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I have a question about how to ask my sex partner to put on a condom so we can both be safe from HIV. We like each other, but he does not like condoms on me or him. I don’t want to lose him. We really are good friends.

Answered by: Joyce Hunter

When negotiating safer sex with a partner, remember to let him know that you both care about each other. Use your friendship and your trust to tell him how important it is for him to understand your position and how you feel. This conversation should take place before sexual feelings take over - at that point it is not a good time to discuss feelings and issues or make a decision.

Being assertive does not mean you have to be pushy. When it comes to safe or unsafe sex, there are consequences. If all else fails in your discussion with him, you could say no to having sex. Think carefully about the consequences of choosing to have sex or not. I know it is hard--you have feelings for him, but are you willing to risk your life and your quality of health—or his?