HIV undetectable and healthy?

Discussion in 'The Healthy Penis' started by D_Otis Elevatornuts, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. D_Otis Elevatornuts

    D_Otis Elevatornuts New Member

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    What does this mean? A (kinda)friend and I were going to hook up so i slipped the question, he said he's undetectable and healthy?
     
  2. sykray

    sykray Active Member

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    I have no idea what he means by that. He may be evading the question. Either he's been tested or he hasn't. Either the test was positive or negative.
     
  3. jimcord

    jimcord Member

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    What he means is that he does carry the HIV virus and is taking viral suppression medications(the cocktail of meds) that are keeping his HIV viral load count low. He is still carrying the virus but it is maintained, healthy is a relative term- he is as healthy as he can be as long as the medications are onboard to control the his viral count. IF you to choose to play together, please use condom protection and consider the risk of exchanging bodily fluids. Even though the risk is low, the risk is still there. Good luck and good fun.
     
  4. nashboy

    nashboy Active Member

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    it means he is HIV positive, period.
     
  5. erratic

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    Bingo.

    However he wants to spin it, he's still HIV positive - and that's totally fine - but if you fool around, for goodness sake use a condom.
     
  6. vindicator

    vindicator Member

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    Anti retroviral drugs are so effective today that the virus can be suppressed to levels that can no longer be detected in the blood. The virus still exists in lymphatic tissue however and if he ever stopped taking his meds the virus would eventually be detectable in the blood.

    Some people say that once the virus is down to undetectable levels and the person is on meds they cannot infect someone else. Personally I think anyone would be crazy to take someones word for it. You have no way of knowing their viral load at the time you have sex so there is no guarentee you wouldnt be infected ever if its true that it cant be spread with no viral load. What if the person hasnt been taking meds correctly?

    At at this point, once you have HIV you have it for life. There was some research done into treatment similar to a bone marrow transplant where they distroy the persons immune system and then inject bone marrow from a doaner that has HIV resistant DNA. This caused the persons immune system to be restored an be HIV resistant.
     
  7. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    This has already been stated, but it simply means that he is first good enough to tell you the truth about his HIV status which means an honest guy. A person with an undetectable viral load means that the level is so low that the average testing cannot detect the presence of the virus even though the medical record proves that it is there.

    An undetectable viral load would reduce the odds of transmission. An undetectable viral load does not mean that it would be impossible for this individual to transmit the retrovirus to another individual, but that the odds would be greatly reduced.

    Now, there are a few other things to consider. A person showing undetectable can contract a common minor bacterial infection and that minor bacterial infection can tax the immune system sufficiently to raise the viral load for a time to a detectable level.

    People that are sero-positive are tested for viral load at regular intervals as a part of their ongoing treatment of the disease, and this viral load test is used partially as an assessment of the continuing effectiveness of the drug combination that the person is taking.

    If you are considering sexual activity with this person just use the head located on top of your neck and shoulders, not the other one. Transmission of HIV has been found to be more difficult than originally thought, but, if you use common sense and understand that some activities between you would require use of a condom. There are a number of things you can do that will not. Your risk depends entirely on what you and he want or choose to do in the sack. The main danger to you is blood transfer. Blood transfer is most common in anal intercourse and takes place from microtears in the lining of the anal canal combined with a few free retrovirus looking for something new. If you were to consider being anal receptive to this individual you need to remember that no condom equals no play. Though less likely transmission can take place from the bottom to the top if the microtears in the anal canal coincide with a urethral inflamation. This would allow blood transfer. Again, for this reason a condom is in order. When it comes to oral the problems would depend on the condition of your teeth and gums. If you are prone to or have dental problems or gum disease then there is risk with semen into a mouth under that circumstance. The odds are low, but they are present. There has been no proven mouth to mouth transfers that did not have other risk factors involved as well. The virus dies in saliva so that is very very low in risk.

    Just use your head and remember that you can in fact have a great deal of fun without doing things that pose risk at all.
     
  8. underweargay

    Verified Gold Member

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    I am glad here is some people that knows what they are talking about! Yes and I am HIV poz too with an undetectable viral load
     
  9. Bbucko

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    I've been HIV+ since 1984 and in treatment since 1996.

    The answers you've received here have all been excellent. "Undetectable and healthy" is part of the verbiage guys use to qualify their status, not deny it. He was attempting to be honest and reassuring at the same time, though if he followed up that info with a request to engage in unprotected sex, he's either misinformed or else he's being cavalier with your risks, which is wrong IMO.

    I, myself, choose to serosort, which means that I only have sexual contact with other guys who are HIV+: period. I suppose I'm lucky in some very strange way to live in a place where there are so many other poz guys that I don't suffer from any lack of choice. And even in FtL I have met guys who complain about rejection and/or a lack of suitable partners. Personally, I call bullshit on it, but I do hear it often enough, usually from guys with unrealistic expectations :rolleyes:

    As has been said multiple times above, "healthy" is a relative thing. Sometimes it means never having had an opportunistic infection (OI), which is what happens when HIV has so compromised your immune system that things that don't effect the uninfected can kill you. I've never had an OI, but I usually describe myself as enjoying "precarious health" due to multiple (four so far) attacks of The Shingles, various side-effects from the early meds which have damaged my arteries, etc. I don't sugar-coat anything.

    But I don't usually discuss my medical history with a casual sex partner, either. I disclose my status and request his; if we're both poz and otherwise sexually compatible, that's enough. If I were looking for something more long-term, "undetectable and healthy" really wouldn't cut the mustard, and I'd expect that each becomes very involved in the health care of the other.

    Once again: undetectable doesn't mean that the virus is gone, just that its presence in his blood is too low to be tested under the current limitations of science. It is not "permission" to engage in unprotected anal sex (whether top or bottom). It also doesn't mean that he doesn't have Herpes or any of the entire bouquet of bacterial STIs.
     
  10. D_Otis Elevatornuts

    D_Otis Elevatornuts New Member

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    Thanks guys for all your great info! Yea he was honest with me and was now wondering if I were to receive "head" is that ok? Anyone wanna take the time to give me the rules and laws of what to do and what not to do? lol
     
  11. Bbucko

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    Receiving head (insertive oral) from an HIV+ person is completely safe for HIV transmission, but not for Herpes or other bacterial STIs.

    There are innumerable threads which go back and forth here on whether or not it's safe to suck on a cock from an HIV perspective (search oral+HIV in this forum). I have posted pages worth of studies that show virtually no risk under controlled scientific circumstances, but get flamed and trolled, so now I just say that if you feel the need to wrap a dick before putting it in your mouth, go ahead. It won't hurt, though even the flavored condoms are pretty yukky :rolleyes:

    The fact remains that such hyper-conservative (both politically and from a risk-basis) organizations as the CDC and NIH list receptive oral (giving a blowjob) as "potentially" risky. The degree to which it's a genuine risk assessment versus a kind of anti-sex/cover-your-ass blanket statement will never be accurately known.

    One of the reasons why I decline further involvement in AIDSmeds.com (a support website for HIV) is the number of so-called "immaculate infections" that involved everything from oral to "semen in the eye": a huge range of unlikely scenarios claimed by those who, for whatever reason, don't want to state that they were having unprotected anal or, (even less likely) vaginal sex. I just got sick of reading the drivel from the newly-infected who are so wrapped up in self-loathing and stigma to recognize reality.

    <sigh>
     
  12. D_Otis Elevatornuts

    D_Otis Elevatornuts New Member

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    Thanks for your help! I will search the threads thanks again :)
     
  13. bigbull29

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    You make a lot of sense in your posts about HIV transmission. It's a shame that you get flamed and trolled, considering that you truly know what you're talking about. People need to listen to you. But, people want to hold onto misinformation, homophobia, etc.

    Sorry to hear about your artery damage. I would have never thought such a thing from "early" medicines used to combat HIV. Does it adversely affect your health at present, or could it do so in the future?

    Take care:smile:
     
  14. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    I want to dignify what some of the HIV+ members have said on this board as true for their personal level of experience. At the same time, as someone who had contracted an STI from someone who claims they were clean, a healthy amount of skepticism and vigilance is never a bad thing. I would simply ask that you trust your own intuition about matters. The decision to have sex with someone who has HIV is a very personal and private decision that needs to be informed by risk and accurate facts.

    Questions that might guide the process along include:
    1. What is your attitude about safe sex?
    2. How often do you use condoms when you engage in sexual activity?
    3. Do you feel more at risk, less at risk, or equally at risk in engaging in sexual behavior?
    4. If I have hesitations or concerns about being safe and remaining free of HIV, do you judge me differently?

    And so on.

    The point is, even if it borders of offending someone else, you have just as much of a right of information and accuracy in elements that help make your decision. I'm pretty sure that this is the exception to the norm, but I have known people that think (erroneously) that once they take the HIV cocktail, they're fine. As a friend of mine who does HIV soberly told me, dating and mating is tough, but that angstiness is worth it given that HIV can spread rather casually. If you are interested in maintaining a clean bill of sexual health, there is no such thing as an offensive question.

    Good luck getting this figured out.
     
  15. Bbucko

    Gold Member

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    People believe what they want to believe, especially when it comes to science and the scientific method: everyone wants "proof", when all science can provide is theories and postulations. Science abhors 100% certainty and always leaves room for doubt. This makes many people deeply skeptical, but only religions have dogmas :cool:

    Superstition and, what I referred to in another recent thread as that tendency to say "...sounds reasonable..." or the dreaded "They say..." are both so much easier to understand than a discipline that always leaves room to grow, question and will evolve. Combine that with an infectious disease that is likely to shorten your life and make that shorter life less pleasant, and there's bound to be lots of misunderstanding, apprehension and emotionalizing.

    The original wonder drugs, while undoubtedly prolonging my life, weren't really all that wonderful, and very few of the drugs that were ground-breaking in 1996 when I began treatment are even used today. I, and my peers who both did and didn't make it, are proof that the meds were/are much more toxic than anyone could have guessed.

    They have permanently altered my appearance, eliminating nearly all of my subcutaneous fat. My face has changed beyond recognition (though it's hardly the death's head I've seen in others), and even if I look attractively "vascular" and "lean", it came at a very high price. I also lost most of the fat in the soles of my feet, which can make walking very difficult over long distances.

    A great deal of that fat wound up in my arteries. I had two blockages removed before my 48th birthday because I simply couldn't use my right leg at all any more. My doc, who is an internist who specializes in aging men living with HIV, told me that, based on a recent arterial ultrasound, I have the arteries of a man in his late 70s, and the damage is irreversible.

    I am, however, still alive and still work 5-6 nights per week. I probably do not, however, have another ten years; given the amount of chronic pain I've endured these last ten years, that's not altogether terrible news. Being stoic really helps sometimes.

    First of all, I agree that every sensible, sexually active adult has full responsibility over his/her sexual health. You can ask whatever you want, but bear in mind that people lie all the time, and that many other will answer what they believe to be true with no actual recent testing. There are tens of thousands of Americans living with HIV who are unaware of it because s/he won't get tested.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "rather casually", however. HIV does not survive long outside of its host's body, and neither saliva, tears, urine nor sweat are in any way infectious. The healthy human mouth, filled continuously with saliva, is an especially unwelcoming place for HIV; saliva contains acids and enzymes which render it inactive immediately (viruses are either active or inactive, they are not "alive" and cannot "die"). Unlike HPV or Herpes, HIV is actually a very difficult virus to transmit and requires direct contact with blood, semen or cervical fluid within the body. It can also be passed between IV drug users who share each other's works (actually the most common method of transmission among certain demographics is via IV drug use).

    One of the biggest challenges facing gay men in the US and in Europe right now is the ubiquity of Chrystal Methamphetamine. Meth is directly related to an astonishingly high number of new infections, whether because it lowers inhibitions, raises pain levels, dries out the mouth (thus facilitating oral transmission) or because it can turn the randiest top into the hungriest of bottoms. Even if you don't "party", it's inevitable that you have played with someone who has (if only occasionally or once) if you've had casual sex in the last five years: I guarantee it.

    All things being equal, despite the certainty of early death, I am glad that dodging the HIV minefield is not one of the challenges I face in life. That's a pragmatic statement of fact, not an encouragement for others to "cross over".
     
  16. Rammajamma771

    Rammajamma771 New Member

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    A completely honest answer would have been, "I am HIV positive. My medication is managing the disease. There will always be a chance that I can infect someone." Any answer other than that is dishonest.
     
  17. D_Delbert Dingleberry

    D_Delbert Dingleberry Account Disabled

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    YOU are doing good work posting this kind of information. Understand? You're saving people's lives. Our heroes aren't always the people charging machine guns or receiving awards in front of cameras -- it's the kind of selfless act like yours in taking the time to write that post.

    With respect,

    Petey
     
  18. pdxman

    pdxman New Member

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    Okay, I'm kinda concerned. I just had sex with a guy who is HIV pos undetectable(he says) and I was the bottom for a while,,no condom. I think this is the dumbest thing I ever did but he said he had a partner for 6 years who was neg and never got anything from him. How concerned should I be? If we have sex again im definately telling him to use a rubber. I think a current HIV test for myself is definately in order. Let me emphasize there was no semen release in me. I know that doesnt matter and im still at risk..just qualifying it.
     
    #18 pdxman, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  19. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    You should be concerned enough about yourself to have two successive HIV tests about 6-9 months apart. You should be concerned enough about others to have nothing but safe sex or protected sex until you know you are absolutely clear.

    I would agree that maybe brilliance was not in this decision, but, the odds are with you and not with the virus. Take this as a great learning lesson and move on. Waiting for those two tests will give you time to think it through and I doubt that you will error again. Allow yourself the right to make a mistake. Nobody's perfect and unless you are the guy who always has the ceiling fall on him then you'll probably be fine. Just don't do this kind of thinking again.

    In my lifetime I have had sex with many who were known to me to be HIV sero positive. I used my brain and saw to it that we both had a great time, but, at the same time I had enough respect for my sex partner and myself to love, care and protect both of us. Mixed sex is OK if you use your head. If the concern is HIV the transmission pathways are very limited and it's transmission is easy to prevent.
     
  20. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Not to encourage any lapse of vigilance, but Wikipedia claims that an act of receptive anal intercourse with an infected active partner has on average an infection rate of 1.7 percent.

    [This is based on an article by Boily et.al. on "Heterosexual risk of HIV-1 infection per sexual act: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies" from The Lancet Infectious Diseases 9 (2): 118-129 (February 2009). As a meta-analysis, this study, while no doubt provisional like all studies, draws upon a range of observations by many teams.].

    If your partner really has an undetectable viral load at this time, the odds of your becoming infected from him would be very much lower.

    So you're probably in the clear. But I would use a condom in the future.
     
    #20 D_Gunther Snotpole, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
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