Q and A

Question

My partner is HIV positive…

Answer

Hi, thanks, a short question – but in 2019 there are many ways to make sure you stay HIV negative.

If your partner has an undetectable viral load on treatment, there is no risk to you. Even if you don’t use a condom. This is called U=U (undetectable = untransmittable).

You also can use PrEP – a medication you take to protect you against HIV. This is important if your partner is not on treatment. It is also close to 100% protection.

Thirdly, condoms and lube when used correctly also will give you 100% protection.

Every time you have unprotected sex you risk catching HIV, but the individual risk depends on many things, including you and your partners health, and y6ur partners viral load (level of HIV virus). The individual risk with each exposure is low, and drops to zero if your partner is on HIV treatment with an undetectable viral load.

Many couples with one partner on treatment stop using condoms in order to conceive a baby, without the negative partner catching HIV.

There are lots of very successful relationships where one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative. If you want to continue the relationship, there are probably lots of things to sort out and this may take some time for both of you.

This guide has more information about ways that HIV can be transmitted.

Take time to find out other information – also try AVERT – or get back to us if you have specific questions.

This question from November 2006 was last updated in February 2019.

5 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Dele,

    It’s good that you tested HIV negative. But please see this link to all FAQs about HIV testing and HIV risks. This includes when you might want to repeat an HIV test to confirm the negative result.

    If you have persistent diarrhoea you can see the doctor and have a check up.

  2. Dele

    Hi, I need help and answers.

    3weeks ago, I and my partner had sex, we’ve always had unprotected sex. It crossed my mind last week to do a checkup test for HIV cus I started having diarrhea and fever. My HIV result was negative (non reactive). I treated fever already, but I’m still having persistent diarrhea. Pls is there risk? Or do I need to do the Hiv test again????? I’ve been so worried and can’t sleep. I don’t knw why I’m having a persistent diarrhea.

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Arman,

    This is a very low risk, or just a theoretical risk. Also, mucous membranes in the mouth are good barriers against HIV infection, so long as there are not cuts, ulcers or sores.

    How is your partner? Are they on HIV treatment (ART)? Please let us know.

  4. Arman

    I kissed open mouth to my HIV positive partner before 3 weeks ago and we both had no wound or bleeding gums in our mouth. Do I have risk????

  5. Craig

    That report says it is from Uganda, not Thailand.
    Reports suggest that the virus in Thailand is a lot more contagious than this.

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