There are many people living with HIV. If you have a friend with HIV, just keep being a friend! That is what your friend needs most. HIV human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the immune system. The immune system becomes weaker, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and some kinds of cancers. In AIDS, the immune system is severely weakened. Serious infections and health problems happen. HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids such as semen or vaginal fluids enter the body. This can happen:. If your friend seems very sad or overwhelmed, ask if talking to a therapist might be helpful.
We are both HIV positive…we don’t have to use condoms:
I remember where I was. The doctor was a stern-faced woman with blonde hair and a golden cross dangling around her neck. I was living in Savannah, Georgia, and completing my last year of college.
2 Zita Lazzarini et al., Evaluating the Impact of Criminal Laws on HIV Risk disclosing that knowledge to the other person prior to engaging in the sexual.
Being in love, going steady, or even getting married does not automatically protect you from HIV. You can only get HIV from someone who is infected with HIV, and even then only if you are involved in risky activities that can spread the virus. But even people who have sex with only one person can get HIV. There is no risk of transmitting HIV between two people who are both uninfected.
The problem is: How do you know? People do not always tell the truth, or do not always know that they are infected. Even if you are in a committed relationship and can trust that your partner is not being exposed to HIV, you should still be tested before having unprotected sex if either of you had any chance of exposure to HIV in the past. Also, if you were exposed to HIV just a few weeks before getting tested for HIV, the test result might indicate that you are not infected when in fact you are, but a test won’t show it until weeks later.
So, both you and your partner should be tested once, and after about 3 to 6 months be tested a second time, before you can be sure that you are both HIV negative. This assumes that you both have committed to not having sex with anyone else, and that neither of you has been exposed to HIV since the first test. Remember that if you have a reason to be concerned about a recent HIV infection or have symptoms of early HIV infection, you should let your provider know so that you can be tested with an HIV viral load test that can detect HIV earlier.
Sometimes it is just easier to protect yourself than to keep track of other people.
The HIV-Positive Person’s Guide to Sex and Dating, Part One
Do we still need to use condoms? HIV reinfection or superinfection as it is sometimes called, is a consequence of unprotected sexual encounters between two HIV infected people. Simply put, reinfection occurs when a person living with HIV gets infected a second time while having unprotected sex with another HIV infected person. Compelling evidence has surfaced in human case studies that have confirmed fears that HIV reinfection can occur and can be very problematic for HIV infected people.
As you may already know there are several strains of HIV. In addition, when exposed to medications, HIV changes or mutates over time.
It may be easy to jump at the chance to date someone who is alright with how it is transmitted, treatment, and methods of reducing their risk.
In , BETA published an article about viral suppression and having an undetectable viral load. A lot has changed since the original article was published. You will need to have your blood drawn for this test, and the test will determine the level of virus in your blood that day. If you are undetectable, and have been on HIV medications for at least six months, and you continue that treatment, the risk of transmitting HIV is effectively zero. This finding has been well-established over the last six to seven years by multiple research studies.
After studying thousands of couples, over many years, research has shown that if an HIV-positive person is on effective HIV medications for at least six months, is undetectable, and stays on their HIV medications, they will not transmit HIV to other people. We know this is true from research studies with thousands of episodes of people having anal sex, with many years of follow-up. Unless there is blood in the mouth, there is no risk of HIV being transmitted during oral sex anyway.
Being undetectable does not mean that you are cured of HIV. There are three instances when your HIV viral load might come back and be detectable again. People may experience viral blips when they take their HIV medications every day. Viral blips are usually due to issues in the lab, such as some slight error in the test or in the test conditions in the lab. Occasionally they are due to a slight but true increase in the viral load due to a stress such as an illness or a vaccine.
Viral blips, in which the viral load goes right back down to undetectable soon, are considered harmless.
I Prefer to Date Men Who are HIV Positive
HIV remains a significant public health crisis in the United States and around the world. Lack of funding for public health programs and general ideological opposition to sex education has made it challenging to stop HIV in its tracks altogether. Though the number of new diagnoses each year has steadily fallen in the general population, gay and bisexual men still make up 55 percent of the people who are living with HIV in the United States.
Based on current diagnoses rates, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime.
A total of HIV seroconversions were observed in 15 person-years for Age of sexual partner is a major risk factor for HIV acquisition in both men and date between last HIV negative and first HIV-positive test, following methods from.
Colleague’s E-mail is Invalid. Your message has been successfully sent to your colleague. Save my selection. Supplemental digital content is available for this article. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4. To quantify the contribution of specific sexual partner age groups to the risk of HIV acquisition in men and women in a hyperendemic region of South Africa. We conducted a population-based cohort study among women 15—49 years of age and men 15—55 years of age between and in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Supporting Someone Living With HIV
When someone in your family tests positive for HIV, you may feel a range of emotions. Rest assured that people with HIV can live at home and maintain a normal social life. Since the virus is not spread by casual i.
Yet that turned out to not be true which took some risk of disclosure, but that disclosure affirmed to me that not everyone has hesitations dating someone living with the virus.
This is what it’s really like dating someone who is HIV-positive
You may not know the HIV status of your partner. You might not even have been tested yourself. It can be very difficult to talk about HIV status. See fact sheet for some ideas. People in mixed-status relationships face all the same things as other couples. But there are some extra issues:.
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Skip to content. I recently began dating a guy who is HIV positive. I know how it is transmitted and the risks involved, but I was wondering if there are any statistics out about being infected in my similar situation. How high are my chances of contracting it if we are careful? However, there are many ways to significantly reduce risk of transmission, even for an uninfected person in a sexually active relationship with someone who is HIV-positive. Many studies have been conducted on serodiscordant couples, meaning that one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative.
Growing evidence suggests that as HIV medicines become more efficacious, HIV-positive individuals taking antiretroviral medications are significantly less likely to transmit the virus to a sexual partner than someone not taking medication. In fact, in a study of almost 3, monogamous serodiscordant couples, it was found that with the use of antiretroviral therapy, only 3.
About Undetectable and HIV
A situation that would have once been actively discouraged is now completely safe for both of us where we have access to all the resources we could possibly need. The story of how my partner became infected or how we found out is irrelevant — the most important part of this that I need everyone to know is the aftermath and how it has enabled us to be a regular, dull couple like everyone else. Immediately after the diagnoses, my boyfriend was given pills for the HIV, as well as antibiotics to prop up his immune system that had inevitably been weakened by being untreated for so long.
HIV medicine lowers the amount of virus viral load in your body, and taking it as prescribed can make your viral load undetectable. If your viral load stays undetectable, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex. Never share needles and other equipment to inject drugs. While we do not yet know if or how much being undetectable or virally suppressed prevents some ways that HIV is transmitted, it is reasonable to assume that it provides some risk reduction.
The current recommendation in the United States is for mothers with HIV to avoid breastfeeding their infants. Treatment is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only as long as you keep an undetectable viral load. Consider taking other actions to prevent HIV, like using condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP , if you or your partner wants added peace of mind.
Taking these other actions can be useful, especially if you. Also use condoms if either partner is concerned about getting or transmitting other STDs. Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load prevents HIV transmission during sex. But there are situations when either partner may consider adding other prevention options like condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP :.
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So the risk can pile up if you’re having sex with an HIV positive person multiple times. It’s also important to remember that you can get infected the.
Emma Kaywin, a Brooklyn-based sexual health writer and activist, is here to calm your nerves and answer your questions. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. My partner of eight years and I just went to get tested together, and he came back positive for HIV and I came out negative. What can I do? Will I definitely get it? And then, getting a different result than your partner can be even harder if it brings issues of jealousy into the mix.