Q and A

Question

How can my partner test HIV positive and I test HIV negative?

I went to test HIV with my partner.

I found out that she is positive and I was negative. After six months i went back I tested negative.

Please help as I don’t understand.

Answer

First. maybe check that your partners positive HIV test was checked by a lab. Some rapid tests, need a positive result to be confirmed. This is because of the small chance of a false-positive result.

Even if your partner is positive, it is common for one person in a couple to test positive and the other negative. This can happen even if they have been having unprotected sex.

This is mostly just luck. Over time, most people will catch HIV if they continue to have sex without a condom.

Even though you have not caught HIV so far, you can still catch HIV in the future. Genetics may explain some cases of protection, but most are just down to luck and chance.

Now you know your partners HIV status, you can still stay together and have sex safely. You can prevent infection by using condoms when having sex and not sharing needles or blood products with your partner.

The risk of transmission will also drops dramatically if and when your partner uses HIV treatment. The PARTNER study reported that HIV is very difficult to catch if their partner has an undetectable viral load.

Note: This answer from June 2011 was updated in October 2014.


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.

123 comments

  1. derrick

    I am equally in the same situation like my brother who asked this question, I have been having unprotected sex with my positive wife for one year now and still negative.

  2. Hi,

    It is common for one partner in a couple to be positive and one negative. You can find more information about this in the answer to the question above.

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