Untraceable? Undetectable? Something like that... can someone explain it?

  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Sep 02, 2009 8:10 AM GMT
    I met a really cool guy. We clicked real well together. Didn't mess around the first few dates then finally did. He topped me, safely with a condom, but I did do oral sex on him without a condom.

    The next day he told me he is HIV but undetectable I think is the term he used. In my mind I was kind of freaking out... but he was telling me how safe it is... even unprotected sex is considered safe to many doctors with that status.

    Now I know I am way behind the learning curve with this stuff... so can someone give me the cliff notes version about this one???
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 10:14 AM GMT
    When someone says his HIV is undetectable, he is referring to the viral load. Because the assay cannot detect viral load, does not mean there are no viral particles in the blood. The number of viruses may be so few that the assay cannot detect them.
    Viral loads are usually reported as copies of HIV in one milliliter of blood. The tests count up to about 1 million copies, and are always being improved to be more sensitive. The first bDNA test measured down to 10,000 copies. The second generation could detect as few as 500 copies. Now there are ultra sensitive tests for research that can detect less than 5 copies.
    Only about 2% of the HIV in your body is in the blood. The viral load test does not measure how much HIV is in body tissues like the lymph nodes, spleen, or brain. HIV levels in lymph tissue and semen go down when blood levels go down, but not at the same time or the same rate.

    Taken together all the recent reports continue to suggest that effective combination antiretroviral therapy that drives HIV plasma viral load to undetectable levels significantly decreases the risk of HIV transmission. However, the risk is not nonexistent. One of the issues recently getting more attention is the now confirmed fact that even though the plasma viral load is suppressed to undetectable limits, folks can still have detectable virus in seminal fluid (and presumably anal secretions and vaginal/cervical secretions as well).

    There is no "safe" level of viral load. Although the risk is less, you can pass HIV to another person even if your viral load is undetectable.

    The risk of HIV transmission from oral sex, if a person has an undetectable viral load, are extremely low.

    You should discuss the situation with you family physician or HIV clinic. HIV testing will be one of the recommendations. You should learn everything you can on HIV.


    http://www.aids.org/factSheets/125-Viral-Load-Tests.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 11:10 AM GMT
    As FirstKnight has posted - odds are you are going to be fine but you do need to get tested in about 3-6 months to be certain.

    The bigger issue in front of you now is why a "cool" guy who has taken the time to get to know you (and vice versa) would wait until after having sex with you to share this news.

    Definite red flag.

    I wish you all the best and am sorry to hear you are going through this.

    It's a reminder to everyone to know your status, share your status and ask the status of all potential partners. And always play safe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 12:38 PM GMT
    One of the tenets of Safe Sex is to assume every new sex partner is HIV+. Not only because some guys won't tell you up front, as this guy didn't, but some honestly won't know they're infected.

    Or in this case, they're misinformed regarding the risk a low viral load presents to their sex partners, "...telling me how safe it is... even unprotected sex is considered safe to many doctors with that [HIV viral load] status." I'd like to find out who those "many doctors" are; none that *I* know. Get yourself tested, and be safer next time.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 02, 2009 1:58 PM GMT
    The guys above you have it correct. While the guy you had sex with might honestly believe what he's telling (then again, he may be lying through his teeth), he's wrong. Unprotected sex with an HIV+ partner is not a safe thing. Transmission probabilities are lower with low viral loads, and lower with oral sex than anal sex, but they aren't zero.

    Tying in with another recent thread, this is yet another example why most of the informed individuals consider barebacking a crazy risk.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Sep 02, 2009 2:04 PM GMT
    This "cool" guy is a complete pig. After sex is far too late to disclose this information. Being undetectable means that he is not ill and therefore not worried about his health, but it means he still has HIV and can still spread the disease. Dump. Him. Now. Unforgivable behavior...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 5:01 PM GMT

    It's a myth advantage takers of tell young queerlings to get them to **0** without a condom. Run little one!
  • ickymuffin

    Posts: 119

    Sep 02, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    Last year Swiss HIV experts released a study showing that an HIV+ individual who is on anti-retroviral treatment and has an undetectable viral load is sexually non-infectious. I am not condoning this guys behavior, but he is probably referencing the findings that this article is talking about:
    http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/4E9D555B-18FB-4D56-B912-2C28AFCCD36B.asp

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 5:47 PM GMT
    In this situation here, you both had a responsibility. Protecting yourself when it comes to consentual sex is a two-way street -- if he's not forthcoming with information about his HIV status (or any other STI he might have), you should be asking -- and be prepared to answer the questions yourself!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 6:05 PM GMT
    ickymuffin saidLast year Swiss HIV experts released a study showing that an HIV+ individual who is on anti-retroviral treatment and has an undetectable viral load is sexually non-infectious. I am not condoning this guys behavior, but he is probably referencing the findings that this article is talking about:
    http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/4E9D555B-18FB-4D56-B912-2C28AFCCD36B.asp



    There appears to be a difference of opinion among experts. The CDC states that "oral sex is not risk free," recent studies indicate that the likelihood of HIV transmission via vaginal intercourse is very low if the positive partner is taking antiretroviral therapy, has stable undetectable viral load, and has no concurrent sexually transmitted diseases. The risk would be expected to be even lower for oral sex. This is from the 2009 CDC position statement.

    http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/recent/2009/061209_e.html
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    Sep 02, 2009 6:12 PM GMT
    JaseinOC saidI met a really cool guy. We clicked real well together. Didn't mess around the first few dates then finally did. He topped me, safely with a condom, but I did do oral sex on him without a condom.

    The next day he told me he is HIV but undetectable I think is the term he used. In my mind I was kind of freaking out... but he was telling me how safe it is... even unprotected sex is considered safe to many doctors with that status.

    Now I know I am way behind the learning curve with this stuff... so can someone give me the cliff notes version about this one???

    It still puzzles me that so many want to be sexually active and then blame the person they are with for their ignorance....If you want to play the game - know the rules!

    READ UP! your online on this site and you still try to excuse yourself!
    THE CLIFF NOTES IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU ON TOO MANY SITES TO EVEN NAME! WTF!


    http://www.realjock.com/splash/51/
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    Sep 02, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    Chances are that you lucked out this time. You got some good information here after the fact.

    However...

    You need to dump the dirt bag that didn't tell you he had HIV UP FRONT. This clearly was purely about him getting off with no consideration given about how you might feel about having sex with a sick person. He ROBBED you of that choice by not providing you with informed consent. That was playing with your life, and not for him to do. He's selfish, and, certainly not the sort of person I'd want to continue an association with. He knew damn good and well he should tell you, and didn't. His I,I,I,me,me,me attitude could cost you your life.

    It also raises the question, "What the hell were you thinking?" Why didn't you bring it up early on?

    We reap what we sow.

    You got lucky this time, almost certainly, but, will you NEXT TIME?

    Fool me once, shame on you..Fool me twice...call me an idiot.

    Lots of folks sick with HIV conveniently forget how to be honest, and often have "selective ethics", at best. Next time, you get it covered before you even associate with them, unless...you want to be one of them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 6:24 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidIt also raises the question, "What the hell were you thinking?" Why didn't you bring it up early on?


    I TOTALLY AGREE with you on the fact that anyone here would even THINK to PRESUME that they should trust someone to tell them about their status - INSTEAD FLAT OUT just asking them is JUST PLAIN IGNORANT!
    ESPECIALLY AFTER the 1st date!

    MAKE IT A HABIT! IF you choose to not date someone HIV+ then GOOD LUCK!
    Because after you read the information here on this site and numerous sites available you will realize most people CAN'T truly tell you their status if they had sex within the last 3 months - at the very least!

    SO you want to FUCK - then EDUCATE yourself! AND TRUST your instincts.
    And when the HONEST guy tells you he is UPFRONT - treat him with some kindness and respect even if you decide not to be intimate....

    GOOD LUCK!


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 6:46 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidChances are that you lucked out this time. You got some good information here after the fact.

    However...

    You need to dump the dirt bag that didn't tell you he had HIV UP FRONT. This clearly was purely about him getting off with no consideration giving about how you might feel about having sex with a sick person. He ROBBED you of that choice by not providing you with informed consent. That was playing with your life, and not for him to do. He's selfish, and, certainly not the sort of person I'd want to continue an association with. He knew damn good and well he should tell you, and didn't. His I,I,I,me,me,me attitude could cost you your life.

    It also raises the question, "What the hell were you thinking?" Why didn't you bring it up early on?

    We reap what we sow.

    You got lucky this time, almost certainly, but, will you NEXT TIME?

    Fool me once, shame on you..Fool me twice...call me an idiot.

    Lots of folks sick with HIV conveniently forget how to be honest, and often have "selective ethics", at best. Next time, you get it covered before you even associate with them, unless...you want to be one of them.
    Overall not a bad post, but that last paragraph strikes me as a broadbrush on your part and quite judgmental.

    I'm too busy worrying about my own ethics to try and deduce the ethics of an entire group of people I don't know personally.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
    JaseinOC saidI met a really cool guy. We clicked real well together. Didn't mess around the first few dates then finally did. He topped me, safely with a condom, but I did do oral sex on him without a condom.

    The next day he told me he is HIV but undetectable I think is the term he used. In my mind I was kind of freaking out... but he was telling me how safe it is... even unprotected sex is considered safe to many doctors with that status.

    Now I know I am way behind the learning curve with this stuff... so can someone give me the cliff notes version about this one???


    What is wrong with people???! You have a few dates, get to know each other, finally have sex and he tells you the NEXT DAY that he's HIV+. Yet another reason you can't trust anyone and need to assume that EVERYONE is HIV+ when you're dating. Celibacy looks better and better every day!
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    Sep 02, 2009 7:08 PM GMT
    xanadude saidIn this situation here, you both had a responsibility. Protecting yourself when it comes to consensual sex is a two-way street -- if he's not forthcoming with information about his HIV status (or any other STI he might have), you should be asking -- and be prepared to answer the questions yourself!


    I totally agree and would go so far as to say that you are always responsible for protecting yourself and doing your own *INFORMED* risk assessment of a situation and determining what level of risk you are comfortable with.

    *Your health is your responsibility not anyone elses*
    There is nothing wrong with asking and talking about HIV with any partners or potential partners.

    Knowing the facts and what your comfort level is with any sex acts and taking action that is appropriate for *you* is imperative whether it is in casual dating or in a committed relationship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 7:12 PM GMT
    Don't ever forget, sound judgment keeps us ALIVE. You have a brain, and it's there to use. If someone calls you judgmental, understand, that's PERFECT, and as it SHOULD BE.

    Folks without sound judgment end up dead, sick, maimed, in jail and so on. MAKE JUDGMENTS.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 7:14 PM GMT
    Obviously, the guy should have told you before. However, your risk seems very low given what you described. Anal with a condom should be safe and oral is very low / no risk behavior for HIV.

    So try to relax, get tested in 2 months and play safe from now on. You should hopefully be okay this time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 8:43 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidDon't ever forget, sound judgment keeps us ALIVE. You have a brain, and it's there to use. If someone calls you judgmental, understand, that's PERFECT, and as it SHOULD BE.

    Folks without sound judgment end up dead, sick, maimed, in jail and so on. MAKE JUDGMENTS.
    Ah, but there's a difference between using sound judgment, and casting aspersions on people, no? In other words, you can make a good decision for yourself without assuming too much about the ethics and morals of other people.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 9:00 PM GMT
    Something most people do not know about is PEP.
    Go here:
    http://www.aids.org/factSheets/156-Treatment-After-Exposure-to-HIV-PEP.html

    If you ever engage in risky behavior accidentally or otherwise it is best to see a trained physician.

    I would also recommend that you do not wait 3-6 months and instead get the 'pricey' hiv test that free clinics do not offer, it searches for the virus itself rather than the antibodies. It can detect it with greater accuracy and within a shorter window. I personally believe it is worth the $100-300. After all, your life is at risk here. icon_wink.gif

    Edit: Also read about these things before you commit the act.
    I never have had the sex, but I know enough about playing safe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2009 9:02 PM GMT
    seems like someone put the joys of their dick, before your long term well being, so after his dick had it's joy, he decided to tell you, because freddie could not be rejected, and deprived of his joy. So sad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 5:00 AM GMT
    It seems like I see a lot of these threads lately. I guess the stress factor is one reason to wait a while and get to know someone before jumping in bed with them. You also have to ask yourself why in the world would someone tell you AFTER the fact? seems like the trust factor is blown away at that point.

    There are many things that are pretty much near zero risk like massage, masturbation, even if the other person is positive.

    Be safe, don't be in a hurry, be smart, and don't give yourself away so easy.

    P.S. there are the tests that are effective after about 10 days of exposure if you are really worried and want to know. They used to do them free at one of the clinics here in San Diego.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 5:04 AM GMT
    FirstKnight saidWhen someone says his HIV is undetectable, he is referring to the viral load. Because the assay cannot detect viral load, does not mean there are no viral particles in the blood. The number of viruses may be so few that the assay cannot detect them.
    Viral loads are usually reported as copies of HIV in one milliliter of blood. The tests count up to about 1 million copies, and are always being improved to be more sensitive. The first bDNA test measured down to 10,000 copies. The second generation could detect as few as 500 copies. Now there are ultra sensitive tests for research that can detect less than 5 copies.
    Only about 2% of the HIV in your body is in the blood. The viral load test does not measure how much HIV is in body tissues like the lymph nodes, spleen, or brain. HIV levels in lymph tissue and semen go down when blood levels go down, but not at the same time or the same rate.

    Taken together all the recent reports continue to suggest that effective combination antiretroviral therapy that drives HIV plasma viral load to undetectable levels significantly decreases the risk of HIV transmission. However, the risk is not nonexistent. One of the issues recently getting more attention is the now confirmed fact that even though the plasma viral load is suppressed to undetectable limits, folks can still have detectable virus in seminal fluid (and presumably anal secretions and vaginal/cervical secretions as well).

    There is no "safe" level of viral load. Although the risk is less, you can pass HIV to another person even if your viral load is undetectable.

    The risk of HIV transmission from oral sex, if a person has an undetectable viral load, are extremely low.

    You should discuss the situation with you family physician or HIV clinic. HIV testing will be one of the recommendations. You should learn everything you can on HIV.


    http://www.aids.org/factSheets/125-Viral-Load-Tests.html




    You have always provided valid info in all the posts that I have read. Thanks for being on top of things and providing good information. I agree with you on this. Studies have shown that while a person is undetectable, chances of transmission are low, but can happen if safe sex is not practiced.
    The guy should have informed him from the start. As a Poz individual, I always make sure that any partner that I am with knows before we proceed on to any sexual encounter. This is being a responsible adult.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Sep 03, 2009 5:59 AM GMT

    others have already posted their opinions and their perspectives, so I don't think it's necessary for me to right too much, but: I do not care [i]what/i] his viral load may be ... I am going to assume that, as Red_Vespa has already stated that each prospective partner is HIV+ until otherwise specified.

    what frightens me also is the possibility of spreading HIV through oral sex ... I can honestly say that I am not accustomed to having a guy put a condom on for oral sex or vice versa.
  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Sep 06, 2009 4:24 AM GMT
    thanks for the replies... my computer crashed and I haven't been able to get on till I just figured it out on my phone.
    its such a huge bummer cause he is genuinely a nice guy who I think has been misinformed... I don't at all think it is a matter of him breaking trust or misleading me. I guess I do have to take it as a lesson and be more careful... but I am nervous about next time having to put my foot down. not too good at that.