Daily Health Tips: Are Circumcised Men Less At Risk Of HIV?


Q: When a woman is HIV positive…what is the prevention in order to keep life safe when it comes to sexual intercourse, and is it possible for a man who is circumcised to get HIV?
 
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 you take your anti-retroviral drugs to reduce your viral load and reduce the risk of infecting your partner.
 
However, even with the above, your partner still needs to wear condoms while having sexual intercourse with you.
 
If there is an accidental exposure, like a broken condom during intercourse, ensure that he uses post exposure prophylaxis. These drugs used to treat HIV are usually taken daily for about 4 weeks to reduce chances of becoming HIV positive.
 
He 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.
 
He should also be sure to test for HIV and other STDS at least once a year.
 
 
Make sure that you see your doctor often and most importantly, you should have an open discussion with your partner about your status. This will not be easy but there are trained counselors that can help you through this.
 
There is some evidence that circumcised men are less likely to be infected with HIV. This is not conclusive and should definitely NOT take the place of the precautions that have been mentioned above.
 
All the best 😀
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