Dear KD: My Boyfriend Is HIV Positive And Thinks I Stigmatize Him

Dear KD: My Boyfriend Is HIV Positive And Thinks I Stigmatize Him

My boyfriend is HIV positive. I know this and I have no problem with it. But for months, we’ve been arguing over the same issue. Whenever we want to have sex, I insist on PrEP, or no sex. And this infuriates him into accusing me to stigmatizing him, like I shouldn’t ask for this even considering the fact that he’s positive. Am I in the wrong for demanding this? We have fought over this severally, and I am getting to that stage of exasperation that I feel like the next time we have this fight and he comes at me again for wanting to have safe sex, I might snap and say really hurtful, ugly things.

But I don’t want to. I really care about him.

So tell me – tell us (because I’m sure he’s reading this) – do I not deserve some respect and consideration for my insistence on the inclusion of PrEP in our sex life? Or am I just being an insensitive bitch who’s too cautious for his own good?

Submitted by Jamie

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31 Comments

  1. Homer
    May 10, 06:28 Reply

    It isn’t wrong to require more protection before having sex. It’s very logical that you guys should take as much steps as possible to ensure that the both of you are safe.
    However, it might be that the way you talk about this just makes an already self conscious person doubtful about what you really feel.
    This is t making an excuse for him. It’s just me trying to see things from his perspective.
    I suggest that you people have a civil conversation where you explain why you need PreP and ask what specifically makes him feel you’re stigmatising him. If after this talk he’s not on board with PreP and/or still feels that you’re treating him wrong for an unsatisfactory reason, then it might not be too early to consider the future of the relationship before it gets messier.

  2. Absalom
    May 10, 06:44 Reply

    You’re not being insensitive for insisting on PrEP. I’m not sure why your boyfriend’s attitude is what it is but you are definitely not stigmatizing him. Safe sex benefits BOTH partners, not just one person – regardless of who is HIV-positive or not. For example, if by any chance YOU get infected from outside (razor cut, etc), the safe sex in your relationship will prevent your boyfriend from getting re-infected, which may lead to failure of his current line of meds.

    So, no, you’ve done nothing wrong.

    I don’t know if the both of you have discussed his feelings about his status aside fights around sex. He needs to find healthy ways of dealing with his vulnerabilities: Trying to manipulate your emotions won’t resolve his insecurities.

    Again: Safe sex is not stigmatization, please. There are real HIV-related stigmas out there and your boyfriend shouldn’t trivialize that struggle by the mislabelling.

    He needs to, also, not fall into the trap of sifting his interactions with others through the lens of his status. Your ditching PrEP today because of him doesn’t mean you can’t leave him tomorrow – if that is what he is afraid of. What then would he have gained if not more pain?

    You love him, he loves you – and that is enough.

  3. Simba
    May 10, 07:34 Reply

    Can you explain more, wht u mean by ‘insist on PrEP’ because PrEP is not a one time pill. It is a continuous pill taken once a day, which has been scientifically proven to reduce chances of HIV infection by upto 97%. U are in a serodiscordant relationship, therefore PrEP is very needful for u. Also u fail to tell us if ur partner is on ARVs, what is his viral load and percentage adherence to his medications. This helps to paint an idea how much risk u in, I suggest you find out.
    Love is love, sit with ur partner and discuss more with him, because he should be very serious about ur concern. Also read more about serodiscordant relationship and health, biomedical and structural means of combating HIV.

  4. Francis
    May 10, 07:38 Reply

    What Henrie and Absalom have said. best of luck

  5. ambivalentone
    May 10, 08:26 Reply

    Jamie, I do not find this funny at all and I think ur bf is a totally selfish prick. I imagine he is thinking about HIS (not your) future as a carrier and the potential of being baeless can be quite scary for him.

    Well, if Jamie’s beau is reading this, newsflash hunnay, I like to think if Jamie were just as positive as u r, u wouldn’t stay in the relationship with him. I imagine u wud think “we already are on equal footing, why bother?”. I’m not even sure u’d wait 2 secs b4 bailing if the tables were turned. If you are angry and jealous u r positive and he isn’t, don’t try blackmailing him emotionally. You av no idea how many other ppl would run away from u on hearing u carry. Person still wants to av sex with u on top, yu r crying. Don’t spoil something that sounds this good by being a child

  6. doe eyed monster
    May 10, 10:20 Reply

    I don’t get it, he wants you to be positive with him? While HIV is not a death sentence, it’s always advisable to be safe. Please use your brain and not your heart.. .God forbid, you get positive and he now dumps you.. .i know you would just want to kill him.

  7. Sinnex
    May 10, 10:56 Reply

    My guy, your health comes first before any other thing. I give it to you for sticking with him knowing fully his status.

    You need to do everything possible to protect yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you to do what you don’t feel comfortable doing, not even your boyfriend. If the tables were turned, I am sure he wont even stick around.

    The truth is that he seems like someone i’d definitely not like. I won’t be surprise he would ask you one day to have sex with him without any form of protection in order to show that you love him. If you are wise, you better leave before it becomes to late.

  8. Mandy
    May 10, 11:08 Reply

    Most comments here echo exactly what I think.
    Be wise, Jamie. Don’t be guilted into what you don’t want to do.

  9. bruno
    May 10, 12:06 Reply

    this is a conversation you should have had before dating… I’m wondering how it’s suddenly coming up after he became your boyfriend.

    so like every other thing in the relationship you guys need to sit down and have a rational conversation about it. he has no right coerce or blackmail you into doing what you don’t want. that’s downright unhealthy.

    when you say no sex without prep what exactly do you mean? do you have access to prep currently. are you both making arrangements to get you on prep? are you in a place where prep is actually available? or does no sex till prep in your case literally just means no sex indefinitely? that could be frustrating.

    also if he’s on ART and his viral load undectectable and you guys use a condom “properly”, the chances of you getting infected is pretty much non existent. for extra security, you could wrap it up even during oral sex. or is raw sex the point of contention here?

    anyways all the best with both of you.

  10. Gad
    May 10, 13:24 Reply

    I don’t usually feel comfortable giving out verdicts based on a one sided story. We actually need to hear from the other party but since he might not feel comfortable about it, I will ask a number of questions. 1. How did you get to know of the status of ur bf? 2. Prior to your discovery of his status, have you been having unprotected sex? If no, at whose instance? Who provides the cd? 3. From your story, the issue between you guys seems to center on PREP, what exactly is his view on it? 4. does he usually insist on unprotected sex? 5. Finally, do you know your own status? I ask this last question because it’s foolish to feel safe with a guy whose status you don’t know but safer to dig with the positive guy who is on ARV and takes his medications and check ups seriously.

  11. Delle
    May 10, 14:13 Reply

    Does he not love you as much as you love him? Does he not love you AT ALL? Why else would he flip out because you are being cautious? It doesn’t even make sense that he would want you to have sex unprotected. You can’t risk your life.
    If truly he gets infuriated over that, then Jamie, he does not love you and one-sided love isn’t what you call a relationship.

    You are not wrong for wanting PrEP. Very recently, I was going to be in a relationship with a guy who happened to be positive. We never had sex and whenever we made out, I could see the concern in his eyes as regards his status and not wanting to put me in harm’s way. Now that’s someone who cares!

    Jamie’s bf, if you are reading this, you can’t have him risk his life just because of your insecurities. Just so you feel good about yourself. You have HIV and it is what it is. It happens now that both positive and negative persons can have a healthy relationship in so far as the appropriate meds are taken. Meds HAVE to be taken. He isn’t stigmatizing you by wanting to protect himself. He loves you, accepts you in a country where people still think one can contract the virus just by sharing towels. You have to come to terms with your status, embrace yourself so you stop getting unnecessarily itchy at the flimsiest things.

    If you push him away because of this, you would regret it more than he would.

  12. Bryce
    May 10, 15:03 Reply

    In addition to all that’s been said,when you two have that talk and he tries to guilt you again,stand your ground but keep assuring him of your love for him.
    I’ve been there too,and I refused to walk on eggshells just to assuage some hurt feelings.
    We got that out of the way after that.
    He’s in a bad place right now,but that doesn’t mean he should put you at risk too.You love him,he loves you,he should be smart enough to see beyond the cloud of regrets he envelop himself with.

    • Francis
      May 10, 15:05 Reply

      I was about to ask where you dey sef

      • Bryce
        May 10, 17:41 Reply

        Lol

        Funny thing,I expected you to mention me so I commented to head you off.

        Was busy

        • Francis
          May 10, 17:44 Reply

          ? Maybe you could step in and serve as unlicensed counsellor in the matter ….off KD of course… if they are both willing to talk to you.

  13. Canis VY Majoris
    May 10, 15:20 Reply

    “Whenever we want to have sex, I insist on PrEP, or no sex. And this infuriates him into accusing me to stigmatizing him, like I shouldn’t ask for this even considering the fact that he’s positive.”

    Dear Jamie,

    Are you six years old?.

    PreP isn’t something you just get off the counter like a pack of gum, or a more realistic example, a box of condoms. Also, isn’t it weird that it is when you two want to have sex that you insist on PrEP like it’ll magically fall into your laps. More over, the PrEP is for your use not his, so if you must insist, why haven’t you gotten it by yourself?

    I doubt you’ve painted the full picture as this is clearly one sided. So my responses will be too.

    Also, I don’t think you’re fully equipped to be in a serodiscordant relationship because you sound like someone who’s in it for the sense of self aggrandizement & isn’t ready to deal with the hard truth.

    Be honest with yourself pls.

    • Law
      May 10, 19:24 Reply

      Dear Can I,

      Thanks for ur comment.

      Really it is mind baffling to know that you @Jamie decided to post this in a blog ur boyfriend reads… How do u even expect him to feel that u are bringing ur relationship issue as sensitive and as personal as it is to KD.

      On the issue if PreP … The question is who is meant to b on PreP medication? It is obviously the negative guy. So why twist facts. U are d one meant to take d meds….. So stop twisting it and blaming him. Unless he wants u not to take the meds… Cus really I am not understanding this post.

      Its a different thing if he refuses to use CD… But PreP is yes to handle not him…. And I believe U dont love this guy to bring this issue here in d first place.

      • Pink Panther
        May 10, 19:29 Reply

        I was going to ignore this comment. But I get very weary of people assuming into existence things they cannot be sure of unless they know the owner of the stories personally.

        You said Jamie is twisting facts. Then you insinuated he brought his issue to Kito Diaries without his boyfriend’s consent. Please, I’m curious, upon what wealth of super powers do you know these things to be true based simply on what you read?

        Why not be like Gad, who instilled much reserve in his comment, reserving the passing off judgment because he didn’t know the full story? Instead of making sweeping assumptions that may very well be totally off-base.

        Honestly!
        These are people with problems who are brave enough to share them with us. Show some sensitivity in your comments.

      • Jamie 2.0
        May 10, 21:14 Reply

        I needed advice. I posted it. I directed him to it, so we could at least evaluate others’ views. You may not know so much about how true is all is; you shouldn’t judge me either. I think he best should do that by saying I don’t love him.
        I want to be on PrEPs! I know why I say WANT TO!! He has an attitude about it I don’t like. It has put a strain on our relationship for months and now, I decide to ask for opinions. Don’t worry about who’s taking it or who’s not! We just want to know whether PrEP is not as important as I think. And I hope that this helps us come to a conclusion. Because we are discussing as I speak. Thanks.

        • Francis
          May 10, 21:45 Reply

          Hey man, if you’d like you could request for Bryce’s contact so you both can speak to him. I’m down also if you’re willing to talk

    • Jamie 2.0
      May 10, 21:12 Reply

      I’m not six years old. I read up a lot about PrEP before discussing with him. I don’t just bring up PrEP as a topic when we’re about to have sex…. Maybe rather than pass judgment, we’d appreciate you say how important PrEP is so he can see. It doesn’t matter who’s going to take it or not. It’s about PrEPs not just us!!

      • Canis VY Majoris
        May 11, 10:36 Reply

        Dear Jamie,

        I reiterate my previous stance. Your wellbeing should be your top most priority. The PreP is for you not him, so I don’t see why you require his permission or so to get on it. Going on PrEP should be one of the things you ought to have considered before starting a serodiscordant relationship hunny. So regardless of whether he sees this or not, if you want to continue this relationship. ..Get PrEP if its important to YOU!.

  14. Francis
    May 10, 15:21 Reply

    Moments like this i wish we had gay couples counselling in this yeye country

  15. FJ
    May 10, 18:31 Reply

    Must u guys do it raw?..protected sex is just as satisfying as unprotected one. The difference only lies within the way we have conditioned our mind.
    Me think both of u can have sex anytime with extra safe condoms. And incase of any accidental breakage of condom, u can result into PEP. If u can mute the idea of PrEP, then PEP should be a lot easier. However, unprotected sex even with PrEP is liking putting ur life on the line especially when ur partner hasn’t attained undetectable viral load.

  16. Yazz Soltana
    May 10, 19:24 Reply

    Hmmm, someone with HIV still stands the risk of being re-infected with another strain of the virus or increaseing the viral load in the body.. …

  17. Sense8
    May 10, 23:11 Reply

    I sympathise with you Jamie. Being in a relationship is tough. Being in a serodiscordant one can test the limits. You are within your rights to demand for safe sex, boyfriend or no, as you are solely responsible for your health and he’s completely wrong in using the term ‘stigmatisation’. You are not denying him something that is rightfully his on merit because of his status, it’s yours to give how and when you want it. It’s not like he’s the best candidate for the job and is deprived of it because of his status. But coming from the perspective of someone living with the virus, like some people have said, there are some areas that you have kept us in the dark. Is he on meds? If he is on them, has he achieved viral suppression? If he has, for how long? The truth is if he has achieved viral suppression for six months or more, then that’s already a preventive measure in its own right. But your choice of prevention is yours to chose and he should not take that away from you whether it’s condoms or prep or non insertive sex, whatever, it’s your choice. If he hasn’t achieved viral suppression and is pressuring you into unprotected sex, then he doesn’t really care for you. Someone who really loves puts the needs of those he loves before his. My own two cents.

  18. aunty gloria
    May 11, 10:24 Reply

    Prep is something you take everyday, to be effective, you must also wrap it up. Are you prepared for the everyday pill? If you’re in a seroconcordant relationship, the pos partner would always be insecure and somehow jealous of your negative status, so please take it easy with him. I really don’t like the idea of prep talking from toxicological angle, your liver and kidney are at risks. So please consider well and stick to condoms and him ARVs with perfect adherence

    • Bryce
      May 11, 14:45 Reply

      My name is Bryce,and I approve this message.

      Thank you

  19. aunty gloria
    May 11, 10:26 Reply

    And I don’t even know if prep is in Nigeria. Except Lagos and Abj in limited supply. Also, prep can cause resistance of you later got infected in the future

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