Aids Affairs: My HIV-positive spouse wants to have sex
I recently found out that my boyfriend of more than 12 years tested positive for HIV, however, I tested negative. He has two girlfriends - me and another woman - and we are both aware of each other. As a matter of fact, we live very close to each other but in separate house. He does that because he wants all of his children to grow up close.
Counsellor, I love my boyfriend very much and want to be with him. My greatest fear, though, is continuing to sex with him. Whenever he approaches me, I do not know what to do.
Is it all right to continue to have sex with him?
Dear Mystified Lover:
Sorry to hear about your boyfriend's HIV-positive status. Sex is an important part of human life and relationships. While some people will choose not to have sex after they find out they are infected with HIV or living with AIDS, others will still want to express themselves sexually. Both approaches are possible, and the choice is up to the individual and their partner(s).
Like everyone else who has sex, people who have tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, should practise the same kind of safe sex as those who are uninfected. They should use a condom every time they have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal). Condoms when used properly are highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections and they allow people with HIV/AIDS and their partners to continue to enjoy sexual relations.
Therefore, the decision to have or not have sex with your partner must be carefully assessed in terms of risk assessment, your safety, and at the same time fulfilling your partner's needs.
You may want to get individual counselling from an HIV-knowledgeable counsellor to help you alleviate some of the fears you may have.
My teenage son is sexually active, and it seems he is all over the place. I have never been comfortable discussing the subject with him, but I am scared that he may contract AIDS. I saw a few condoms in his room, but I know that does not mean that he is using them.
I remember in my day, my husband now, boyfriend then, just walked around with condoms, but we never used them. I know youngsters these days are a little more exposed and informed.
So then, is it all right to think he will also be mature and practise safe sex?
Dear Anxious Mother:
I would not bet on it. this is no reflection on your son's maturity. Our experience is that many young boys, older than your son, have difficulty requesting that their partners use a condom for protection. Moreover, teenagers tend to romanticise sex, preferring spontaneity to the practical act of slipping on a condom.
Though your son carries around condoms and stocks them in his room, the possibility of him contracting HIV - the virus that causes AIDS - may not be foremost in his mind.
I would suggest that if you are too embarrassed to talk about the subject with your son, you could ask an aunt or some other adult with whom he is close to discuss the subject with him. In the long run, your comfort is a small price to pay to ensure that your son is equipped for life.
For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections, call the AIDS/STD Helpline at 967-3830, 967-3764, 1888-991-4444 (toll free).