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Author Topic: New partner has HIV....a couple of questions.  (Read 1538 times)

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Offline dermott

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New partner has HIV....a couple of questions.
« on: February 15, 2022, 11:17:47 am »
Hello all,

Well up until a year ago my knowledge on HIV was extremely limited & outdated. I shamefully believed it was a death sentence & someone suffering from HIV could no longer have a 'normal' sexual relationship. I then met a wonderful woman who told me she was HIV positive but currently undetectable for 6 years. I had no idea what she meant so I began research & I was shocked to find out that all my preconceived ideas were extremely incorrect & you can actually live a normal life with HIV.

We started seeing each other a few months back & we have had sex several times however I have still insisted on wearing a condom for vaginal sex. My now girlfriend is absolutely fine with this. The main reason I have decided to wear protection is because although she says she is undetectable I have not seen any documentation to clarify this. I have no reason not to mistrust her & who with an insane mind would risk their own health by not taking the medication. She says that she is very consistent with taking her meds & has a blood test every 6 months however, the hospital here in England do not send her any results. Say says that the hospital would only contact her if she has become detectable again & this is the bit that worries me. I would have thought that the hospital would contact patients after every test to confirm that they are still undetectable.

Can any one confirm this?

The last thing that I am slightly concerned about is the stigma. Not with myself but others. My girlfriend is very vocal about her status & has no problems telling people. However, I have a teenage son who would not understand what HIV was if he was to find out. He knows of HIV but not how treatable it is. When he has mentioned it it's been the normal homophobic c@#p that he hears at school. I am concerned that he may find out that I am dating a HIV pos women & become upset & concerned that his school friends may taunt him. The chances of him finding out are slim but then I feel like I should tell him but then again I have read that other HIV pos people keep it private & only tell new sexual partners.

What are peoples thoughts on telling their children if they enter a relationship with a HIV pos partner?

Hope I do not come across as shallow or insensitive.

Thanks.


Offline Jim Allen

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Re: New partner has HIV....a couple of questions.
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2022, 11:30:08 am »
Hiya,

Your post has two main topics, and I moved your post to the prevention section to answer the first questions related to HIV prevention, TaSP/U=U.

Due to the subject, only a few members can reply to HIV prevention questions.

So please feel free to repost your 2nd question on telling children/teenagers about you or your partners HIV status  in the "Someone I care about section."

Best, Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: New partner has HIV....a couple of questions.
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2022, 11:56:44 am »
Quote
Well up until a year ago my knowledge on HIV was extremely limited & outdated. I shamefully believed it was a death sentence & someone suffering from HIV could no longer have a 'normal' sexual relationship. I then met a wonderful woman who told me she was HIV positive but currently undetectable for 6 years. I had no idea what she meant so I began research & I was shocked to find out that all my preconceived ideas were extremely incorrect & you can actually live a normal life with HIV.

We started seeing each other a few months back & we have had sex several times however I have still insisted on wearing a condom for vaginal sex. My now girlfriend is absolutely fine with this. The main reason I have decided to wear protection is because although she says she is undetectable I have not seen any documentation to clarify this. I have no reason not to mistrust her & who with an insane mind would risk their own health by not taking the medication. She says that she is very consistent with taking her meds & has a blood test every 6 months however, the hospital here in England do not send her any results. Say says that the hospital would only contact her if she has become detectable again & this is the bit that worries me. I would have thought that the hospital would contact patients after every test to confirm that they are still undetectable.

Can any one confirm this?

The NHS in my experience would not share a report with someone's lab results, so nothing for you to see and your partner is telling you the truth.

Not that there would be any benefit in seeing a report either, it's a snapshot moment, and ultimately, you would still need to trust your partner to be talking their meds to ensure the viral load remains suppressed.

Quote
Say says that the hospital would only contact her if she has become detectable again & this is the bit that worries me.

The answer to this is short, as long as your partner takes her meds, her viral load will remain suppressed, realistically there is nothing more to it.

On that topic, ill add that thankfully modern meds are also very forgiving, so perfect 100% daily compliance that once was needed to keep the virus suppressed isn't required anymore, although it's still the goal to take meds daily. 

https://www.poz.com/article/treatment-adherence

Quote
we have had sex several times however I have still insisted on wearing a condom for vaginal sex.

From an HIV point of view, a person living with HIV (PLHIV), who is on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) (HAART) and has achieved an undetectable viral load* in their blood for at least six months, can not sexually transmit HIV.

https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=71864.0

Of course, condoms have the benefit that they provide some levels of protection against other far easier acquired STI's. So with condom usage, you should be testing at least yearly out of standard routine and if you do engage in condomless intercourse, consider testing more regularly for STI's.

You could also consider PrEP, as reassurance, not that you need it. PrEP is a medication taken by HIV-negative people to reduce the chance of getting HIV, although, unlike the condom, it would not offer any risk reduction for other STI's.

https://www.aidsmap.com/about-hiv/how-get-prep-uk

Quote
I have still insisted on wearing a condom for vaginal sex. My now girlfriend is absolutely fine with this.

Happy days. If you are both comfortable with condoms, that's fine.

Obviously, from your post, it seems you were not up to date on the progress made over the past few decades, so this is new to you, and prehaps with time, once you have digested things, you will ditch the condom, but if you don't and you are both happy I can't see the problem.

Hope this helps and let us know if you have more questions on HIV prevention.

Please do free to repost your 2nd question on telling children/teenagers about you or your partners HIV status in the "Someone I care about section."

Best, Jim
« Last Edit: February 15, 2022, 12:30:47 pm by Jim Allen »
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

 


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