - and I've only been on meds since July 2012. We've never used condoms and I was never worried about reinfection. And of course it never happened. It's not going to happen now, either. We're both undetectable. No worries!

Sooooo.... as I tell the Worried Wells over in the Am I Infected? forum, I don't just talk the talk, I walk the walk too.


--- Quote from: deprivedlol on April 04, 2014, 06:53:51 PM ---
I'm too young to have a life void of intimacy!!


--- End quote ---

I totally agree, and I hope this information helps. :)

Ann

deprivedlol:
WOW...Soooo many thoughts after reading all that, which I'm sorry took me until today...my pc was out for repairs. That was a VERY informative response  and I REALLY appreciate the time you took to answer all my concerns!  I'm relieved to find out that a lot of what I thought was correct actually wasn't.  I am also annoyed with myself for not asking these questions sooner.
 You know how people say that money isn't everything...well it is if you don't have it.  Same concept with sex...it's not  all a relationship should be based on but if you're lacking in that dept. it sure does make a difference. Part of me is feeling all giddy and excited and thinking about what the future could bring now that I don't have to be so paranoid anymore. It's been VERY difficult for me to abstain from the good stuff thinking it was what I was supposed to do.  Now it's time to let loose a little and have some fun for once...responsible fun of course. 
THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

-Deprived

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