Q: Hi Dr Ketch, thanks a lot for the exceptional work you are doing, may God reward you. Please I urgently need your advice. I am a guy in love with a lady who has all the qualities I need in a woman and she loves me so much. Our only problem is that she is HIV positive. We are thinking of getting married soon but I am afraid. Am I taking too much of a risk or are there ways we can marry without any problem? Please advice on the risk involved. Thanks.
A: Thanks for writing in. Couples with different HIV statuses s are called sero-discordant couples Of course there’s always a risk in marrying someone who is HIV positive if you’re sero-negative. However, it is no longer the death sentence that we used to think it was and indeed, you don’t necessarily need to become infected if you follow some rules:
Ensure that your fiancée takes her anti-retroviral drugs to reduce her viral load and reduce the risk of infecting you.
However, even with the above, you still need to wear condoms while having sexual intercourse with her.
If there is an accidental exposure, like a broken condom during intercourse, be sure to use post exposure prophylaxis. These drugs used to treat HIV are usually taken daily for about 4 weeks to reduce chances of becoming HIV positive.
You can also commit to taking a tablet everyday as part of the pre-exposure prophylaxis. This prophylaxis is essentially tablets used to treat HIV and can reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Remember that this should be used alongside condoms when having sexual intercourse.
Be sure to also test for HIV and other STDS at least once a year.
All the best 🙂
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