There is a great emphasis to educate people living with HIV in India, in terms of not only knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS but also to understand their medicines, read laboratory results, how to better care for themselves and how to lead a healthy life – mentally, physically, emotionally (and spiritually). I have come across a doctor who suggests that since one partner is HIV Positive, they should abstain from sex. They were even advised to refrain from kissing.
HIV is not transmissible via kissing as we all know. True, there are traces of virus present in saliva that can be detected under the microscope but then for a person to be HIV positive through kissing means a gallon and gallon of saliva to be passed through in a day. The study has also proved that kissing (in any form) is not the source of transmission unless BOTH the partners have open sores, bleeding gums or wounds inside their mouths.
Regarding oral sex, care should be taken when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. Neither partner should have any form of Sexually Transmitted/Infectious disease like Chlymadia, Herpes, Gonorrhea and so on, as it can lead to transmission of STDs.
Coming down to having sex the natural way (without a condom), this is still under experimental method. Many are not sure if unprotected sex is regarded safe without having to take PrEP. Here, as a "disclaimer", I will state an example how it is like being a "mixed status couple" by presenting myself for the study/research:
My husband and I have been together for 3 years and completed 1 year of marriage. We had done all things as mentioned above and I make sure that he gets checked for HIV every 6 months whenever I myself go for testing (for CD4 and Viral Load). It is to be noted that I, as a person living with HIV, am responsible for the welfare of my partner when it comes to sex. We normally use barriers but once in a blue moon, we have "direct" sex. When it comes to having sex without protection, all things have to be taken under consideration:
- Overall health
- Viral Load should be "undetectable"
- CD4 should have a good count of above or equal to 600
- No STD or any open wounds/sores/blisters.
I am not suggesting that you all do the same as I do. Bodies differ, so what I mean to say here is that it is important to be responsible for your overall health and educate yourself in regards to how well you can lead your life being HIV Positive and motivate yourself to make healthy choices. Being confident and happy "within" is the overall success for being a good example to others in choosing healthy choices themselves.
* Get information about 'Safer Sex' in The Well Project's article here.
For sharing your story.
My husband and I are a sero-discordant me being hiv positive. We use condoms all the time (oral (me for him) and for penetration. I found your artile to be helpful in the sense that it is okay from time to time to have "direct" sex, although we don't due to my fear of giving him HIV. He was tested once and was told he is HIV- (he showed me the results). but this was years ago...I would like for him to get tested again but due to fear and a lot of stuff on his mind (his words) he does not go and get tested. Any suggestions? Being that your husband gets tested as often as he does good for him and a piece of mind to you both I can imagine....I would like for my husband and I to find peace in knowing that he is HIV- as when he was tested some 23 years ago. Thank you.
Thank you for writing in. I understand the fears that prevails because of the "myths" that surrounds HIV. It is our duty to update ourselves with recent informations to break down the wall of myths. Don't rely on google alone as most information put on google will confuse a person more (like it did once to my husband). I would advise your husband to read a trustworthy site like The Well's Project and The Body.com. Both are very much reliable that will help calm down fears and clear doubts.
As for testing, it is a MUST. I strongly advise testing every 6 months (depending on your sexual life) or every year at least. I always make sure that my husband get tested every year. Fear will be there - nobody want to have HIV - but then why worry now until the result is produced, right? Unnecessary worrying also strain the health and this phobia prevents a person to avoid testing. One need to instill a strong will power and a sense of responsibility in themself - Testing in itself is a responsibility - not just for a person but also for their respective partner.
Do convince your partner to go for a test with a calm mind. Tell him not to worry because it is not going to solve the problem. There is always a solution to a problem rather than unnecessary worrying or delaying the tests that would further cause more damage than good. Do let him know that you will be always around irrespective of the result. Everyone has to die one day. Everyone fall sick in some way or the other. It is all the part and parcel of life. What is more important is how much you two love each other and be with each other - that's all it matters - not the "materialistic" things in life.
Lots of love,
Sorry it has taken me this long to respond. I am trying to get better at entering this site as often as I can.
Thank you. I really appreciate your kind and helpful words. I encourage my husband to read sites like this one, the body and others that are reliable. Also I bring home POZ magazine as well as other magazines that provide the information that he needs as well as I. Jo, I will speak with him and share you words with him. Be well.