Q and A


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?


Hi, how are you doing? and how is your partner?

Your situation is very common and you have just been lucky. The risk of catching HIV is usually quite low, even if you don’t always use condoms. It also related to many things, including your partners viral load (ie how infections he or she is).

The risk is highest in the first few months after infection (1 in 10 or higher). After the first year when viral load is lower, this might only be 1 in 500.

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 small percentage of people (less than 1% 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.

Also, once your partner has undetectable viral load in ART, they are no longer able to transmit HIV.

For more information on monitoring and treatment see the i-Base Introduction to ART. Please also tell your partner that i-Base run a free treatment phoneline if he would like to talk directly about his care.

This answer was updated in January 2018 from a question posted in October 2007.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Mnyamani,

    Please see Q’s 5 and 9 here:


  2. mnyamani


    am HIV positive, yet my partner is twice tested negetive, why is that?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Leonardo,

    No you won’t have contracted HIV. Please also see Q’s 1 and 9 here:


  4. Leonardo

    Hi. So five days ago I gave oral sex to a guy who is HIV positive but he did not ejaculate in my mouth, I do believe there was Precum though. He claims that he was taking his meds everyday so he said I probably won’t get it. I didn’t have any cuts or wounds in my mouth and he didn’t have any cuts either. When I took a rapid test three days later it was negative but I understand that is not accurate. I just want to know in your professional opinion could I have HIV?