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married 30 years, both celibate by choice, one partner hiv +
Sep 12, 2000

After two years of constant fatigue, fever, etc., my husband was finally tested for hiv. Since we are celibate, and have been for many years, he was not tested at first. Also, he is not a drug user. He has not had any transfusions, and no operations, except for dental work. We are searching for a reason why he has contracted this disease. I am negative. Believe me, there is no chance that he has had secret affairs. Can you please give us some research to read that deals with people who contract hiv NOT through sexual transmission, NOT through i.v. drugs, NOT through blood transfusions? It would help us to deal with the emotional devastation if we could find out how he was infected. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Remien

I'm afraid I cannot offer you much advice or insight on this matter. I am not aware of any literature on this issue. The bottom line is that the HIV virus is transmitted via direct contact through a mucous membrane or blood.

I can definitely understand your dismay and frustration not knowing how your husband became infected. Just in case you are not aware, there are many people who are living with HIV for more than 20 years, so it is possible that the date of infection is even longer ago than you thought. I assume you both have talked with his physician about this -- if not, I suggest that you do. In the end, I'm not sure that knowing the source of infection will help much in coping and living with HIV? If you do find that coping with this news continues to be problematic for the two of you, it may be helpful to speak with a couples counselor. Take care.


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