HIV Negative - Partner is HIV Positive

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ConfusedWorried
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/27/2007 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all

I guess the reason I am here is that I am scared of becoming infected with HIV if I have a live-in relationship with my partner. We are engaged and I love him to bits. I understand that I can't contract the virus from everyday living, but I'm even afraid to have protected sex with him now, and I don't know whether having sex with 5 condoms will improve my feelings towards sex or not. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but I guess I'm after reassurance from someone who has been in a similar situation?? It is doable to live with someone with HIV and not to contract it, isn't it? confused

acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
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   Posted 12/28/2007 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
It is perfectly understandable your fears, but to answer your question its very doable to live with a positive partner and remain negative yourself. The most important thing in any relationship is communication and understanding. As long as you and your partner are both open and honest I really believe anything can be overcome. You will find there are many many sero-discordant couples that live very successfully together. (this just means one negative and one positive). A great resource for you would be the site www.thebody.com as they address this issue often.

I think the main thing is for you to both become extremely educated, for your partner to know and understand their viral load and to take care of their health, for you both to be open and comfortable with your sexual relationship. No 5 condoms will not help, but one certinaly will! If vaginal/anal (sorry not sure if your male or female) makes you worry, then oral is a safe alternative as long as your mouth is healthy. There are many other ways to gratify (like toys, mutual masterbation, oral) eachother it just takes some communication and some understanding. Most importantly do not be forced into anything you are uncomfortable with or puts you at risk. The main goal should always be BOTH of your health, this means keeping you negative and you both healthy. By healthy I mean not just physically but emotionally and mentally. Living with HIV is never going to be an easy path, life rarely hands us those, but it is a path that is certianly possible as many are proving. People live long productive healthy lives with HIV, as do their negative partners. They have children (look into a process called sperm washing if you are interested in this) they have jobs and they are just like negative couples, so please don't feel your the only ones out there.

I would also suggest looking for an AIDS Service Organization in your area, see if it has a support group and try to find other couples living the same challenges you are.

Most of all love and charish eachother, none of us has an infinate time on this planet so we need to make the best of what we have been gifted.

Have a wonderful holiday and please feel free to ask anything you need, we are always here to offer our help and opinions or just a shoulder.

acaisha


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HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada


ConfusedWorried
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/30/2007 3:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou very much for your quick reply, this has put my mind at ease. One more thing I wanted to ask... open mouth kissing, there seems to be mixed responses on this issue. Is it risky if both mouths are healthy? I know there needs to be blood active in the infected person's mouth for transmission, but can a negative person's saliva breakdown the HIV in the infected person's saliva? This would be interesting to know.

Thanks again
:-)

TalktomeHIV
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 12/30/2007 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Kissing is no risk at all for HIV. People sometimes like to say otherwise, but those people are ill informed and dead wrong. Kiss the night away!
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ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/30/2007 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou so much for that, I really appreciate it and my mind is now at ease!

Kind regards

ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/30/2007 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
But active blood in the infected person's mouth and an abrasion in my mouth could create problems couldn't it?

acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 12/31/2007 1:02 AM (GMT -6)   
only if you both had major blood and abrasions that are just far beyond what you normally would find in mouths. I can say I have lived with my partner for years and have never kiss him while my mouth was gushing and so was his. You would have to have a ridiculous circumstance of major blood, major force.. etc.. just not a possible issue.
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ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/31/2007 5:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so paranoid that I am going to contract HIV, Ive found a small lump on the side of my neck, I know I probably have nothing to worry about, I had a test last month and everything was fine - I've had 3 tests in the past 6 months and they were all fine! Every time I cough, have an itch - anything - I freak out! is there a way I can stop feeling this way? My partner is currently in prison and I haven't had sex with him for 8 1/2 - 9 months. I know you're going to say theres nothing to worry about, but I have suffered with anxiety for a long period of time - and I can't help but worry - I'm thinking about going back to have a 4th HIV test!

acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 12/31/2007 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I think you need to seek some counseling, find a support group or other people in a similar situation to talk to. If your this worried when he is not around I honestly cannot see your relationship lasting. You need to be honest with yourself and with him. You need to get to a place your mentally ready for this relationship, ready to deal with it in a mature rational way and know your risks and whats needed to keep yourself safe. Before that point I cannot see you being able to let go of your worry.
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HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada


ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/31/2007 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes I see your point there. But then when I sit and think about it in a rational way, I realise I am being silly and that it is just my anxiety taking over. I am currently on antidepressants and I am having counseling, maybe there is no hope for our relationship... I don't know. I love him to death, but maybe it's not enough. He loves me to death too, and would never do anything to put me at risk, I know that. Deep down I know I can over come these fears and live a happy, risk-free life with him, as people do this all the time, so if they can do it, I can do it too. But I've decided to get a 4th test done, just to be on the safe side.

ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/31/2007 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Would you be able to give me a run down on all the vitamins and herbs that are best for the immune system? We're going to try everything to keep his optimum health. He comes home on the 13th May 2008 and I want to be ready. He has not given up hope and I'm not going to either. He is doing everything he can possibly do at the moment. He is working out everyday, and putting on muscle, he's eating the best he possibly can (the food in the prison isn't the best, it's always filled with oil) and he is taking vitamins. His viral load is non existent and his CD4 cell count is high at the moment, so I can only imagine what good, nutritional food is going to do for him! Just to give you a run down on symptoms that he has, he's got a swollen lymph node between his neck and the collar-bone, a couple around the back hairline and one in his groin and he has a light white coating at the top-back of his tongue and red spots on the top-front of his tongue, is all this normal? Thanks

acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 12/31/2007 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Vitamins and herbs are really a personal thing and should always be done in consultation with a good HIV specialist. That would be his #1 step once he is out of prison. He sounds like he is taking the right steps to staying healthy and really thats half the struggle. I would work on getting bottled purified water, that is always recommended for anyone with HIV. As for his symptoms, if he has been diagnosed and is beyond the first month he should not really have symptoms, they might be closer related to stress then the actual virus. I cannot imagine prison being stress free. But again a good specialist will be able to help him with any symptoms he might have, discuss medication options and nutritional needs. For you I would really suggest finding an AIDS Service Organization in your area to help you. They can offer support for both you and your partner. They can help with disability and legal issues, recommend good doctors etc. You will get a lot more support then we can offer you here.
HealingWell.com Moderator for HIV/AIDS Forum

HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada


acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 12/31/2007 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh also here is a very good website for info, I have taken courses with CATIE in the past and they are extremely up to date and knowledgeable. I would especially recommend the following pdf's, which you might also be able to order from them.

A Practical Guide to HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy)
A Practical Guide to HIV Drug Side Effects
A Practical Guide to Complementary Therapies
A Practical Guide to Herbal Therapies
A Practical Guide to Nutrition

they are found here.. http://www.catie.ca/eng/Publications/PublicationsIndex.shtml

they have tons of publications you might find very helpful.
HealingWell.com Moderator for HIV/AIDS Forum

HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada


ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/31/2007 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for all your help. As for his symptoms, and the fact that he still has them, is it possible that an HIV test could test positive for something else? Like cancer, or a vaccination that he may have had? He has always gotten swollen lymph nodes when he has been stressed, but I wouldn't say he is overly stressed now, he just misses his family and friends and wishes he could come home. He has had two tests whilst being in there and both have come back positive, but I don't know of what standard the testing is in there?? He is going to be re-tested when he comes home and we'll see what happens from there. It is comforting to know that we can still have children, as this was in our plans, and I know I am negative, it's just my anxiety depression playing tricks on me.

Thanks again :-)

acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 12/31/2007 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Two positive tests is going to be conclusive. I cannot speak for the US testing system here but I believe its the same as Canada in that they do the ELISA followed up by the Western blot which would be as conclusive as it gets.
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ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/31/2007 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I was afraid that you were going to say that. I am from Australia, so would the testing be the same here? As far as I know they have done the same kind of test on him twice - the ELISA, does that sound unusual to you?

ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/31/2007 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Are you sure that I have nothing to worry about, in the fact that I found a lump on the side of my neck? Do you think I need to have another test? So kissing open mouth is definitely not a way of contracting HIV? I am so terrified. After 3 negative tests you would think that I would be able to relax! I had the tests when I found out he was HIV positive, at 3 months and 6 months do you think that I am ok? I must be driving you crazy! But please answer my question, I am desperate!

acaisha
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 1/1/2008 12:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I think you can trust the tests were done accurately, and no I do not think you have anything to worry about from kissing. I don't think you need another test I think you need to find some better support and resources to help you cope and learn about what you will be dealing with.
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HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada


ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/1/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your opinion. My mind is now at ease. I worry about going to a HIV clinic in my area, as it is a small town. My partner also has worries about this. We may end up going to Melbourne, but it will be worth it, as he will be getting the best treatment, and I will have the support I need.

Thanks again

Kiera
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 1/1/2008 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
At a risk of being unwelcome i'd like to jump in here? Um..I've had about 3 rule outs for hiv, elisa and western blot and confused. no i do not think you have it at all, even the small lump is not very unusual and i agree with the coordinator that prison isn't stress free at all. No matter that you feel he only misses his family. Prison is always a stressful place.

My tests were done while ruling in MS. So i had to have the other just to be certain I didnt have that.

What grabs my attention and the reason I'm posting is Confused sounds alot like I used to be prior to medication.

Let me exlain please?
You ask a very valid question, its answered in entirety , you respond with your mind is at ease and then you go back and ask the same ones. Even though your negative for Hiv could you be bipolar or have some OCD going on?
When I went through this it wasn't about HIV but I did exactly what your doing. Each time I'd ask the questions bothering me it would feel like a relief valve when the answer eased my mind. but it would only last for a very brief time , causing me to reask time and again. Worrying myself to death. What im saying here might be more easy for you to figure out if you look back at other worries in your life and ask yourself were "those worries" eased by someone who is as knowlegable as the coordinator? Meaning if you can look back over you life and see a time that you overworried continuously over "house cleaning" , "germ free hands", "unwanted thoughts", or even a vaccine you had before you met him...this could explain why you cant "stay" eased minded.

Please realize that I still believe its "doable". I do wonder about your counselor that your seeing. It might not be such a bad idea to see a second one and talk not only about HIV but about how you can get your mind eased and in 10 minutes scare yourself to death again.
This way your not only staying healthy physically but as the coordinator pointed out : emotionally, and mentally.

Then and only then will the relationship be doable. Whether its something that you can do to manage your anxiety/ocd tendencies (if thats what they are) , along with becoming highly informed. You are the type that should really become a most informed person on the HIV thing yourself. For one you love of your life has it and the things you need to know to ease your anxiety are available (thank God).

I'm only reading this and seeing that your mind remains eased for only a brief period of time. As you stated and then picks the same ball back up so to speak and runs with it. While it def. is something to be concerned/informed about, the amount of anxiety your showing might signal that you need to get some help for your anxiety in general, thereby allowing you to handle this other easier. I've been there, to where my mind would ease and in ten minutes id think of 10 other reasons i must be dying. Not a great way to live.

As far as the mouth sores stress and general poor living conditions in prison could cause them. Along with what has been all over the news : staff infection which also causes raised lymphnodes in the neck. Ive had it and im not in prison, my brothers girlfriends wife has had it x 3, and her son which just came out of prison said all the inmates had it. He was at Lagrance tho. Either way, staff is everywhere. Just got a call a minute ago about my husbands boss being admitted to ICU. He'd had staff then some denatl work and now back in for staff again.

The swollen lump in neck is a very big sign of it.

I truly and sincerely hope that you become highly educated in this. Love doesn't always come around twice. I think you are smart enough and caring enough. Your already considering how healthy you'll have him eating; to do this!

You truly can do this! Please get the "appropriate counselling". Become as informed as you can and as far as testing again, your only going to worry that the needles are eventually giving it to you. Rest your mind and allow God to help you!


Much love,
Kiera
Every day brings us closer to what we reach for .........in all things.
 
Kiera


ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/1/2008 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for posting that information for me, Kiera, your opinion is a valid one that I will take in consideration, I'm open to anyone's advice.
I realise there are a number of things that could be causing his swollen lymph nodes. He contracted the virus back in November 2006 when he was put in remand for a week awaiting his sentence, he was then sentenced to 12 months community service. He was told that the prisoner's file, who raped him, had no evidence on it that he had no BBD (Blood Born Disease), which meant no HIV. The doctor in the prison told him there was nothing they could do for him then, but advised him to have a test at 3 months. He had test at 2 1/2 months and it came back negative. Then he was put into prison in May, then in June he was tested and it came back positive. They are now telling him that he developed antibodies after the window period?? If anyone would like to shed some light on this, I would be very appreciative. :-)

Keep well everyone, God be with you all

ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/1/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
The prisoner that raped my partner had no evidence on his file that he had a BBD (blood born disease), which meant no HIV. Referring back to my last post, I didn't explain it correctly

acaisha
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 1/1/2008 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
2 and a 1/2 months is not past the window period. I would imagine your testing is like ours in which there is no 6 week recommendation its 12 weeks which is three months. Which puts your partner within the older standard of testing, and certainly not abnormal.
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HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada


ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/1/2008 11:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your post acaisha. All this window period stuff is so confusing! There are so many different opinions on testing in regards to the window period, and how long the window period is. This just goes to show how much people know about this virus - not much.

ConfusedWorried
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/14/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I am feeling a bit anxious today. I feel as though I am coming down with a sore throat and I have sore legs. I haven't had any sexual contact with my partner (who is HIV positive) for 8 months, and the only contact we have had is kissing and open-mouth kissing. I have had 3 negative test results. Do you think it could be possible that I am HIV positive? confused
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