Q and A

Question

Why am I HIV negative if my boyfriend is HIV positive?

My partner and I recently went for an HIV test and my results came negative while his came positive. This is very strange because in the 2 years that we have been together, we hardly ever use a condom?

How does this come about? are there other cases like mine? is this possible?

Answer

Yes this is possible, and a lot of other people have been in the same situation.

You have just been very lucky.

The risk of catching HIV relates to many things, including your partners viral load (ie how infections he or she is).

In very early infection the risk could be a 1 in 10 per exposure or higher, but if it is very low or undetectable, this could drop to 1 in 3000 or less.

Depending on the type of sex you have, and how often, with these number you see how it could just be luck. You could still catch HIV the next time you are at risk. You should also have another HIV test in 3 months, to check that you were not infected in the few months prior to your original test.

A very small percentage of people (probably less than 2% in the UK), have genetic protection against HIV infection. There are no commercial tests that are able to check this.

While many people think (or hope) they have this protection, and that they will be lucky and not catch HIV if they don’t use a condom, in reality they are usually wrong. This is why numbers of new infections are still increasing each year.

Your partners diagnosis sounds like it was a shock for both of you. Take time to find good resources and support, both for your partner and yourself while you come to terms with what has happened. This affects people in all sorts of ways, but with good treatment and care, your partner can expect to lead a long life.

For more information on monitoring and treatment see the i-Base Introduction to combination therapy. Your partner may also want to call our phoneline.


Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.

162 comments

  1. Hi Zama, either your boyfriend results are wrong or you caught HIV in a different way. I can’t comment really on these, but many HIV positive people never find out how they caught HIV. It is better to try to look forward to come to terms with hwo you are going to deal with this news.

    It is clear you are have a very difficult time and it would help to talk to other people about this. Can you see a speak to a health advisor of counsellor? Or to other HIV positive people who have been through similar experiences?

  2. Zama

    Ay I’m still very confused good people !

    How possible is it that I get to be HIV positive and my b.f is HIV negetive while I have only slept with him. He was the one I gave my virginity to and before I was depressed becouse of work related issues and I had to go to the hospital where blood tests were done to find out what was wrong with me and I tested negetive. After the tests were done my Dr found out that I was suffering from depression. before I got admitted in a psychiatric hospital they tested me for HIV again and I was negetive. Few weeks after I was discharged I gave my virginity to my b.f and I got pregnants few months down the line. They was rumours that my boyfreind is HIV positive and I got tested and found out that I am HIV positive and he tested from a laboratry and still his results are negetive. HOW POSSIBLE IS THIS. PLEASE HELP ME I’M VERY FRUSTRATED. STRESSED AND CONFUSED..

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