If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

HIV risk?

  • 26-07-2021 12:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5

    Hi, feel a bit bad for asking this but will anyway. Met a young woman (early 30's) on a dating site and we have had 2 dates, we get on great and I really like her. She is African so I googled her county yesterday to find out more about her home and culture. Shocked to see it's in the 10-15% range for HIV. This was not really on my radar before I saw this figure. We did not get into much detail on past relationships, but I gather she has had a few LTRs, don't get the impressions she is party type girl. She is not long in Ireland, less than a year.

    I really see 2 options, walk away, or ask her to get tested, but that I'm sure would be very insulting, I would think. Of course I'd get tested too if I were to ask her.

    any thoughts please?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5 iameveryman

    Thanks. TBH I've never asked or volunteered a test before, and I imagine that would be the norm for most people. Fair play to you.

    Given that i've never asked this of an Iriah woman before, I'm sure she will think I'm just asking her because she is Africian (and she would be right to suspect that) what would be the most sensitive way to ask?

    Also, do these tests go on you record so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,777 ✭✭✭gypsy79

    Very poor African countries HIV rates are due to the cheap methods (there are two different ways it is done) that the West used to test them. It ended up that lots of malnourished people got positive results as the cheaper tests essentially dont look for the virus but measures blood composition and then works backwards. This then led to normality of the diagnosis and made the problem even worse

    I am tested regularly as part of my oncology treatment

  • Registered Users Posts: 241 ✭✭berocca2016

    No tests go on your record even if they did surely it shows you have more responsibility than others.

    It's prudent to get checked at least every 6 months if sexually active.

    Maybe you should go get yourself checked out first regardless, it's a bit much to ask someone to do it when you haven't done it.

    Also just to clarify if someone is on treatment for HIV and is undetectable, they cannot pass it on to a sexual partner or even if they are pregnant. There is still a lot of bad information out around this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,272 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    If you mean record in terms of health insurance then I don’t think so, unless you choose to claim the cost back from insurance. I’m pretty sure most std testing clinics are confidential and don’t pass info back to your gp without your express consent.

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,442 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Health insurnace

    Health insurance pricing is not affected by testing, or even by having something, in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 iameveryman

    Are you suggesting that the actual rate of HIV may be lower than reported?

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery BTW

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,813 ✭✭✭Wesser

    Or secret option number 3 which is the wear a condom....

    Ps i think its ok for both of you to go together and get full sti screens done.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,777 ✭✭✭gypsy79

    Yes, well it definitely was. There was been loads of stuff written about it. They basically misdiagnosed loads of people due to using cheaper test (PCR vs Antigen testing, well kinda)

    The cheaper test had a tendency to diagnose malnourished people as false positives

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,777 ✭✭✭gypsy79

    They have stopped this type of testing AFAIK but it made teh problem worse as it become just a given that you would eventually become positive

    Rape is also a massive problem in these cultures too

    Availability modern drugs also wouldnt be as easy or relatively cheap

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,011 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    If you intend to have a relationship with this woman then being honest about your health/safety is only fair on you and her.

    Peace of mind is worth going through the std test any day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭notAMember

    HIV isn’t as scary it was 20 years ago OP. It’s a treatable disease now with some excellent medical innovations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,978 ✭✭✭Caranica

    If you're going to engage in any kind of unprotected activity you should both get tested. In Ireland we're pretty rubbish at regular sexual health checks but we should be doing them. Yes there's a higher risk that she might have something but lots of STDs are asymptomatic so you may pose a risk to her too.

    It really is something you need to talk to her about, and not a bunch of strangers on the internet. Every relationship needs trust.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,978 ✭✭✭Caranica

    (boards really need to bring back the delete post option, or prevent blank posts!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 684 ✭✭✭OscarMIlde

    PCR tests are highly specific, the primers bind to the DNA/RNA target allowing a polymerase to amplify what's there to a detectable amount. If the PCR target isn't there it can't be amplified. You can't get a false positive PCR test from being malnourished. You are either confused about what you are saying or are deliberately spreading misinformation. Cop onto yourself, there are serious real life ramifications to spreading misinformed guff like that.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,409 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    There's a glitch at the moment. But if your post appears twice, a refresh of the page will remove one (usually!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,671 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams

    i'm no doctor but i'd imagine it's quite an inconvenience

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭notAMember

    Yes, but not a death sentence as it used to be. It's controllable, usually within 6 months of treatment the viral load is undetectable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭micosoft

    This is absolute nonsense of the highest order and sounds like misinformation. If you are going to come out with "facts" like this please support them with references.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,777 ✭✭✭gypsy79

    Start with this where we are clearly on 4th generation of tests IN THE WEST. I would need go off on a complete rabbit hole again. One of the cheapest test could mistakenly diagnose HIV by looking at blood for markers that were also caused by malnutrition. Think it would come under the rapid tests in the link above.

    Didnt take long to find. Historical positive tests need to be taken with pinch of salt

    @Microsoft you could have googled yourself

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5 iameveryman

    Hi, thanks for all the replies. I won't comment on the debate going on re testing, as it's over my head and not really relevant to my question I think.

    I'll try to think of a sensitive way to ask her to get tested, and of course I'll do it too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,272 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    I think to first ask if she has been tested is a better approach than to asking right out if she can get tested, the conversation will lead that way if it’s a no in any case. If she’s a reasonable person she won’t mind the question - if somebody didn’t ask me, I’d be questioning how responsible they were. Good luck!

  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite

    Easy. "I like you and could see us in a relationship. I'm pretty careful about sexual health so how do you feel about us both being tested before it becomes intimate & exclusive?"

    It's not just your health - you are giving HER the piece of mind that she can't get anything unpleasant from you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 556 ✭✭✭Sonic the Shaghog

    Ah common what kind of advise is that to the OP? It's great there's treatments but it's not like a 1 week course of antibiotics will cure it. It's for life. What happens if there's supply issues with the drugs or there's a recession and the drugs can't be afforded by the HSE? You wouldn't watch to contract HIV anyone than you'd want to get hepatitis, cancer or many other ailments, cop on to yourself and stop endangering the health of a poster

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭notAMember

    It wasn't advise [sic - advice is the noun you are looking for] , it was information. He seemed to be considering blacklisting this girl based on potential (not even actual) HIV risk. It's not a death sentence that it once was by any means. HIV medication have come down in price massively, I've seem them drop from $1000 per tablet for the named brands ten years ago (Truvada/Viread) down to ~ $8 per tablet for generics now, lower with large buying power like health authorities. It's highly unlikely they would drop off supply given the size of the patient population. They are even manufactured right here in ireland, so even if all planes and boats stopped arriving at our shores in one of your imaginary doomsday scenarios we would STILL have a supply.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,501 ✭✭✭lonestargirl

    If you are in Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow/Cork/Kerry you can currently get a free at home kit from the HSE. They are only available until the end of August. just say you are going to do one as it's a good initiative and that you want her to feel comfortable as your relationship progresses.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭FFVII

    I've asked this twice in relationships. Both times it has lead to the end.

    First girl, she just took massive offence to it.

    Second one wanted to go to her GP, not ideal, GPs are very hit and miss, some know what they're doing, some don't test for everything, her GP didn't have an appointment for 3 weeks and then the wait for results is 3 weeks so it dragged on and caused issues and their was a problem with how the urine sample was taken, so it just soured everything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,272 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    But wasn’t it good to find out she was a pain in the hole early on! I think it’s a good test of somebody’s personality.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,501 ✭✭✭lonestargirl

    Wow, as if local women aren't a risk too. Obviously each person has their own risk profile based on their history (which you don't have a right to know). Clean test, you know the score, move on to the fun ;-) this should apply regardless of who you are sleeping with before moving to the without condoms stage, it's just being a grown-up.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    This ^^ Good quality statistics aren't a thing in Ireland at the moment because of Covid but STI rates had been rising here. You could just as easily give this lady something nasty if you've been having unprotected sex. I'm not going to go into a "sex education for dummies" spiel here but if you opt to wear a condom for now, you'll be making both of you safer (yes, I know they're not 100% safe). It would be a good way to open a conversation about both of you getting tested. Especially if you approach it from a mutual respect point of view. Getting tested and asking a new sexual partner to also get tested isn't that weird a thing. It's something that should be happening more often.

This discussion has been closed.