|Rare or Common?
Jun 16, 2000
I keep reading here about negative women with positive men and the women are still negative. Is that common or even likely? I had a 3 month affair, unprotected vaginal penetration, that ended 15 months ago and just learned that he is positive (he just had pneumonia and has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's). He tells me that his wife of 4 years is negative and that they were very active sexually. I wonder if the fact that she is negative has something to do with her body or hopefully his. I am awaiting test results. I've read of symptoms like rash, fever, etc., after exposure but I never had those. I know the answer lies in that test that I am waiting for, but based on what I've told you, and if you were a betting man, do you think the odds are on my side that I'm negative?
Response from Dr. Remien
I am not a "betting man," and I am also not a medical doctor. Therefore you need to discuss your concerns with a medical provider. However, I will say that in my experience, transmission of HIV can be very idiosyncratic. That is to say, it is not very well known why some people become infected with one or very few exposures and others remain HIV- after numerous exposures. There are viral and host factors, as well as many others, that can effect transmission. Bottom line: every exposure carries risk -- not something to be gambling with.
Risk even with safe sex
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