« Go Back

Is there a hope for us?

Question: 

Hi thank you for the great work you guys do. I need some advice about my situation
I'm a gay male when I was a child I was sexually assaulted by a man as result I contracted Hepatitis B and became a chronic carrier unfortunately and have been living with Hepatitis b since then and I'm an active carrier. I like a guy I met in a bar recently and when I wanted to disclose my status to him, he disclosed first and told me that he is HIV positive and hasn't started treatment yet ( we are both 23 years old). I'm really scared that if we go intimate, we might infect each other with our diseases. I'm not sure if the hepatitis b vaccine can work for him as he has HIV and his immune system is weak. Is there a way that we can have a healthy relationship without passing our infections to each other? I'm willing to fight till the end because I really like him and his status wouldn't matter to me , but what matter to me is my status because I don't want to infect him and make his situation worse and of course I have no interest in becoming HIV positive also.
Any advice would be great What should I do?
Thank you very much

Answer: 

Hi there and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. My name is Colin and I'll do my best to answer your questions today.

I can see that you're concerned about the possibility of you and your new potential partner coinfecting each other with conditions you are both living with. I hope the information I can provide will be helpful to you.

Here at AIDS Vancouver our expertise is generally limited to HIV/AIDS. Because of that, while I can give you some information and resources about HBV, and HBV and HIV and how they interact, my final answer is going to be to highly recommend you seek advice from a doctor or other trained medical professional who can give you a more comprehensive answer than we can here.

That said, modern medicine has come a long way and a Hepatitis B (or A/B combo) vaccination should be effective on your friend regardless of his HIV status (but again, confirm with a doctor). As well, as it seems like your friend is likely newly-diagnosed (as you mention he is not on medication yet) I would encourage him to partner with a doctor to get his viral load down to undetectable levels which will protect both his and your health in the long run. Finally, if you decide to pursue a relationship with this man, or if you decide to have casual sex with multiple partners, if you haven't heard of PrEP (or "pre-exposure prophylaxis") it is something I would definitely recommend you check out. It is a drug called Truvada which is taken by HIV-negative people to protect them from acquiring HIV. So far it has been proven to be extremely effective at preventing transmission of HIV and is recommended for people in sero-discordant relationships as well as all men who have sex with men who are not in committed monogamous relationship.

In summary, yes, I think there is definitely hope for you! Where there is hope there is usually a way. In this case, given the medical care available, if you are both properly medicated and use protection, I can't see why you wouldn't be able to have a happy healthy sex life together. As I mentioned already, I would highly recommend you each see a doctor to find out the best course of action and medications to protect you both.

I hope the information I've been able to provide has been useful to you and can help give you some hope! I wish you both lots of luck and health. Feel free to post again if you'd like more information or clarification.

All the best,

Colin

AIDS Vancouver Helpline