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HIV and Syphilis
Jul 9, 2012

I am an HIV poz bottom with an undetectable viral load who had unprotected anal sex with a partner. I have recently discovered that I have syphilis from a partner I had about a year before my current boyfriend. I had no symptoms and therefore had no idea I had it. My question is does my having syphilis increase the probability of passing HIV to my current boyfriend (who is negative) and a total top?

Also, I've done my research about syphilis and know that it's passed when an uninfected person comes in contact with the syphilis sore. If there is no sore, can syphilis still be transmitted and if so, how?

Response from Mr. Vergel

Yes, your having syphilis increases your chances to infect your neg top partner who is barebacking you. Sometimes, HIV viral load can bleep or increase when people have STDs and that can lead to transmission. STDs also increase inflammation of mucosa that can lead to shedding of virus.

The worst part is that long term untreated syphilis can cause the formation of gumma, a soft, non-cancerous growth. Gummas are most commonly found in the liver, but can also be found in brain, heart, skin, bone, testis, and other tissues, leading to a variety of potential problems including neurological disorders or heart valve disease.

It is my opinion that poz people who refuse to use condoms with other poz people should at least have undetectable viral load and get tested for STDs every 3 to 6 months depending on how many sex partners they have. I also think every barebacker should read this document written by ACRIA, a non profit organization in NYC: Harm Reduction for Barebacking?

It is unfortunate that this taboo topic is not discussed much due to fear of judgement. The fact is that poz people are barebacking and harm reduction info is not getting to them.


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