Would you start a relationship with someone knowing they are HIV positive?

  • titus8229

    Posts: 84

    May 24, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    I hear it all the time… guys saying they could never date someone who is positive. Could you? I was surprised to find that a lot of people don't know how difficult the virus can be to contract if the infected person is taking a HAART regiment (Highly Active AntiRetroviral Therapy). When someone is on a HARRT regiment for some time, the HIV virus becomes undetectable in the bloodstream as the number of viral particles has become so diminished that an assay can no longer detect them. This doesn’t mean the person no longer has HIV, however, with the viral count being so low, the chances of contracting the virus are incredibly low, even when participating in unprotected sex.

    I spoke to the local HIV/AIDS specialist in my area who happens to be an HIV positive homosexual male, Dr. XXXXXX MD . According to Dr. xxxxxxxxxxx, people should not be apprehensive of contracting the HIV virus if their significant other is committed and on HAART. Dr. xxxxxxx has been in a committed relationship for 15 years now and he and his partner participate in unprotected sex often. To this day, Dr. xxxxxxxxxx partner remains HIV negative.

    So the next time you meet someone seemingly perfect for you, talk to them about what they are doing to keep themselves healthy and to keep you safe. Keep an open mind, and don’t let a trivial thing like HIV status stop you from living.
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    May 24, 2010 9:24 PM GMT
    titus8229 saidI hear it all the time… guys saying they could never date someone who is positive. Could you?

    Yes, and have, and was partnered with a poz man. We've had versions of this thread here many times, which isn't surprising.

    What's different about this one is the discussion of HAART and the practice of unprotected sex. I'm dubious of this advice from Dr. Rzepkowski, even if he says he follows it himself. I'm not aware of any other doctors offering similar advice.

    I may give my own doctor a call about this, to get a "second opinion" from another HIV/AIDS specialist. Most of her practice is HIV patients, and BTW, she's also quoted in that site you linked.
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    Jun 23, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    I've read a fair amount of articles/research on the issue of sero-discordant coupling, and though the initial thought was that an HIV- partner could not contract the virus via unprotected sex with the HIV+ partner providing the HIV+ partner was on HAART, research has shown that while virus levels in the BLOOD may be undetectable, the same is not always true of other bodily fluids, i.e. semen. Additionally, it seems that the levels of the virus can also fluctuate despite HAART, probably due to the adaptive nature of HIV. SO, point is I suppose, it's a bit of Russian roulette still. Though the chances of transmission may be significantly reduced, they are not zero. Keep in mind that some calculations have yielded an only 3% chance of contracting HIV via unprotected sex with an HIV+ partner NOT on HAART. So, it's never a "guaranteed" infection, it involves many factors like frequency of exposure, levels of the virus, condition of the receptive partner's immune system, etc...

    As for your actual question/post, I think that I might be able to partner with an HIV+ individual, providing we utilized latex, if the attraction/bond/connection was strong enough. I think that sacrifice is part of any relationship, and for me in a sero-discordant relationship, the sacrifice would be bareback sex. My main concern in such a situation would be the health of my partner over time. All anti-retroviral medications tend to lose their effectiveness over time as the virus mutates, and the average lifespan of an HIV+ individual is still considerably shorter than that of the average HIV- person. So, being in a sero-discordant relationship you may have to face the prospect of watching your partner grow ill and pass away =o/

    Here's to hoping for an ultimate cure though! I don't think it's that far away!
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    Jun 23, 2010 9:16 PM GMT
    You're talking about a relationship (as opposed to hooking up)?

    If you love someone, you love someone. It wouldn't stop me.

    By the way I know three couples....one partner of whom is HIV+ (and all had converted to AIDS but were under treatment and had undectable viral loads) and one of whom is negative. These are long term relationships.

    I haven't asked the details of their sex lives, but they obviously have worked it out, one one did volunteer some info about oral sex. Knowing the guys involved, this "working it out" would not involve bareback sex (meaning, the positive partner would never play with loaded dice with the negative partner in the riskiest of behavior).

    As for oral sex, I know one of these couples does this unprotected. So I know that would be somewhat controversial as far as riskiness....I'd hate to give this up (me on my partner), and probably wouldn't.

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    Jun 23, 2010 9:37 PM GMT
    Would you start a relationship with someone who's lactose intolerant?icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jun 23, 2010 9:56 PM GMT
    I'm EXTREMELY leery of the unprotected advice. Frankly, I don't think that doctor has ANY business giving that kind of advice, particularly because even if the HAART regimen is followed, it still doesn't protect you from any other potential bugs. Another point: so the virus is virtually undetectable -- that doesn't mean it's not there. There is still risk.

    And beyond that, so what if you believe that your partner is committed? That doesn't mean he is. You are accountable for your own health -- no one else has the responsibility. I think this was very irresponsible advice to be coming from a doctor.

    AND, to answer the question: Yes, I would (and have) dated a man who was HIV+.
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    Jun 23, 2010 10:07 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidWould you start a relationship with someone who's lactose intolerant?icon_rolleyes.gif


    Yes because lactose intolerance isn't a highly infective disease that will result in my untimely demise. icon_neutral.gif
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    Jun 24, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    yup and we have been together for 13 years and counting.
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    Jun 25, 2010 2:12 PM GMT
    I have as well and count myself among the lucky.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jun 25, 2010 2:14 PM GMT
    if that fool was my MD....i'd find another one darn quickly icon_exclaim.gif
  • titus8229

    Posts: 84

    Jun 26, 2010 4:57 AM GMT
    back2nyc saidYour doctor is giving BIASED and WRONG advice - having unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner is DISASTER - if he and his partner have been LUCKY with the partner staying negative - does not mean everyone else will be too. If this doctor had given me such an advice - I would report him to the appropriate authorities... basically what he is doing is encouraging more and more people to take a risk with HIV.

    Though I have nothing against HIV pos. guys - I personally would never start a relationship knowingly with a pos. guy. I had a relationship in the past with a positive guy but he lied to me in the beginning and for a few months never told me the truth. I suspected him and one day he came out with it after we had a big argument about my suspicions- but after that it was a very difficult relationship and ended in 6 months - I still tried it but wasn't possible for me to go on. HIV Is not just a virus - it is a LIFESTYLE change and if you date a pos. guy then you have to change your lifestyle to suit his. The risks even if very small and all the problems associated with HIV - are enough for me avoid dating a pos. guy.

    THIS DOCTOR IS AN IDIOT AND SHOULD BE SUED BY SOMEONE.


    Whoa whoa buddy, he isn't saying that its a good idea for people in his situation to be having unprotected sex, he is merely trying to convey that the risk of contraction is significantly less through is own personal experiences. Thank you for answering the question honestly.
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    Jun 26, 2010 5:17 AM GMT
    How close to death is he? Does he have a lot of money?

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    Jun 26, 2010 5:52 AM GMT
    You know, none of us are going to get out of this alive - we'll all die sooner or later. If you aren't willing to start a relationship with someone HIV positive, does that mean that you wouldn't consider a relationship with someone with say, diabetes or maybe a history of heart disease in their family?

    I know that there is the additional consideration of possibly contracting HIV, but the risks can be mitigated to where there is a very, very low risk of that happening.

    If I wasn't in a relationship already, I don't think I would automatically reject anyone because of their HIV status. It might be something I would consider in deciding whether to pursue a relationship but not the only consideration.
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    Jun 27, 2010 11:29 PM GMT
    That's a bit different. You confuse facts. Diabetes isn't contagious. Heart disease isn't contagious.

    HIV, on the other hand, IS contagious, and can very well be fatal. It's a WHOLE different can of worms.

    The original poster's MD made a response of some folks who have HIV: a denial that there's a real hazard there. There is, and, it's well documented.

    If you choose to take that risk, that's your business, however, in doing so, you're being irresponsible to yourself, and society at large. A reasonable approach to ANY communicable disease is quarantine. Of course, that doesn't mean disassociate, but, not playing with fire.

    In general HIV is a disease of irresponsibility, carelessness, and selfishness, and, some parts of The World, ignorance, although, clearly, that's not always the case. Nonetheless, it's wrong to compare HIV (a contagious, FATAL, disease) with diabetes. They aren't anywhere close to the same, and any idiot knows that.

    The right and proper, responsible, thing for a healthy person to do, both by themselves and by the global village is NOT to engage in risky behavior. That is, after all, how the HIV folks got it in the first place, in most cases: irresponsible, self-indulgent, bad behavior.

    You have to call a spade a spade.
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    Jun 28, 2010 12:05 AM GMT
    I pointed out that there was the additional consideration of contracting HIV but that the risk could be mitigated so it is very, very low.

    What I wanted to emphasize is that if someone is reluctant to start a relationship with someone HIV positive because of concerns that the person will get sick or die, they should consider the fact that there are no guarantees in life. Everyone will die - some sooner rather than later. Being HIV negative doesn't mean, necessarily, that an individual will outlive an HIV positive individual. Also, if someone automatically decides not to start a relationship with someone HIV positive, they should consider whether they would make the same decision because of other types of illnesses. I just used diabetes and heart disease as examples. Herpes could be another example - it isn't fatal but it can be transmitted. Does that mean a potential partner with herpes is automatically disqualified?

    I disagree with your opinion that an individual that chooses to start a relationship with someone HIV positive is irresponsible to himself and society. If precautions are taken, the risk of transmission is low. i find the idea of quarantining individuals with HIV outrageous.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect your right to choose NOT to start a relationship with someone HIV positive. I am also overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion you show to those with this terrible, albeit, controllable condition.
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    Jun 28, 2010 12:07 AM GMT
    Probably not, verging on "no"

  • Razzmaniac

    Posts: 240

    Jun 28, 2010 12:13 AM GMT
    JackBlair saidHow close to death is he? Does he have a lot of money?


    HAHAHAHAHA . . .good one bro. . .classic. . . HA
    Anyway, im poz but prefer to date neg guys . . ONLY because just about 99% of the poz guys i know, prefer and only bareback among other unsafe practices. Getting reinfected is NOT in my cards and there are so many other things you can catch from someone that can be harder on a poz guys health. Personally, i chose porn. . .and my right hand, depending on the time of day. Its safe and I dont have to worry about regrets the next day. Im porlly the only one out there. . . i have YET to meet a poz guy or talk to one who practices safe sex ONLY !!!!!
  • jaded57

    Posts: 85

    Jun 28, 2010 12:28 AM GMT
    I guess if I had to date one I would.icon_wink.gif
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Jun 28, 2010 12:31 AM GMT
    titus8229 said
    back2nyc saidYour doctor is giving BIASED and WRONG advice - having unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner is DISASTER - if he and his partner have been LUCKY with the partner staying negative - does not mean everyone else will be too. If this doctor had given me such an advice - I would report him to the appropriate authorities... basically what he is doing is encouraging more and more people to take a risk with HIV.

    Though I have nothing against HIV pos. guys - I personally would never start a relationship knowingly with a pos. guy. I had a relationship in the past with a positive guy but he lied to me in the beginning and for a few months never told me the truth. I suspected him and one day he came out with it after we had a big argument about my suspicions- but after that it was a very difficult relationship and ended in 6 months - I still tried it but wasn't possible for me to go on. HIV Is not just a virus - it is a LIFESTYLE change and if you date a pos. guy then you have to change your lifestyle to suit his. The risks even if very small and all the problems associated with HIV - are enough for me avoid dating a pos. guy.

    THIS DOCTOR IS AN IDIOT AND SHOULD BE SUED BY SOMEONE.


    Whoa whoa buddy, he isn't saying that its a good idea for people in his situation to be having unprotected sex, he is merely trying to convey that the risk of contraction is significantly less through is own personal experiences. Thank you for answering the question honestly.


    I just discussed this thread with a physician I know and if that is ever put in print he will lose his license. he will be reported if he says anything like that and puts the fact he is a physician after his name.
    HE APPARENTLY NEEDS TO LEARN ABOUT HIV ALL OVER AGAIN.
    it is sad he would say that to another gay male being a health care ambassador he is.
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Jun 28, 2010 12:34 AM GMT
    rnch saidif that fool was my MD....i'd find another one darn quickly icon_exclaim.gif


    you are correct. I would NEVER tell a patient any thing like that. EVER
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Jul 13, 2010 2:09 PM GMT
    I have in the past and I will again.

    And I'm still HIV-.
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    Jul 13, 2010 2:14 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidWould you start a relationship with someone who's lactose intolerant?icon_rolleyes.gif


    You are kidding with this comment right?
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    Jul 13, 2010 2:15 PM GMT
    No I won't. There are enough things to worry about in a relationship than have to add do i have cuts and skin breakages etc.

    What I find funny is how some of you who say yes to this topic; would yet not date someone who is unemployed.

    Now that's some serious shit icon_razz.gif
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Jul 13, 2010 2:22 PM GMT
    Have I said anything shallow as that? No, I have not.

    MadeNUSA said What I find funny is how some of you who say yes to this topic; would yet not date someone who is unemployed.

    Now that's some serious shit icon_razz.gif
  • Geoedward

    Posts: 657

    Jul 13, 2010 2:23 PM GMT

    Yes definitely! Oh wait, I'm HIV+, never mind.