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Forum Name: AIDS

Question: serodiscordant couples (Im HIV- fiance is HIV+)


 katyap20 - Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:54 am

Im a 25 year old female in generally very good health, aside from having chronic Hepititis B (but my latest test results say it's not currently active so no need for antiviral therapy just yet). I have never been sexually active. The Hep B was diagnosed when I was around 5-6yrs old. I just recently got engaged to a man who I found out is HIV+ which was a huge shock. Once things sinked in and I found out that it's still possible to be healthy and happy in this kind of relationship, I realized that I love this man no matter what and want to be with him, but don't know where to turn for help in finding out more info and dealing with my situation. I've done a lot of research on my own already, but still have a lot of questions.

My fiance and I have not had sex yet and I know that using condoms is still the best form of protection against HIV (and we intend to use them), but there's still risks. With him being HIV+ and me with chronic Hep B, if we get infected from each other... what are the possible outcomes? Where can I connect to couples in similar situations? Also, before I found out my fiance is HIV+, I had the Mirena IUD inserted worrying only about unwanted pregnancy, but now I know we must use condoms, but my question is whether or not I should retain the IUD (which I know does not prevent HIV transmition, but at least it could serve as backup anti-pregnancy protection in case the condom breaks).

I've already read up a lot on HIV through the net, but don't always get consistent information. Im not comfortable discussing my current situation with my doctor at this time. Any information or additional helpful resources you could provide for me would be extremely appreciated! I thank you ahead of time for your time, consideration and any help you may provide!
 Debra Van Ness RN - Tue May 19, 2009 10:26 am

First let me give you my heartfelt sympathy for the situation you are both in.

Now, you both run a risk to some degree of course by continuing this relationship and going into marriage. But it sounds as if you are truly in love and will simply face some obstacles most couples do not. The HIV virus is somewhat more fragile than the HEP B. Meaning that it has been shown in studies that the Hep B is transmitted more easily than HIV. By NO means am I telling you that you are not in some kind of danger here. HIV and HEP B are both transmitted by the same modes. This means blood and body fluids.

Condoms are probably the very best line of defense you can find at this point to prevent the transmission of either virus during sex. So by all means use a condom every single time you are active. As far as the IUD, no need to actually get rid of it. You can use condoms and the IUD without any problems there. Of course the risk of the condom is the fact that it CAN break and/or leak if a very small area of the latex is not intact. This still runs risk of exposure to both viruses. However, it is much better than no protection at all.

Also even if the HEP B is not really actively affecting you, it can still be transmitted. Just as the HIV virus. So be very careful.

Also be aware that this marriage may have to be childless unless you adopt. Of course please consult a physician on this matter and all you have discussed here.

Debra Van Ness RN
 katyap20 - Tue May 19, 2009 4:43 pm

Dearest Debra Van Ness,

Thank you so much for your sympathy and also taking the time to reply, I've been waiting for a while for someone to say something regarding my post and you're the first one to reply. I really appreciate that!

It is definitely a very difficult situation and I realize there's no one easy answer, but I love this man so much Im willing to give this relationship everything I've got. My main concern is that if one of us gets infected from the other....say I get HIV or he gets HepB (Im more worried about him getting the HepB because he already has an unhealthy liver), could getting the HepB be fatal for him (he's otherwise fairly healthy and has low viral levels)? And if its not active in me, if he gets it, will it also be inactive in him?
 luckylucky - Fri May 22, 2009 11:55 am

hi,
i was actually masturbating and possibly cut my penis against my zip. there was a cut and little bleeding, by evening i have cold ....is it possible that i could have been infected with STD or AIDS , just asking to be on a safer side? i am a virgin and never engaged in sexual activity.
thank you,
waiting to hear from you.
 Ragefish - Sun May 31, 2009 3:05 am

katyap20 wrote:Dearest Debra Van Ness,

It is definitely a very difficult situation and I realize there's no one easy answer, but I love this man so much Im willing to give this relationship everything I've got. My main concern is that if one of us gets infected from the other....say I get HIV or he gets HepB (Im more worried about him getting the HepB because he already has an unhealthy liver), could getting the HepB be fatal for him (he's otherwise fairly healthy and has low viral levels)? And if its not active in me, if he gets it, will it also be inactive in him?


I don't think there is a real answer to this question, because everyone is different. Everyone with HIV struggles/fights differently, as does their body, meaning, what happens to one person if he is infected with HepB vs what happens to another is completely up in the air. My honest opinion is that your best bet is to see a doctor who can talk with both of you about this. Obviously, the best thing you can do is use condoms and be careful, and hope for the best. However, something for you to keep in mind (since you have said that you're more worried about your fiance's health than your own) is that contraction of your virus to him is less likely than you being infected with his HIV, since you are female.

Best of luck,

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