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Oct 24, 2000
Hey Doc, I read an article in POZ a few months ago concerning a trial where about 100 prostitutes had engaged in sex with their normal clients. 1 or more of these clients were HIV positive, the prostitutes were being tested & they remained negative until they stopped having sex with the HIV positive individuals. Once they stopped seeing that positive individual the prostitute's test came back positive. Could you possibly tell me why this was, what issue this was in and the name of the article.
Response from Dr. Remien
I am not sure which specific article you are talking about, however I have heard about this issue. This is not my area of expertise, but my very "basic" and "simple" understanding of the issue is the following: There is evidence that exposure to HIV stimulates an immune response that can be protective. If a person is lucky to not actually become infected when exposed to HIV, and the stimulated immune system remains in "high gear" from repeated exposures, this may help prevent infection from establishing itself. When the stimulation from ongoing exposures is reduced, then perhaps the risk of infection is higher again when the immune system is not "on alert." Again, this is not my area of expertise, but it is the way I understand the issue.
Low viral load and transmission
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