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.

136 comments

  1. Hi Winnie,
    I’m sorry to hear about your boyfriend’s diagnosis. We have an FAQs page for couples in this situation. Have a look there and then let me know if you have any questions or would like any further information. It might help you both to get some support- the HIV clinic should be able to put you in touch with a local peer support group.

  2. Hi my is winnie my boyfriend got tested last months and he is positive .and i am negative and never used condoms 4 the past three year i am so stressed.plz help

  3. Hi
    disclosing a status its very difficult but honestly speaking in any way or the othr you have to be hones.
    I’am hiv – and my partner is hiv + we have a three months old baby
    his hiv – too. My partner got tested when i was already about to deliver
    but lied about his medz that are fot low blood mmm curiousity i goggled them
    in shock i was stressed as if i was the one who had the virus
    but at the end i made him to tell me so i could be his care taker.
    Now we happy and i’am soo stress free even though sometimes i get scared

  4. Hi Owame. If you want to use condoms when you have sex your boyfriend should respect this- this is a decision that you should make together and you should not be pressured into having sex without condoms if you don’t want to. Having an undetectable viral load means that the risk of transmission is very low for vaginal sex- close to zero. But if you have any sexually transmitted infections this can increase the chance of passing HIV to your boyfriend. It is important that you are both treated for any infections before having sex without condoms. Having a miscarriage shouldn’t cause your viral load to increase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>