December 8, 2014

“Sir, I have a question for you. What is your view on BB as it pertains to undetectable poz partners with neg partners? We are all adults and all have to make, and own, our own decisions. In your experience and knowledge base do you belief it to be a low incidence of transference or is it just as likely. I have always been pretty steadfast about playing safe with occasional missteps. I grew up during the worst time in history for the virus and have managed to still be negative to this day, a bit surprising honestly. I am more top but also enjoy being a bottom on occasion. I am also at a point in my life that I feel I want to do some of the things I have always held back from out of fear. I am aware it is certainly in ones best personal interest to maintain their health and I surely am not a person who is looking to seroconvert. That said, I have had and will continue to have partners who are positive. Sexuality for me is deeply felt and the barrier created by a condom removes a great deal of that me. I guess I am just looking to you for a bit of sound reasoning. I ultimately make up my mind with all factors considered, but I always like to hear others perspectives.”

My view is that a person should take all possible precaution to keep themselves negative if they wish to remain negative. Just like a person can lie to you about being negative, a person can lie to you about being undetectable. So your first line of defense against contracting HIV is to know you partners and know if and when they are going to lie to you. Recent studies show that a person who has an undetectable viral load has a “near zero” percent chance of transmitting the virus. “Near Zero” is not zero. You need to decide for yourself what risk you are willing to take.

Another thing that you can do for yourself is to talk to your doctor about taking Truvada as PrEP. Studies show that taking Truvada once a day, every day, takes your chances of contracting HIV down toward zero. If you are medicated against catching HIV and your partner is medicated against transmitting HIV, your chances of having a transmission event are as close zero as you can possibly get. There is no foolproof way to prevent transmission, except abstinence. The tools for preventing transmission can be stacked on top of each other to help you prevent transmission events. Condoms are still one tool that can be used to prevent transmission events. Take the smart risks, and educate yourself about what those risks are, and you can continue to live an HIV negative life while enjoying sex and companionship with HIV positive partners and friends. I admire your courage and your desire to know people rather than stigmatize a disease.

If you look at all the options and all the information, and make an informed decision to forgo the condom with your partners who are positive, I say that you are an adult who has every right to make decisions for yourself. No one in the world is authorized to tell you how to live your life, or how to have your sex, expect for yourself.

Do you have an question for “Ask Daddy”? Send it to me, for a chance to have it answered in a future column.

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