Q and A


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.


Thanks for your question as your situation is very common.

Has your partner’s  positive HIV test been checked by a second test in a lab. All rapid tests, need a positive result to be confirmed. This is because of the small chance of a false-positive result.

If the second test (called “western blot”) is positive then your partner is definitely positive. In this case, how is your partner doing and does she have support?

Even if your partner is HIV positive, it is common for one person in a couple to test positive and the other negative. This can happen even if they have bot been using condoms. 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. Condoms or PrEP are both really effective at stopping HIV and not sharing needles.

Also, after your partner gets an undetectable viral load on treatment, the risk drops to zero – even without condoms. The PARTNER study reported no transmission with an undetectable viral load. this was after about 900 couple had sex 58,000 without condoms (over several years).

Note: This answer was updated in January 2018 and October 2014 from a question from June 2011. i-Base no longer answers individual questions about HIV transmission and risk. (See: Question 1, 5, 6 and 9 at this link).


  1. Simon Collins


    Please use this link to ask a new question.

  2. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Worried,

    Please see Q’s 1 and 5 here:


  3. worried about my status

    I went to do hiv test and I’m negative,and my partner went results came back positive. We had unprotected sex for 4 months and she’s not on treatment. I’m scared please help

  4. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Tammy,

    When someone is on medication and they have an undetectable viral load they can’t transmit HIV when having sexual intercourse. This is why you’re negative.

  5. Tammy

    I fell pregnant in December 2015. Started my anc checkeups and tested negetive in March april and july. After giving birth in August i continued to test every 3 months because i was breastfeeding. I found out when my baby was 6 months that my partner has been on treatment the whole time. What could cause my negetie results and is my baby at risk?