How to have an intimate relationship w/someone HIV + and you're HIV-

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I feel terrible saying this, but I just wouldn’t have sex with someone that I know is HIV+ 🙁

I would be too scared for my own health and too selfish to give up having a child. Though I am SUPER open to adoption, so maybe that isnt a huge factor in my decision.

Post # 4
805 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Sorry i couldnt do it. Its sad though because everyone deserves love but they have social networks of other people with HIV looking for love. I would direct them to that direction.

Post # 5
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Silly_love:  It breaks my heart to say it, but I agree with the previous poster. I don’t think I could choose a sexual and parental relationship with someone HIV+.

And, I say this as someone who has a very personal and deep connection with HIV as a “cause.” I spent my law school years volunteering and working at a living center for those living with HIV and AIDs in Boston, and anytime I am in position to donate to charity, I always choose charities that support this cause in some was as well.

I am interested in hearing the responses of other bees, and would very much like to hear about ways where this may be possible. I do know that condoms are very, very good at preventing transmission when used properly, but again, I think I would be afraid in the back of my mind every single time, and I am just not aware of how having children could work. I would also feel like i was acting irresponsibly by knowingly having a child when resources should probably be conserved to be available for potential care for the infected partner. Again, some of this could be my own ignorance and if so, I would love to hear other perspectives.

Edited to add: I think staying with someone who becomes HIV+ and choosing to start a new dating relationship with someone who is HIV+ are different. I would absolutely not leave my husband if he became HIV+ (assuming he didn’t contract it by cheating).

Post # 6
3197 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I would have to strongly agree with the PP.  I would not pursue a relationship with someone who is HIV +.  However if this is your decision I imagine I would take every step possible to make sure that I mantained my HIV- status by using condoms, dental dams (when needed), and birth control (just in case for the sake of the child).  I would also get tested every three months or so and would adopt children instead of having my own.  Unless you were both comfortable going to a sperm bank.  

Personally when I was younger I chose not to pursue a relationship with a man who had genetic kidney disease.  Things were headed in a serious direction and I could not handle at 23 the possiblity of being a widow in my near future, a single mother, and /or having children with the same issues.  I know it may seem strange but if my DH came down with any disease (minus a sexually transmitted one) I would stick by him since I took vows.  But walking into a situation like that, that I could not do.

Post # 7
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t think I could have a sexual relationship with someone with HIV. I would be too scared. 

My husband works in the health care field where a needle stick injury could occur. However the risk of getting HIV from an HIV infected person from a needle stick injury is so so low I haven’t ever really thought about it that hard. I’m not sure if my husband and I would have sex anymore? Perhaps we would with protection. Or maybe we would just find other ways to be intimate (i.e. cuddling). 

On a somewhat related note I learned in school during an HIV lecture that even if both partners are HIV + they need to be careful. There are different strains of HIV, some which may affect an individual more than another. So even if both people have HIV they still need to be careful when having a sexual relationship. 

Post # 8
1867 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Plenty of people are in healthy and happy sero-discordant relationships, where one partner is positive and the other is negative. If you live in a country with uninterrupted access to anti-retroviral meds, the positive partner can stay healthy and have a long life – and continuous use of ARVs keeps one’s viral load at a very low level, limiting (but not fully eliminating) risk of transmission. The actual risk of infection is quite low overall – not non-existant, obviously, but studies have demonstrated the risk from various types of exposure as 10 per 10,000 acts or 5 per 10,000 acts, depending on whether the HIV+ partner is female or male (you can see these rates here).

In terms of having biological children, it is possible depending on which partner is sero-positive. Most couples opt for artificial insemination. If the positive partner is female, she’d be given ARVs such as nevaripine to prevent mother to child transmission. You can find a wealth of information about pregnancies and conception for sero-discordant couples online if you search things like ‘sero-discordant couples pregnancy’.

(FYI – I don’t have personal experience in this, but have worked in reproductive & sexual health fields so can only comment on the ‘technical’ aspects. In my experience, many couples in this situation live healthy, happy lives together, but it relies a lot on trust, taking appropriate precautions to take care of one another’s sexual health, and having clear understanding about the health situation of each partner and the potential risks).

Post # 9
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I would not persue a relation ship with someone that is HIV+ i would feel insecure every time there would be sexual intercourse also kids would totally be out the question I personally would still love the person and support them deepely but would have them consider a relation ship with someone who is positive as well I feel that it would be a better choice for both persons rather than having that constant conflict all your life 

Post # 10
4367 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

My second cousin’s husband ended up with HIV.  I was young when it happened – but still remember it clearly.  Her children were my age.  They also underwent regular testing & my cousin was always constantly living in fear of catching the disease.  Initially they told everyone he had cancer.  Like I said, I was young & I didn’t know any better & I asked if it was okay for me to use spoons there.

I know that my cousins (mom and daughter & son) felt a lot of pressure from always having to be tested & limiting their interactions with him.  Watching him die was quite possibly the worst thing ever.  He eventually became so sick that he did not leave his room.

That being said, I know people successfully live with HIV these days.  However, besides the sexual component, there is the emotional toll in supporting someone that has HIV – their doctor’s appointments, medicines, etc.  It’s actually considered a handicap.

My cousins still miss their dad to this day.  I am sure it was an absolutely horrible ordeal to go through.

Post # 11
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I couldn’t do it… Maybe that makes me selfish but I feel I would never be able to relax in a situation like that. Just not worth it. 

Post # 13
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I couldn’t do it. I could be best friends with someone who was HIV+ but not in a sexual relationship.

Post # 14
6667 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I sense from your post that you are probably looking for experiences with heterosexual couples, but I will share with you the story of my favorite uncle “A” and his partner “K”.  My uncle was a gay man who contracted HIV in the late 80’s- before there was as much awareness and when treatment options were very scarce and ineffective.  About 6 years after he tested HIV+ he met his partner K who was HIV-, and became the love of his life. They has an amazing 11 years together.  They bought a beautiful home that they were both obsessed with landscaping perfectly.  They travelled extensively- their favorite places being Hawaii and Paris.  They did not have any children, but their dachshund was the apple of their eye and more spoiled than most human children.  They were meant to be together.  They were together for 11 years before an opportunistic infection claimed my uncle’s life at the age of 50.  At the end, Uncle A got sick and K cared for him at home until his death.  I do not know all the intimate details of their relationship- but K remained HIV- throughout their relationship and is to this day.  I have such an amazing admiration for K because he saw past my uncle A’s HIV status to embrace their love and make a life with him.  People who are diagnosed with HIV are living longer than ever before with good medication managment and compliance.  It is no longer a 6-month death sentence that it once was.  People are regularly living 20+ years now with minimal issues.  I hope that this helps.

Post # 15
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Encore Bride, and Older Bee here.

And I do think that for me, my age has a lot to do with how I’d feel on this subject.

LOVE & SEX are not the only things in a Marriage.  Compatibility, Companionship, Common Goals, Values, and Respect are all very important as well.

In many marriages (and as we age)… more so.

So at my age (over 50) although I might not actively seek out such a Relationship that would turn to Marriage (unless I myself was HIV+) I can understand that each person on this planet is a valued individual with something to offer the world.

So if I was in love with someone who then revealed to me that they were HIV+, I’d learn to literally “live with it”

And do whatever was necessary to BOTH continue to LIVE as healthy as possible

And IMO the best way to do that would be via being highly informed / educated on the topic

There are no doubt Professionals who can assist you with this knowlege and answer your Questions (fears) based on actual facts and scientific facts about the disease, a long with the current methods in place for managing it… and living with it.

Including info about Sexual Relations and having Children etc

That is WHERE I’d begin my research…

That and talking directly with the Patient’s Doctor, they who know the person best.

I’d also look to see if there wasn’t a HIV Support Group… IRL or on-line that I might get involved with… seek out.

Hope this helps,

And (( HUGS )) to BOTH you and your Partner


Post # 16
405 posts
Helper bee

I would date someone that was HIV +.  I wouldn’t really feel comfortable with vaginal or anal sex, but you can do other things.  I don’t have a very high sex drive, and I don’t really enjoy sex at all, so it wouldn’t be a huge issue. 

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