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What is the marital future of a HIV-positive patient?

Q: I am a Medical Student and recently got in touch with two young boys (19,20 years) who were transfusion induced cases of HIV, were unmarried and had never had sex. They got friendly with me and asked me queries. I could answer all of them except: 1)They were worried about their marriage. They wished to marry HIV-ve girl (with all the knowledge of HIV transmission). How can they find their partner? Is there any law which prevents them? Also, how can one find HIV+ve partner-is there any group etc. specially in Mumbai? Which girl would marry them after knowing their status? 2)Does that mean that they will never be able to have sex without condom with a healthy woman?

A:The law in the case of a HIV+ person marrying is confused and is currently being reviewed. As your young friends know, they can spread the infection through unprotected penetrative sex with a HIV negative person. At present there is no way of preventing the transmission of infection other than practicing safer sex and using a condom properly. Of course not every sexual exposure between an HIV infected man and a HIV negative women results in transmission of HIV. In fact statistically the chances are rather low (1 in 100 or even less in the absence of a STI) but it can happen even the first time. Besides the legal implications of knowingly exposing a person to a fatal illness, is it a chance that any person would like to take? Perhaps your young friends could be advised to have counseling to make up their mind. Support groups would also help than to consider pairing up with a person in a similar status. They should keep in mind that even in the case of sex between two HIV infected individuals we advise that a condom is used to prevent a double infection with a dissimilar strain of HIV as the virus mutates fast in a person.

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