Discordance dilemma: My partner is HIV positive and I am HIV negative, could I take PrEP to protect myself?

So far, only one study has explored this in detail, among heterosexual couples where either the male or female was HIV-positive and the other partner was HIV-negative (called serodiscordant). That study, Partners PrEP , showed that PrEP could work well for both men and women in serodiscordant relationships in Kenya and Uganda. PrEP might also help prevent HIV infections in the United States in both heterosexual and same-sex serodiscordant couples.

One thing that would be important in these situations is to minimize HIV transmission risks in other ways. This would include ensuring that the HIV-positive partner’s virus levels are kept very low (by having them take HIV medications). It would also include continuation of condom use.

Some HIV-negative women with HIV-positive male partners have considered or used PrEP to help them try to conceive without getting infected. Many serodiscordant couples and their providers are interested in alternatives to assisted fertility services, which can be very expensive and hard to locate. Unfortunately, there is very little data on whether PrEP for pregnancy is either safe or effective. Options for conception for serodiscordant couples should be discussed with their providers. Providers can consult the perinatal Warmline for more information.

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