EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from anon on 12-18-2012:

Hi Judie,

if a husband or wife becomes hiv positive during their marriage through blood transfusion etc, what are they to do in terms of continuing sexual relations without trassfering the disease to the other?

must they abstain or would it be acceptable to use a condom in order not to pass on the disease (not for contraceptive purposes)?

It seems extremely difficult for a married couple to never have intercourse again during their marriage. I would really appreciate a response. thank you and God Bless You.


Answer by Judie Brown on 12-24-2012:

Dear Anon

The issue of actual contagion with the HIV virus has been the subject of much study and research. Bottom line is as follows: once the "viral load" has been effectively reduced with the anti-viral medications available today, the transmission of the HIV virus via the contact with the sperm of an HIV positive man, is greatly reduced and the current thought is that he is not contagious. Abstinence would be required until the anti-viral therapy has taken effect. The use of a condom would not be permitted even though the intent would not be contraceptive. The condom itself is not a therapy and therefore the principle of double effect does not apply. Anthony N Dardano, MD, FACS, FACOG.