Serodiscordant Relationships

A serodiscordant relationship is where one person in the relationship is HIV positive and the other person is HIV negative. It can also mean that one person in the relationship is positive for a herpes virus or hepatitis C. Gay, straight, mixed, or polyamorous relationships might sometime involve persons with differing serostatuses.

Issues that may arise in a serodiscordant relationship can include:

  • Fears about disease transmission
  • Emotional withdrawal, rejection, or abandonment
  • How to discuss safer sex, changes in sex drive or sexual desire
  • Body image
  • Privacy issues
  • Disclosing the information to partners family or friends
  • Negative feelings of partners, family or friends
  • Financial planning and family planning
  • Connecting with competent and educated healthcare providers
  • Medication and treatment adherence

Counseling can help individuals, couples, and families develop healthy communication Education is a major component to the counseling process. The goal is exploring feelings that arise and negotiating conflict and compromise.