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My wife is HIV positive. Should I continue a relationship with her?

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Question - (29 October 2006) 13 Answers - (Newest, 8 August 2010)
A male , anonymous writes:

I meet my wife after six months we got married within another six month later, she got pregenat, and within two weeks she was diagonised for (hiv)positive. I was confused and afraid, i went for my own hiv test but as God will have his way, i was confirmed negative. She gave birth to a baby girl who is two year old now. My question is, should i contiune with the relationship since i am negative and my daughter is also negative because she delivered through operation.

Thanks

Victory

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 August 2010):

I think it should be up to the person. Everyone keeps worrying about the person infected but you should know that there are two people in this situation. I know that she/he will need his or her support but what about my support. I think in this case both should be considerate about the other. Intimacy is intimacy. It is shared. One will hold back a little and it may destroy the relationship. One needs to be in a long term relationship and not swap partners. How do you trust the person you don't even know? That is still a risk

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 August 2010):

There are two sides to the coin.

You can stay and live with the fact that your is postive but there is a risks of using condoms there are not 100 % safe.

You need to sit down and think things over. As you may end up hiv postive.

I know some who has the same problem.

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A male reader, captainglen1 United States +, writes (25 December 2009):

You should remain married and continue to parent your child as mother and father your wifes HIV status affects neither of these areas. If you were ever in love with your wife then it is likely you still are and you should continue to love her.

As for your physical relationship that will require thought and work. If your fear of contracting the disease now the fear will most likely grow and eventually destroy all intimacy. If you can decide your love for each other is strong enough to take the risk then comdoms are likely to keep you HIV free for the rest of your life but does not guarantee it.

You could both decide to live a totally celebate marriage if you both have the will power. There are alternative lifestyle solutions as well which would involve inviting others to participate in your relationship.

The best solution would be to find a couple where the wife is negative and the husband is positive and meet for occasional swapping. Another solution would be to find a poz single male for her to meet with and a neg single woman for you to meet with.

She will of corse need to use protection because there are dangers in mixing different strains of HIV. You will need to protect yourself from any partner you take but also protect her because you could still test negative for a whole year after contracting the virus. Another thing to consider is that you are no safer out there than you are with your wife and with her at least you know for sure.

If you choose the alternate lifestyle route personals.poz.com and craigslist can be helpful but will require patience. She must always inform any partner and they must accept the risk volentarily. I am poz and my wife is negative, she accepted my status volentarily. Now she is making me find an HIV poz female to participate in our relationship because her fear is growing and beginning to paralyze her.

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A female reader, DrPsych United Kingdom +, writes (21 November 2006):

DrPsych agony auntI don't think her diagnosis should be the grounds for leaving the relationship - it must be a devastating time for her with coping as a new mother and a health concern all at once. She needs your support and you both require education about relationship practises that are safe and not safe from a qualified doctor specialising in viral medicine. As a HIV positive woman there is no reason why she cannot stay healthy and for the pair of you to have a good life together along with your new baby. It is important that she looks into anti-viral therapies and perhaps counselling to come to terms with everything that has happened.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 November 2006):

I think you should not continue relationship with her, do you want to take chance for your life???? I think you should never have sex with her again.

There are chances, she again gets pregnant and this time your new baby is not lucy enough to negative result.

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A female reader, Terrie-Anne +, writes (31 October 2006):

Yes you're wife has aids but you make it sound like she got it on purpose. You should stick by her through thick and thin.

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A male reader, Frank B Kermit Canada +, writes (30 October 2006):

Frank B Kermit agony auntHi Victory,

Well, I will suggest what I can.

You do not mention if you have been sexual active with her, or if you are at risk.

It sounds like your concern right now is your sex life with her. To my knowledge, Aids is transmitted though a mixing of certin bodily fluids. (i.e Blood). If you have sex, then extra care must be taken so that no bodily fluids would mix. This also means being careful with certain sex acts which are high risk. Anal sex is one of them. The anus skin, inside and along the border is esp thin, and can break vey ease, leaking out traises of blood. When that blood mixes with the Sperm, there is HIGH risk. So identifying high risk acts to avoid would be a first step. You hve children together, and I think keeping yourselfs as healthy as possible, while maintaining this relationship, is the priority. Some others will argue that even high risk acts are still doable...I am of the mind that it is not worth the risk.

Oral sex, using dental dams (or cut-open flavored condoms)makes for safe sex. No biting.

Sex toys is good for your situation. Using strap on dongs so that you can simulate the sex act, she can be penetrated, or using vibrators can help increase the pleasure of a sex life, without adding to the risk. When one of my parents passed away, and I witnessed the cremation process, I physically shut down, and could not function sexually for a few weeks. I used the above tools in the meanwhile to keep my relationship going at the time, until I could function again.

Different ways of masterbation will come into play here. Masterbating with condoms on, and such. I honestly suggest that you take a walk at your local sex shop and check out the different marital aids and games there.

Sex is part physical, and part mental. Your situation calls for you to use more of the mental side of it, and a modified version of the physical side. There are organiations such as support groups for spouces of people that have aids. Check your local area, and if there is not one, take out a newspaper ad, and START one yourself.

There is no easy answer to this. I think part of the joy of monogamous marriage is the act of unprotected sex with your spouce. You have lost that part of your marriage, and it is easy to feel resentment. You need to rise above that agression. It is OK to feel the anger, but you are a husband and a good father. Your obligations require you to rise above it.

Sex will not be the same for you. It WILL be different. It will require a little more imagination, and that you are aware and cautious. That being said...I still defer to the idea that you made a vow. The going just got tough...that ring on your finger is the symbol to remind you that you are NOT to get going.

Yes, it sucks, and damn it, sometimes bad things do happen to good people. But you need to realise that your wife is worse off than you are right now. And she needs her husband, just as you would need your wife if this would have happened to you.

If there is anything else I can do, please ask.

-Frank B Kermit

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (30 October 2006):

eddie agony auntI had a friend who was HIV positive. This was about 20 years ago and the information about AIDS and HIV was available but somewhat misunderstood by many. We ended up moving away, back to our country, and only ever saw her again once when we returned to visit my wife's family. She asked us to spend the night at her house the day before our vacation ended. WE had a new baby and I lied and told her we couldn't. She knew I was not telling the truth and cried as she drove aaway. I never saw her again.

The idea here is that she was just a friend, not my wife and I never forgave myself for how I responded to her. It was thtough ignorance but I still feel bad about how I must have made her feel.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 October 2006):

hi dearest, i dont think this is the right time for you to left her, she more need you now than any body else. better to stay with her and help things work out. use condom to protect your self and contact professional help with this. she already feel down about this, try not to put more stress on her. your baby needs her too. think about it dear. good luck..... gladyz.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 October 2006):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I thank , Joval ,frank B, for their great advice and Encouragement especially Frank B , but since Frank B suggested that their are ways to get around my sotuation, i will like him to expalin further to me . Iam looking forward to more professional advice.

Thanks

Victory

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A female reader, Jovial South Africa +, writes (30 October 2006):

Jovial agony auntHi Victory

I don’t think it will be wise of you to leave her regardless of how she got infected and your status. You and your wife need counseling if you are not part of any support group try to find one nearest to you or alternatively visit your nearest health center these people are professionals and they help people who are infected and affected by HIV\AIDS. They will definitely help and probably give you a list of support groups available in your neighborhood. Good luck

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A male reader, Frank B Kermit Canada +, writes (30 October 2006):

Frank B Kermit agony auntHi Victory,

My first question to you is if she caught it being unfaithful, or did she already have it prior to you being married?

Assuming there was no infidelity, and this happened through blood transfusion, or before she met you, I think that you got married for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Did those vows mean anything to you?

If so, stay and work on it. It may mean that you might not be able to have a sexual relationship with her, without putting yourself at risk, so there are ways to work around that, but I think you need to take care of your family...that includes her too. She needs your strength more than ever.

-Frank B Kermit

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 October 2006):

If you are going to have sex with your wife, you need to use a condom. Any time you make love. Its the only way to protect yourself from getting infected.

If you have been having unprotected sex for two years, and have not been retested, you should take the HIV test again, and as I said, if still negative, don't risk it; use a condom!

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