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I am neg. My girlfriend is HIV+
Jul 4, 2002

I am new to the HIV world even though I work in healthcare. I am sorry that this may sound naive. I fell in love with an HIV+ girl about six month ago. We practice safe sex all the time. Her viral load is undectable. Should I have any worries about contracting HIV?

Response from Dr. Remien

While risk of transmission may be reduced when viral load is reduced, transmission is still possible. Remember, "undetectable" viral load simply means that it is lower than the sensitivity of the test used to measure copies of the virus. There is still virus present and it is always replicating. Also, the viral load that is measured is the viral load in the plasma (blood) and it may not be the same as the viral load of genital secretions - it can be different. Studies have repeatedly shown that consistent use of protection (i.e., condoms) in serodiscordant couples rarely results in transmission of HIV. Be safe and be healthy - both of you.


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