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Tuesday, July 7, 2015
HIV and AIDS
How Can I Convince My Partner To Use A Condom?
Up until a year ago, I engaged in some fairly risky sexual behavior with a number of different partners. When a good friend of mine died of AIDS, I decided I needed to be more careful. My problem is that I'm considering getting involved in a long-term relationship, but don't know how to negotaite condom use now with someone who knows about my "previous life." I've been tested twice and fortunately was negative both times. Any suggestions on how to approach the topic without insulting him or suggesting (indirectly) to him that I have AIDS myself?
The best advice I can offer is to be honest and speak from the viewpoint of mutual concern for health and safety -- important foundations for a longterm relationship as well. You say nothing about your partner's sexual behavior and past, so I'll asume this is to some extent unknown. I agree that within the context of a relationship, following safer sex guidelines including condom use would be advisable. I think probably an honest discussion between the 2 of you would be the place to start. An alternative would be to suggest to your partner going together for HIV testing and then taking advantage of your time with the counselor to discuss some of these issues. In the end though it is a personal decision between the persons involved in the relationship, and of course should be a decision that both are comfortable with.
Kenneth Skahan, MD
Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati