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Partner of 3 years tests positive in Jan 05
May 1, 2005

My partner of 3 years just tested positive in Jan 05. We are in a monogomos relationship, never going outside of the relationship for sex. We are both terribly confused on how this could have happened. There are two items that concern us. One, a good friend fell and broke his glass coffee table causing a severe cut in his leg, alot of blood. My partner offered his assistance in helping our friend bandage the cut, the friend refused his assistance. My partner proceeded to pick up the blood covered broken glass off the floor, we are not sure if he cut his hand in the process. This was in Mar of 04, 3 to 4 months later my partner went to visit his parents in the midwest and became very ill, high fever, bowl problems, lost a great deal of weight. On his return I took him to the doctor, the doctor only found one item of concern, a tear in his rectum. The second thing happened in Aug of 04, due to the tear in the rectum the doctor advised he should soak in hot baths frequently, my partner decided it would be a good idea to go to a local "bath house" and use the jaquzzi and sauna to help his problem, he assures me no sexual encounters happened except an aggressive man bumped into his buttocks with a fully erect penis, no penatration occured, however, my partner is not sure if there was any semen present on this mans penis which possibly he could of wiped over his anus. Are these two areas of concern legitmate, could HIV have been trasmitted with either of these.

Last thing, I was tested in July of 04 for a work related life insurance policy, test came back negative. I was again tested in Jan 05 again for a life insurance policy, again the test came back negative. When should I be tested again, I've been told 90 days after the test in January, the stress for me is unquestionably horrific not knowing..... I've heard of a test called "Antigen" which is an early detector, what do you think?

Response from Dr. Remien

You are asking some challenging questions that I am really not able to answer. How your partner was infected may never be known by you. The scenarios you describe are a bit vague and do not provide an obvious answer as to source of his infection. To me, the most significant identification of risk for transmission that you mention is the tear in his rectum. That would be a highly significant route of possible transmission of HIV, but he would have had to have been exposed to HIV inside his rectum, not on the outside of his anus. But again, you may never be able to know for sure how it happened.

In regard to how often you should be tested, there is no set formula. Antibodies to HIV (which is what the test measures) are usually developed by 3 months after infection, and in most cases, within 6 months; in rare cases it an take longer. Thus, if a person is at risk for HIV infection, testing should be done on a regular basis. What is "regular" differs depending on frequency and type of exposure. The best advice I can give you is to speak with your own physician about this.


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