Couples with one person who is HIV positive and the other who is HIV negative are sometimes called "serodiscordant" or "serodivergent." "Seropositivity" refers to whether or not someone is living a life in the condition of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
HIV is not the first topic that comes up when most couples start dating. You may not know your partner's HIV status. You may not even have been tested for HIV. It can be very difficult to talk about positive HIV positivity. See the page as long as you are HIV positive For some ideas.
What are the special issues for serodiscordant couples?
People in serodiscordant relationships have to face all the same things as other couples. But there are some extra questions:
- The HIV positive partner should focus on not contaminating their partners. The HIV negative partner should focus on caring for the other person. This can cause a serious lack of balance in the relationship.
- HIV can cause changes in the body (see Sheet of fact 553.) Antiretroviral drugs can have unpleasant side effects. This can give the HIV positive partner negative feelings about your body and your health. It can be difficult for them to feel attractive and believe they can have a normal romantic relationship.
- Fear of transmitting HIV can cause an excess of caution. This can even stop all sexual activity. Review the following tabs:
150: Stopping the Spread of HIV
151: Safer Sex Guidelines
152: How Risky Is It?
- Try to open the discussion about your desires, your fears and your limits. Reach agreement on the forms of sexual expression that fit the level of risk in which you feel comfortable in positioning yourself. Talking about sexual relationships can help.
RISK REDUCTION BETWEEN SORODISCORDAN
ARVs (antiretroviral therapy or ART to control HIV infection) may well help to exert sexual activity using PrEP. Sheet of fact 403 You have more information about ART.
The good news about ART is about taking PrEP and how it works. There is no cure for AIDS and ART with GOOD ACCESSION can free you from getting infected with HIV and can help you live a full and healthy sex life with a partner.
ART can also make it very unlikely that you can pass HIV to your partner. If you keep the viral load undetectable (see Sheet of fact 125), there will be minimal chances of transmitting HIV to your partner. However, there are several important things to remember:
- You must maintain adherence to ART strictly so that it works and there is no transmission to your partner and to prevent the virus from gaining access to the possibility of generating a mutation that makes it resistant to HAART, which would invalidate more than ten years of studies that allowed us to arrive at these conclusions. THE Sheet of fact 405 has more information about adherence to treatment.
- An "undetectable viral load" does not mean zero. This means that there is not enough of the HIV in your blood sample to be detected by the tests we have at the moment (translator's note: in the year of 2016 the detection capability for clinical use has the ability to detect quantities greater than forty copies of Viral RNA.)
- The viral load test measures the amount of virus in the blood. It does not report viruses on sexual fluids (sperm or vaginal fluids).
- The result of the viral load test was for when your sample was taken, not today. The viral load can change quickly, especially if you get sick with a cold or flu, or even if you take vaccines.
Even with all these warnings, it is very rare for someone under ART to have an undetectable viral load and infect a partner.
Serodiscordant couples using a condom.
It is rare for a partner with undetectable viral load to transmit HIV. However, it still makes sense to take additional measures like using a condom (see Sheet of fact 153.) Condoms are very effective at preventing the spread of HIV. They should be used correctly, one each time there is a transaction. If you have access to condoms, you can relax and enjoy even greater tranquility during sexual activity.
Other ways to reduce risk among serodiscordant couples
- The risk is lower if the infected partner is taking antiretroviral drugs (ART, see Sheet of fact 403.)
- If so, take all regular doses of medications.
- Avoid sexual activity during any infection: a sexually transmitted disease or even a cold or the flu.
- Avoid sexual activity within two weeks after taking any vaccine.
If you are exposed to HIV ...
If a condom bursts or if you forget to use an anti-HIV drug you can still prevent transmission. Talk to your doctor about PEP, "post-exposure prophylaxis" (see Sheet of fact 156.) This is a proven action to avoid transmission between sexual partners. Do not just take a few doses of your partner's medication! That may not be the proper treatment. For PEP to work, it must be started very soon after exposure to HIV. Discuss PEP with your doctor in advance so you know what your options will be in case something happens that exposes the negative partner for HIV.
Translator's note: I translate as PEP because it is "current voice say PEP for what would be, in good Portuguese Post Exposure Prophylaxis and thus the correct acronym would PPE. Although some people have tried in every way to convince me that it is easier to remember than PEP PPE I can not see a large power consumption by the brain to determine and pronounce PPE. I know this is beyond the translation scope, but I insist on this point because I have seen over my little over fifty years, a real mutilation of Portuguese (This is a "linguistic phenomenon" almost exclusively from Brazil) which is beautiful and rich with respect to the lexicon and, if a person can ride a "Mountain bike", he could easily talk bike trails, without this desmerecesse practiced sport, focusing our language, which is our communication base and is the one thing subtle that makes you realize in full "New York" that people who are passing by you are, like you, Brazilians. The language is the identity of its source and I do not end up talking about it. Let us return to translation
Having children if the man has HIV
Recent studies show that it is possible to "wash" (...) the sperm of an HIV-infected man so that he can be used to fertilize a woman and produce a healthy baby. These procedures are effective, but very expensive. A recent cost estimate was around $ 10.000, health plans probably will not cover the cost. It can be very difficult to find a place for sperm washing.
Have children if the woman has HIV
Without treatment, up to 35% of pregnant women with HIV can pass the infection to their newborns. With appropriate treatment, the risk of transmission of HIV to newborns drops to 2% (see Sheet of fact 611.) (In the city of Santos, in the year 2014, there was an important note informing that had already been four years without births of children living with HIV, with the exception of one, whose scatterbrained mother refused to treat at least during the pregnancy)
Artificial insemination, a simple procedure, puts the man's sperm into the woman's vagina. This allows pregnancy without exposing men to HIV (it should be noted that sexual intercourse without the condom with ART virtually eliminates the possibility of infection and that women are ten times more vulnerable to HIV than men).
If a woman with HIV becomes pregnant, she should be very careful to stay healthy during pregnancy. Be sure to discuss the pregnancy with your doctor, preferably before you become pregnant. Your doctor will help you with the treatment you need to reduce the chance of your baby being born without being infected. Also avoid breastfeeding a newborn. This can transmit HIV. THE Sheet of fact 611 has more information on the pregnancy of HIV-positive women.
Translator's Note: In Time: The lexicon can be considered as the heritage vocabulary of a language community throughout its history, a collection that is transmitted from one generation to the next generation.
The user of the language uses the lexicon, this open inventory of words available in their language, for the formation of their vocabulary, for their own expression at the moment of speech and for the effectiveness of the communicative process. Thus, the vocabulary of an individual is characterized by the selection and the personal uses that he makes of the lexicon. The greater the vocabulary of the user, the greater the possibility of choosing the most adequate word for his expressive intent.