Q and A

Question

My husband just tested HIV positive but I tested HIV negative?

We just found out my husband has HIV today I tested negative and I don’t understand why. Can you please explain.

Also what is lipodystropy?

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your husbands test results, but you are lucky in still being HIV negative.

We have had many questions from people in your situation and it is not uncommon. Although you are HIV-negative now, it doesn’t mean you are protected against HIV in the future, so it is important to use condoms now with your husband.

So far you have just been lucky – not every exposure results in infection – but you are still at risk catching HIV.

For more information about your husbands health and treatment see this guide.

Lipodystrophy is the term for a range of side effect to some HIV drugs, that changes the way your body processes fats and sugars. More information is at this link.


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.

49 comments

  1. I’m pregnant my boyfriend tested positive but I tested negative. It has been confirmed by the lab several times. How does that happen?

  2. Hi Ray

    Thanks for posting your experience. I’m not sure whether you are asking questions that you;d like answered but as this is now online I will add a couple of comments for other readers, which may or may not be helpful to you.

    From my experience and the studies I have read I would still explain your situation by saying you and your partner have just been lucky so far.

    Although it is difficult to estimate the real risk from any single exposure most researcher think this could easily be lower that 1 in 250 or even lower that 1 in 500. HIV is much harder to catch than most people realise, but on the other hand it only takes one exposure for transmission. And there is no way to know when you will be lucky or unlucky.

    An early HIV study (from 1994) reported that the rate of transmission in 121 heterosexual couples where one was positive and the other negative and who never used condoms was only 5% a year. Over 18 months this risk varied from 7% to 50% depending on how ill the positive person was. (For details of this study see the boxed text on this page).

    This example shows that it might be good to find a way to connect with your doctor again, even just for monitoring. If your CD4 count drops without you realising it and your viral load increases, this will be increasing the risk to your partner.

    HIV can be transmitted with only one exposure – and some people are this unlucky – or it might be on the 300th or 500th or 700th time. You and your partner have to make your owen decisions about risk, but there might be some aspects of risk that gives you a different perspective. More info on risk, luck, statistics and HIV transmission is here.

    Another thing to consider is that although you have been lucky so far in not having needed to start treatment, your boyfriend might have a very different response if he does become positive.

    Although it sometimes takes time to get used to visiting a doctor and can feel strange, it is worth finding a way to work through this so that you can have the monitoring that you need for your health. I wondered whether there is another clinic you could visit or other doctors or health workers at the same clinic?

  3. I’ve been with my bf for 5 years now. i found out i was hiv+ 3 years ago tested twice for confirmation. My bf tested negative. As a matter of fact he’s tested negative 12+ times in three years (blood not swab).We have only used condoms maybe 7 times just for the heck of it. So if weve had rough bareback sex on average 3 times a week for 5 years because Im almost positive i’ve been infected atleast 5 years that equates to 260 times. Thats 260 chances for him to get HIV but he hasn’t. So is he truly lucky? Just really odd to me. Also i haven’t taken one pill for it i rarely pop an aspirin. I do smoke and drink occassionally. I’m healthy and havent seen a doc in more then two years the docs office gave me the creeps and i felt like a lab rat. I remember when i was first told of my status I was sick for weeks with a kidney infection. I think it was just the shock that made me very sick. Since then i’ve brushed it off and i feel great. Ive also noticed others get sick way more often then myself. I hope i stay healthy. Maybe luck maybe something else is going on. Only time will tell i guess.

  4. Hallo.
    my girlfriend tested positive a month ago and I tested negative. We didn’t use protection for seven years. How possible is this?

  5. Hi Amy, our pregnancy guide has lots of information about this. Please check out this page, and let me know if you have any questions.

  6. My boyfriend is HIV+ and i’m HIV negative, i really want children, but i dont want to adopt, is there any way we can have kids?

  7. Hi Yoli,
    It is possible to be HIV positive for many years and not know. There are lots of people who have HIV who don’t know they are positive.
    Condoms are very effective at protecting you from catching HIV. You might also like to read our testing and transmission guide for more information about this.

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