When it comes to sex and relationships there is no such thing as a stupid question.  Here are our answers to some of the things you asked us via the GMFA website. 


Is my HIV test wrong?

I’ve had several HIV tests come back negative over the last 16 months. Yet I continue to suffer from all of the symptoms you listed as HIV symptoms... fatigue, coughing, skin rash, sore mouth, loss of appetite and thirst, loss of sense of taste and smell, forgetfulness, vision loss, burning hands and feet. Can the test continually miss the infection?

Once you are beyond the window period for the test used you should not get a false negative result. So with five negative test results under your belt, assuming that you have not taken any further risks in this time, the cause of your symptoms is not HIV infection.


What does ‘undetectable’ mean?

What does it mean if someone says they are HIV-positive, undetectable and healthy? Can that person still pass the HIV virus to a HIV-negative person?

HIV-positive usually refers to someone who has HIV. If a person is undetectable it means that they’re taking HIV medication which has reduced their viral load (the level of virus in the body) to undetectable levels. They are still carrying the virus but it is much more difficult for them to pass it on to an HIV-negative person. A recent study suggests that viral load suppression means that the risk of HIV transmission is at most 4% during anal sex, but the results are not yet conclusive. Although the risk is much lower than having sex with someone who has high levels of HIV, it is theoretically still possible to pass on the virus if having unprotected anal sex. 


Gonorrhoea through kissing?

I have just been diagnosed with gonorrhoea (both penile and oral) and have received the usual treatment for it. I’m worried that because I have oral gonorrhoea that I may pass the infection to other by kissing. Is this possible? 

You cannot pass gonorrhoea to your partners by kissing. You can pass gonorrhoea if your partner’s mucous membranes in the throat, urethra (through the pee hole), anus or eyes come into contact with the infected area or the secretion from the infected area. If you have taken the treatment for gonorrhoea, the bacteria has most likely cleared so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. To be 100% sure, you can wait about a week after you have finished the treatment and have another sexual health screening to see if the gonorrhoea has been treated.


Bloody cum

I have blood in my cum. What is causing it?

Blood in semen can be as a result of a number of different causes including inflammation of the urethra, trauma (possibly as a result of vigorous sexual activity) or an infection. In rare cases it can be linked to cancer. 

We would recommend that you make an appointment with your GP or with a consultant at your GUM service to get this properly checked out.  


Please note, the advice GMFA provides is intended to support, not replace the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. GMFA recommends you visit your GP or GUM clinic if you have a sexual health need.

To find your nearest GUM clinic, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.

For sex and sexual health advice, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.


This article was taken from FS issue 146. 


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