Help needed with HIV Question

Discussion in 'The Healthy Penis' started by josh619, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. josh619

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    Okay, here's a little back story. I am HIV negative. Recently, I met an amazing guy, and have been talking to him non stop. I really like him. Last night, he confessed that he was HIV positive (we have not been intimate in any form). He was very worried about telling me, because a lot of people freak out. I am extremely appreciative of his honesty, and think no less of him because of his disease. The reason I'm here is because I need advice. I really like the guy, and I don't want this to stand in the way of what could be something very good. I want to know how I could possibly have a relationship with him, and not contract the disease. I've heard of stories where two guys were in a relationship for 20 or so years, one of them positive, and one negative. Obviously I already know about protection, but any advice that anyone could give me to ease the fears would be greatly appreciated. And please, no rude or sarcastic comments. This is a very serious topic, and I would appreciate real answers. Thank you.
     
    #1 josh619, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. nsms18

    nsms18 New Member

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    We'll love conquers all :) and if u ever do catch it i hate to say this but im pretty the medicine is like 3 dollars a day in order for u to be healthy i really do wish u the best though i was in the same situation and i couldnt do it you're a way stronger person than me and i respect u for that
     
  3. thetramp

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    depnding on the state of his infection and his medicine it might not even be very dangerous for you, if you add the known safety proportions and stick to it your at a really low risk, nothing you should worry about to much.
     
  4. Bbucko

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    The word that describes mixed-status couples is "serodiscordant", and it's an enormous challenge but completely possible provided you educate yourselves completely as regards risk scenarios for infection and keep communication completely open.

    Living with HIV is very difficult (I was infected in 1984), though it's certainly easier now than it was when I started treatment in 1996. There are certain side-effects to the meds that complicate life a great deal, including when and what you can eat. Digestive issues range from irritating to debilitating for some people. Others handle everything just fine.

    Some people have viruses that mutate quickly (mine does) which necessitates regime changes/adjustments that can be difficult. Others stay on the same meds for years. One of the most common meds is Efavirenz (brand name Sustiva®) which causes very unusual and often disturbing dreams.

    I don't know how old either of you are, but bear in mind that HIV causes people to age differently from other people. I know for a fact that I have lost significant cognitive function (my short-term memory is shit), that my GI issues are common among long-term survivors (LTS) and that I've experienced quite a bit of wasting. My face now is not the same face I had 10 years ago (though I'm kind of over it now): as my sister remarked the last time we saw each other "Not bad, really, but very different". When I was 47 I had an Angioplasty; at the time my doctor described my arteries as those of "a man in his 70s".

    Depression is a very common issue for people living with HIV/AIDS, and the meds used to combat those also have side effects: frequently sexual ones that may or may not become an issue.

    Google "serodiscordant" for more information, just be warned that The Body does not always offer the best advice IMHO. Good luck with this. It's probably going to be the biggest challenge of your life (so far) if you proceed. And remember: communicate, communicate, communicate.

    One last bit. I know you didn't mean to be harmful or disrespectful, but think for a moment about your use of the word "confessed" in the OP. It suggests shame and is usually associated with crimes or sins; what he did was disclose. There's a big difference.
     
  5. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I'm not in a position to add anything informative to this thread but really wanted to thank you for this response. It's posts like your's that put the S into LPSG.
     
  6. Bbucko

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    Thank you CS. One thing I didn't include in the post above is that, although one should never say never, since I strictly serosort (ie: only have sex with other guys who are HIV+), the OP is considering a challenge greater than anything I'd attempt.
     
  7. josh619

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    Thank you so much for your feedback. I greatly appreciate it. And I meant no disrespect at all in the original post, thank you for pointing that out.
     
  8. Bbucko

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    No problem at all, Josh. One of the ways one learns how to communicate with someone who is HIV+ is to really think about word choice. One of my pet-hates is when people think that "clean" and HIV negative are synonymous :mad:

    If you want to get a feel for what it's like to really live with HIV every day, you might want to peruse some threads on AIDSmeds. They have an entire forum to supporting people who have poz loved ones :cool:
     
  9. jpk338

    jpk338 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks bbucko i've been pos since 1989and currently my meds are avg $35.00 a day. thats not counting drs. and tests. i also do not have sex with neg. men. i've tried and i'm a nervous wreck while doing it, so it is not for me.
    i have friends that do and it doesn't bother them at all. but as was said before comminication is key in any relationship,esp when dealing with hiv. God bless you both
     
  10. TomCat84

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    First of all, thank you SO SO SO much for being so open minded about dating an HIV+ person. I've been poz for over 5 years now, and have been on ATripla (a 1x daily regimen) for 4 of those years. I haven't yet experienced any of the side effects that BBucko talked of- but then again everyone is different. It may be because I got on meds right away, whereas for him they didnt hve treatment for 12 years after he contracted. Second of all- ask this guy questions. Ask him anything. What is his viral load? Is he on meds? What's his T cell count? Ask him anything, but make sure to be clear to him that you like him, you're just curious. I encourage you to also google for information. BBucko has already given a couple good resources. Go into your local STD clinic or gay center and ask questions- they will be more than happy to answer them, or point you to someone who can. Good luck! Feel free to PM if you want- my current bf is HIV-...so I know all about the issues that poz/neg people have when trying to have a relationship! :smile:
     
  11. brinzaulsschwul

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    Well Josh619, if more HIV Negative people were like you finding out about sex with HIV Positive people (or as Bbucko correctly calls it serodiscordant relationships) there would be less 'surprises' for HIV negative people when they become HIV Positive 'Out of the Blue'

    Now then back to basics before having sex with this man discuss with him they type of sex you want, understand your sexual preferences.

    If the HIV man is a top, ensure that he has correctly fitting condoms, they come is selection of sizes, do not worry about asking him to show you which size condom he is going to put on his cock. In fact why don't you put it on his cock as part of foreplay then you would be assured that the condom was not too loose and going to slip off or too tight and going to split. It is also very good practice to change the condom every 20 minutes and hey guess what with all that stopping you last longer too - added bonus!

    Still talking him as top, ensure that you have plenty of water based lube around and in your anus and that there is plenty of lube on the OUTSIDE of the condom (you would be amazed at the number of idiots who think lubing the cock and then putting on a condom is a good idea!!! - think about it.....) Needless to say there is a greater risk of HIV infection if his condom fails and he cums in your arse.

    The infection risk also depends on his viral load (how much virus is in the body at that time). Viral load maybe low if his meds are working efficiently, but of course there are pockets of high concentration HIV in parts of his body. The viral load maybe out of control and very high.

    NO ONE CAN TELL YOU THAT YOU WILL OR WILL NOT GET INFECTED WITH HIV WHATEVER THE VIRAL LOAD IF you have unprotected sex or the condom fails

    We have all heard the stories that someone had sex with an HIV+ person and did not get HIV, THEY WERE LUCKY, VERY LUCKY.

    Back to condoms, if you are the HIV Negative top, and the HIV+ person is the bottom, same rules apply, if your condom fails there is still a risk of HIV infection, HIV can enter your body via your urethrea or penis glans.

    Unprotect Oral sex poses a few problems, the research suggests that unprotected sex is ok - and thank god for that, nothing worse than a plastic cock in the mouth!!! that said however, if you have gingervitis (bleeding gums) or mouth ulcers, sore throat or other damage to the mouth teeth or gums - yes teeth - what if you have just had one removed?? no oral sex until the hole is recovered and repaired.

    Spit or swallow, your choice really, although personally, I prefer men I don't know to cum on the floor, bedcovers, tissue and not in my mouth. But if they do, I swallow because sometimes when I spit my teeth move (they're not false either) and I have had problems with bleeding gums

    What to do in an emergency;

    If the condom fails or you forgot to use one because you were drunk, get along to sexual health doctor straight away or to the Accident and Emergency and ask for PEP, PEPHIV, PEPSEHIV it's all the same thing
    PEP = Post Exposure Prophylaxis (after exposure treatment)
    PEPHIV = Post Exposure Prophylaxis to HIV
    PEPSEHIV = Post Exposure Prophylaxis Sexual Exposure to HIV

    These are anti-retroviral drugs that attempt to knock out HIV that you may have been exposed to, they must be commenced within 72 hours when they are about 40% effective but if commenced within the first couple of hours they are about 80% effective at stopping HIV infection. THEY ARE NOT TO BE USED ON A DAILY BASIS because you will build a resistance to them and should you ever become HIV+ there won't be any drugs available for you.
    see
    http://www.bashh.org/documents/58/58.pdf

    Why not also take a look at the thread started by Tremaine

    http://www.lpsg.org/193728-access-to-hiv-aids-treatment.html

    Some HIV Positive men put pressure on HIV Negative men to have unprotected sex this is not a healthy relationship and best avoided, they heap on 'guilt' such as you don't love me because you won't have unprotected sex with me' walk away we are worth more than that.

    I hope, that you and this man have a great relationship and a long and happy sex life

    Brinz
     
  12. BBB2.5

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    I have been postive since 1992.....If you like this guy...give it a try. There is tons of information out there on HIV...research it. Ask you Doctor about it...... Are you willing to pass on someone who could be the right guy for you, just because your worried of the future may hold for you....I say take it one day at a time... play safe....see where it goes...it's that simple. Times are different now....enjoy his company and let time take you forward.
     
  13. Gaydoc

    Gaydoc New Member

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    You've got some good and some rotten advise on this board. From the medical standpoint, and I treat a lot of HIV, let's not mince words. The disease is a death sentence. You cannot minimize that fact. Guys may not be dying like they were 15-20 years ago, but no one survives HIV. Yes, we have come a very long way with meds, and FOR THE MOST PART, it is now a manageable long term/chronic disease. But not 100% of the time. Price of meds, if you have decent insurance or disability, it is manageable. But not everyone will qualify for them! And make no mistake, the anti-viral meds are really, really nasty, between drug induced side effects, and drug induced pathology. And they will all fail with time. Today the largest population with increasing HIV infections is in young, 20ish guys, who like it has been suggested, treat this disease as nothing more than an inconvenience. Now the really bad news: the diseases that comprised the "AIDS" syndrome are making a re-appearance, even in well controlled individuals. Their burned out immune systems, which had been partially restored by the protease inhibitors and combos are making a re-appearance. Chronic HIV infected individuals are literally "aging" at a faster rate than their chronological age. (You don't have to either trust me, or believe me; just google the facts for yourselves and don't delude yourselves.)

    So where does this leave you, my friend? That is your decision to make. HIV may be undetectable in your bud's blood stream, but it is almost certainly lurking in his semen, testes, spleen, and other lymphatic tissues. It might take a biopsy to prove it, but it's there, replicating quietly, don't kid yourself. That being said, if you want to engage is sexual activities, what is safe, and what is unsafe? Unless you have a cut on your hand, you can masturbate him safely, and visa-versa. You can have oral sex, and it is very unlikely that having his semen in your mouth will infect you, unless your gums are a mess or you have open ulcers in your mouth. Oral sex is a very hard way to transmit HIV. But don't pretend that it never happens. It does, but it is rare. Anal sex was and will always be the most efficient way of transmitting the virus. There are receptors on the cells in the anus that almost actively seek out HIV virus. If you receive his semen anally, you run a good chance of getting infected, even if his viral load is undetectable in his blood. If he wears a condom, and pulls out prior to ejaculation, it is highly unlikely that you will be infected. If he jacks off on your face, and you get a wad in your eye, you run a good risk of getting infected. If you bareback him, and you are circumcised, you run a much lower risk (a hell of a lot lower!) of becoming infected than if you have an attached foreskin. In circumcised men, in spite of what the "experts" will scream on this board, bare penetrative rectal sex is only slightly more risky that bare penetrative vaginal sex. Risk rate drops by more than 50% on a statistical basis, which cannot be said for uncircumsized men. Put another way, even if we had a decent HIV vaccine, and none is forecast for the near future, a 50% rate of reduction in transmission would be hailed as a godsend. Circumsized dick + condom, and lots of lube to prevent trauma, you have a very low risk of becoming infected.

    So the decision is yours. Chose your actions wisely, cautiously, and with open eyes. I wish the two of you the best of luck, whatever your decisions.
     
  14. TomCat84

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    There is some good information, but you aren't giving the complete picture with some of these guys, and what you don't know is how some of the younger guys will turn out, what with all these new medicines coming out. The chronically infected individuals have probably been taking a whole crapload of medicine for a long time, and perhaps were not taking care of themselves either. HIV affects different people in different ways. Will I succumb to facial wasting, hump neck, fast aging, or other side effects of medicine and HIV infection? Who knows. But the important thing is for poz guys to take care of themselves: get your sleep...use a good protein powder to supplement your diet, one with a lot of vitamins and minerals. Eat your fruits and veggies and lean meats. Work out moderately. Drink green tea, take a selenium supplement and CoQ10 to help counteract the damage from meds. There's no need to scare the guy- just give him the complete picture- not the 100% glood and doom youre giving us now.
     
  15. avg_joe

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    Think of a possible scenario: you get contracted the virus from him. Would you still love him without a regret?
     
  16. B_bxmuscle

    B_bxmuscle New Member

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    HIV is by itself not a reason not to date somebody, but you have to be really honest with yourself about how you'll feel about it long-term. You'll be doing yourself and this guy a great disservice if you decide to move forward with a dating situation only to get cold feet about it later.
     
  17. josh619

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    Thank you so much everyone for your responses. It is obviously a much different situation than I've ever been in before, and I appreciate hearing other people's honest and helpful opinions :)
     
  18. Bbucko

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    FWIW, Josh, Gaydoc posted brilliance in this thread. It's nice to find such refreshingly frank talk about HIV from such a qualified voice. I understand why some prefer to minimize or otherwise be overly optimistic; the alternative is to be a jaded. cynical bitch (much like yours truly :wink:)

    Good luck either way with whatever you decide.
     
  19. TomCat84

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    Of course it was frank, but it was overly pessimistic. The truth is we really have no idea how the new drugs will affect someone long term.
     
  20. brinzaulsschwul

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    What part of GAYDOC did you not understand????

    We know how the younger guys with HIV are going to turn out - dead - that's how they are going to turn out, much quicker than if they did not have HIV. I'm so glad you work in an HIV clinic and see everything that goes on. I'm so glad you see teenagers with chronic diarrhoea and other illnesses, I'm so glad you see the 20-30 year olds and older not able to leave their homes without incontinence pads. I'm so glad you see people with HIV vomiting because the anti-emetics aren't working, I'm so glad you fully understand how totally toxic the drugs are that people with HIV have to take to have a relatively stable life

    I'm really pleased that you know so much more than GAYDOC. The clue is in the title

    You're sounding like that South African country president (name escapes me) who believed you can cure HV by having sex with a virgin baby. FYI that is mumbo jumbo - you cannot beat HIV that way.

    Yes diet and exercise help, but they don't make for utopia. You are being naive in the extreme.

    I think it would be very interesting to read what the HIV+ people have to say about the drugs they have to take and side effects

    Brinz
     
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