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HIV+ wife's fears of increasing viral load from HIV+ husband
Apr 13, 2000

Hi, regarding my wife's question: HIV+ woman having unprotected sex with HIV+ man. - KL

I feel that you have not answered it clearly. If any re-infection was going to occur this has already happened. Will us having unprotected sex push up her viral load directly? She believes that every time I ejaculate, my virus goes into her bloodstream and this is why her viral load has gone up. Please clarify.

Matt

Response from Dr. Jackson

If both you and your wife are HIV infected, it is possible that reinfection with one another's virus can occur although no one knows how often this actually happens and such an event is generally thought to be rare. However, there have been documented cases where one infected individual on antiretroviral therapy reinfected his sex partner with a drug resistant virus so reinfection does appear to be possible and would be a more frequent event as viral load increases. There is no evidence, however, that ejaculated virus enters the bloodstream and increases the viral load in the blood of the sex partner.

Brooks Jackson, M.D.


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