What if I'm HIV (-) and Mr. Right is HIV (+)?

  • Medic911

    Posts: 152

    May 13, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    So, I met a guy recently who is amazing. He is strong, athletic, smart, funny, well traveled and fun-spirited. I am always doing something active- I rock climb, love water sports, swimming, running, hiking, biking, etc. He is the first gay guy I have met in Orlando who is not afraid (and actually WANTS) to do all of those things with me. We have a great time together and I can see a future with him (although it is still very early).

    I am HIV negative and I plan on keeping it that way. I am very healthy and I am the kind of guy who would rather go for a bike ride and lay by the lake then go out to a club and drink all night. I am proud of myself and my status and my job also requires me to be HIV negative (I am in emergency medicine and if I become positive, I am at risk of becoming fatally sick or injured).

    He is HIV positive and, although I do not mind whatsoever, I was wondering if there is anything specific I should know about dating and then having a loving relationship with a man who is positive. His viral load is "undetectable" which is awesome. He is fit and healthy.

    Any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns?

    Help me out, RJ family.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2010 5:00 PM GMT
    I would LOVE to tell you you're going to be 100% safe, but even Condom's have a .% fail rate. icon_sad.gif

    Be careful, is my only advice.
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    May 13, 2010 5:11 PM GMT
    I've been HIV+ for nearly 26 years. My first lover from 1987 (relationship of 4 years) was and still is HIV- and we are still like family to this day.

    Today, HIV does not have to be of grave concern as it was 20+ years ago. Just take the same precautions that you always take and the probability is that you will both be just fine.

    Just remember that there is no such thing as "100% risk free sex" with ANYBODY.

    Best wishes and may you both have many happy decades together!

    Aloha and Be Well!
  • BeachStud2014

    Posts: 343

    May 13, 2010 8:00 PM GMT
  • BeachStud2014

    Posts: 343

    May 13, 2010 8:01 PM GMT
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    May 13, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    Everyone has the right to be happy, go for it.
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    May 13, 2010 8:19 PM GMT
    That's a tough situation. I recently went on a couple dates with a neat guy. Before sleeping together, he told me he was positive with an undetectable viral load. I know a lot about HIV transmission as i worked in a testing clinic but I know my own paranoia supersedes any amount of safety precaution. I know I could simply never enjoy sex with a person knowing they're positive.

    Ultimately, its your choice.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    May 13, 2010 8:21 PM GMT
    I don't think it's that big an issue if you are informed, practical and follow strict protocols. You should talk to an HIV specialist and make sure you understand how HIV is spread and what activities to avoid. You also need to make sure that you understand the non-sexual ways HIV can be spread - minor cuts, sharing a razor or toothbrush, etc.

    HIV is not a death sentence, but you do need to make sure you understand he could one day become very sick. Then again, so could you.
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    May 13, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    Unfortunately that would mean that he isn't Mr. Right, but rather Mr. Almost Right. icon_sad.gif
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    May 13, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    Now that you know, proceed ahead with the proper precautions. Nothing's 100 percents safe and forgoing this guy for another doesn't guarantee anything because...well, you never know what the next guy has. Point is, you're the keeper of your body and as long as you take proper precautions, i say go for it.
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    May 13, 2010 8:29 PM GMT
    love him anyways
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    May 13, 2010 8:49 PM GMT
    Tomorrow you could be run over by a bus. dead. He'll still be here.
    Next January you could come down with leukemia and be dead by April and he'll still be there more than likely.
    In 2020 you could get rectal cancer and it spreads, you're on chemo and radiation for a year degrading and die, he's probably still here.

    I have many many friends who have been HIV positive for +20 years and doing well while others in my life have died from the above scenarios at younger ages and were quote "in the best of health"

    that's life.

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    May 13, 2010 8:49 PM GMT
    Go for it .... love is blind. You find Mr. Right -- then enjoy the rest of your life with him.

    All the best....
  • JayDT

    Posts: 390

    May 13, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    My first love (who is still very much so the love of my life) is HIV+ and I am not. We dated and even had a fairly fulfilling sexual relationship together. It ended not because we didn't love eachother but beacause I loved him so much that I couldn't bear the thought of losing him. What if I brought home the flu and he got sick and died. What if his illness progressed and he died. We are still very close friends and we agree to this day that us breaking up was the right (though very difficult thing) for us to do. He's a budhist monk now and living at a monostary in Dallas, something he could not have done if he had been in a relationship. He's healthy, active, and very involved in the community. I don't regret loving him or being involved with him ever. If you feel like this man could be the man for you, don't let this stop you. Yes the sex will have to be a bit different in order to be safer, and there will always be a possibility of contracting it from him, or of you getting him sick. But follow your heart. I did and met and fell in love with one of the most beautiful souls on this planet.
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    May 13, 2010 9:16 PM GMT
    Ok, you’re a med tech. You know what the risks are being a med tech.
    As an EMT I have been tested more times than I care to state.
    I venture there is higher risk of contracting HIV from your job then there would be from safe sex with you new man—glove up.
    Happy to her that you are considering it and he told you up front.
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    May 13, 2010 9:19 PM GMT
    Life is short even if you don't have a life-threatening condition. Love love love away.
  • SeaMichael

    Posts: 138

    May 13, 2010 9:21 PM GMT
    If you can't ever EVER get the HIV, then you shouldn't do it. The risk is there.

    But, as stated, the risk can be made negligible.

    (to give some weight to my comments - I used to work in reproductive health education, with an emphasis on STDs)

    First, condoms are always a must. Even if he is undetectable (which is awesome), there's no need to take that risk.

    Second, if either of you have herpes or genital warts, be sure to not engage in intercourse during a breakout (even oral herpes).

    Third, avoid receptive anal intercourse. This can be tricky, depending on the circumstances of your role preferences, but if you're a top, and he's a bottom, then lucky you.

    And finally - get checked regularly. If he's undetectable, he's clearly doing a good job at maintaining his health through nutrition and exercise, as well as medications and regular doctor visits. You, too, should regularly be tested for HIV, and if you do contract it, catching it early can lead to minimal disruption to your life.

    I would disagree with anyone who says "don't do it because he's HIV positive". If you're willing to adhere to precautions, then go for it. As previously stated, HIV is no longer the same death sentence it once was, however, it still kills, and precautions need to be taken. If you do that, then there's no reason to think you can't have a happy and successful relationship.
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    May 13, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    As a single gay man, you should assume every man you meet, have sex with or whatever is positive until you find out otherwise. It seems now you just have to decide if you really want to date this guy, which it sounds like you do. Go into this with both eyes open, you will make the right choice. You should also talk to him about how you feel about this, he just might be feeling the same way.
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    May 13, 2010 9:29 PM GMT
    I am negative, but have been in an LTR with someone who is positive before. It is no different than being with anyone else. Obviously when you are doing sexual things there are some limits and you need to protect yourself; however, if you are able to get past that (since relationships are about way more than sex despite what some guys may think) then you can have a perfectly normal and happy relationship with this guy. You just have to make sure you trust him and that he is respectful of any hesitations you may have, and that he makes your safety and health a priority. This is where communication is key.

    When I first met the positive guy I once dated I didn't know anything about HIV, so when he told me he had it my first instinct was to head for the hills. Nevertheless, there was something special about him and I was not able to stop thinking about him. I immediately did all the research I could about HIV/AIDS and even went to some of his doctors appointments with him where we could talk openly and candidly about risk factors. Even though our relationship did not last in the long run, he is one of my best friends today and I will always care about him.

    Anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to grow as a person and become more understanding is usually a good thing.
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    May 13, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    Why not just be friends? It will last longer.
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    May 13, 2010 9:39 PM GMT
    Medic911 saidHis viral load is "undetectable" which is awesome. He is fit and healthy.

    Any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns?

    As I have written here many times, I was partnered with a poz guy for several years. I had no fears except for his own health, not for mine. We agreed to practice 100% safe sex, and we did, so that I remain negative to this day. So can you.

    But I must say, I'm not sure how to interpret your comment that his viral load is "undetectable." The HIV risk to you should not be judged by his viral load. Undetectable or high, he can still infect you. Always practice 100% safe sex, regardless of what his viral load is. Believe me, you can have great sex, and a great relationship, and still do it safely all the time.

    If you reference his viral load as an indication of his health and future prospects, yes, that is a good sign. But I have to be honest & blunt, because any HIV+ person, regardless of their viral load and time with the illness, can unexpectedly contract a fatal opportunistic disease that will kill them at any time. That is what happened with my late partner, striking him down out of the blue, despite his having a minuscule viral count, too.

    So you run that risk of losing him without warning, and having to endure those last dying days with him, as I did with my partner. Your guy's present good health and low viral count put the odds on his side, but there are no guarantees. At the same time, we all hope that medical advances will happen, and perhaps tomorrow my concerns will become moot.

    So be forewarned of the risks, and despite the negative aspects I've written, I hope you guys will get together if you love each other. You know I'm rooting for you both. icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 13, 2010 10:04 PM GMT
    You're playing russian roulette here man....if you see yourself happy with him in the long run, do it....just becareful....if is just a fling then dont bother....your life isnt worth catchin it... :i
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    May 13, 2010 10:31 PM GMT
    Like many have mentioned here, follow your heart if you guys actually are in love with each other. (Or falling in love) At the same time be cautious about the present and future.

    gave a touching example of unfortunate events that can possibly happen down the road. Also anyone of us could die unexpectedly at any time regardless of being HIV- or HIV+. So enjoy the time you spend together and cherish the moments that brings you happiness without judgment icon_wink.gif.
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    May 13, 2010 10:46 PM GMT
    Ya know, HIV while bad isn't the thing that for me is scary, what is scary are those people who go around sleeping with other men without sharing there status, whilst I can understand the bigotry that many men with HIV get, I don't think that is a valid reason to hide it at all and I applaud those men who stand up proudly as a person and can state they are HIV+, so you have found a man who cares as much about your health as about his own, he will want to protect you from the virus he carries as much as you will want to protect your self, he's just had a longer time to come to terms with this then you have.

    So your job, emergency medicine, that's quite risky, while I know and understand all the protocols in place to protect your self and your patient, accidents do happen especially since you work in areas that can be cluttered, filled with sharp objects and fluids coming from gawd knows where on occasion, again, you've overcome that fear and you do your job, you protect your self as much as possible while doing your job. Through training and having information drilled into you, you know how to protect your self and other people, it's the same thing here, you need information (I assume you already have a fare bit anyway) and you need to talk about this with the men you like.

    Let him help you set aside your fears and doubts.

    a lot of relationships with one partner being positive and the other negative are happening right now and while the occasional accident does happen and the partner does become positive it's kinda low NOT none existent, it does happen, but it's not a regular kind of thing, there are many couples on this site with one of the couple being positive, perhaps seek them out and talk to them, they might be able to help.

    At the end of the day, you two might not be together for ever, you could have a few very wonderful years together, however, during those years you will both learn some wonderful things about each other and your selfs, don't let fear hold you back from that potential.
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    May 13, 2010 10:56 PM GMT
    I realy want to say go for it and love him anyways because Im sure he is a very sweet guy and he could go for many many years being healthy...

    Obviously, the problem is that its VERY risky for your own health.

    I think you REALY need to talk this out with him. If he realy is "the one" then it might be extremely wise to hold off on sex until you both know for sure.

    condoms arent designed to protect against HIV...although they do a little...but I doubt its even to the 80th or 90th percent. Viruses are super tiny and can go right through these bariers.

    Being someone that studies virology I am to the point that I couldn't be with an HIV positive man. I would live in fear. Medications are certainly comming a long way but realy they arent even close yet.

    Best of luck and be safe!