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
  2. zee

    Hi, my bf is hiv positive and weve had unprotected sex for more dan three years now and everytime i go for testing the test comes negative. Cold anything be wrong with me. Hes on medication, he drinks alcohol

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Portia,

    If you think you may have had a false positive, or you are worried about your test results you should have another test. If your clinic won’t do this, please try someone else. If it comes back as positive, contact us.

  4. Portia

    My partner testest positive,after some months i went to test,those two things that they are using the other one said positive and the other,said negative they couldn’t see those two line it was very blear, the took blood after couldn’t find my results.they just said the line is the i cant see so do I have to believe them.

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Patricia,

    As the above post explains, yes it’s very possible that you can be negative even if your partner is positive.

  6. patricia

    Hi I would like to ask a question, my partner and I went for an HIV test but mine came out negative and my partners came out positive and we’ve been sexual active for 5 months without condoms so is it possible?

  7. Lisa Thorley
  8. Rahul

    How do you contract HIV?

  9. Lisa Thorley
  10. Benitha

    I am very worried. I had unprotected sex with a man who I heard rumours of as being positive 2 months ago. I never had any form of medication before and after exposure until today. I have nit had a test yet. And I have not experienced any symptom. Just last month I had sex with another man. But he was tested this month and he was found negative. I am worried about my status. Is it possible I am positive?