Dear Auntie, my partner is HIV positive. How can I make sure I don’t get HIV?
This is a great question!
Being in a relationship with someone who is HIV positive doesn’t mean that you have to get HIV. Either you or your partner can take medicine to lower the chances of transmitting HIV.
Before you can consider the medication route, you’ll need to get tested first. Go to gettested.cdc.gov to find a testing center near you.
If you’re HIV negative, you can take a prescription called PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. This will lower your chances of becoming infected through sex by more than 90% when you take it regularly.
How do you get PrEP?
To find places where you can get PrEP near you, check out preplocator.org and type in your zip code.
You can then talk to your doctor to make sure PrEP is the right HIV prevention option for you. Once you start taking PrEP, you will have to schedule a doctor’s appointment every 3 months for a quick follow-up that includes testing for sexually transmitted infections. These visits are mandatory for keeping your PrEP prescription.
PrEP is not like “Plan B” where you can take it the day after sex, it won’t work that way. If you get HIV while on PrEP, it can quickly lead to drug resistance, which is another reason to keep your doctors appointments.
Of course, if you have questions you should talk to your doctor.
What can my partner do?
Your partner can take antiretroviral therapy – sometimes called A.R.T., which can make it almost impossible to transmit the disease. Taking A.R.T. can also keep your partner healthier by making sure that their T-cells –don’t drop too low.
For more information, you can check out:
Hope this helps! And make sure you keep using a condom to prevent against other sexually transmitted infections.