Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi Thomas and thanks for the post. I've been quiet here for a long period (although checking in to monitor regularly) but I'm chuffed that I now have more time to devote to our forum.
The window period (that time between someone actually being infected with HIV and the ability for the infection to be identified by testing) varies from test to test. In general, tests are becoming increasingly sensitive and thus able to detect HIV antibodies sooner. One common test used has a window period of approximately 6 weeks, but you'll need to ask the health professional doing the test about the details of the test being used.
I suggest that before you stop using condoms you are both screened for syphilis (a very simple test) and have a serious conversation about the nature of your relationship - to what extent is it open versus closed? It is essential that you guys are able to trust each other to not engage in potentially risky sex with others.
Many guys complain about the standard government condoms being too tight/small. Take a closer look at condoms available at your local pharmacy - Durex, for example, offer a larger condom. Only buy SABS-approved condoms and use stax of water-based lube.
Only you can decide when to stop using condoms but it sounds as if you're being very responsible. Enjoy!
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