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can my wife be safe
Aug 30, 2005

Doctor, I was diagnosed as HIV positive on 10th of June 2005 when I was admitted for an operation and my report shows cd4% 24.12% and cd4 count 483, on the other side on normal range its mentioned 28% to 58% and 500 to 1400 respectively with viral load around 16750, so please do tell me [1] theres any need for me to start any kind of medicine and can you tell me what stage of HIV I am going through is it early one or later one. [2] My wife has been tested on 14th June 2005 after I was diagnosed positive but she was tested as negative so please tell me that when should I again test her for final satisfaction that she is negative and she is safe. [3] And I am doing sex with her with condom only is it safe for her or I should stop doing sex with her to kept herself negative. [4] And do tell me till what period she can remain negative, if I will use condom forever and do take all precautions while doing sex, so called safe sex. She can remain negative till ever. [5] I am facing problem of common cold and mouth ulcers frequently, is this problems are related to this virus or its normal human problems. [6] Can you tell me does smoking and drinking alcohol occasionally really directly effects cd4 counts, does HIV people cant do smoking and drinking at all to keep virus in control. Does smoking and drinking directly effects immune system more; lastly [7] is there any hope of curing this HIV? Any medicine in future will cure this and how much approximately time it will take to discover the treatment for curing HIV since I dont want to die early since my baby is just 1 year old only. [8] And how long can a normal HIV person can live with good and healthy life? Or else what is the life of person having HIV? Please do reply all my points in detail for this I will be thankful to you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

To reply to all your questions in detail would involve an extremely lengthy document. All the information you requested is readily available on this site and related links. I encourage you to review the information on recent diagnosis that can be found on The Body's home page by clicking on the quick link entitled "Just diagnosed." I also encourage you to establish care with an HIV specialist in your area. He or she will further address your numerous concerns and provide additional background information. I will very briefly respond to your eight questions and refer you to the above resources for more in depth information. If, after that, you still have questions, please feel free to write back, O.K.?

1. Current recommendations are to begin HAART when your CD4 count falls consistently into the 250-350 range.

2. Since your wife had a very significant exposure, the CDC would recommend repeat testing at three and again at six months after her last potential exposure. If those tests remain negative, then so is she.

3. Latex condoms used properly provide very good protection against HIV transmission.

4. HIV cannot pass through intact latex. If a latex condom is used properly and doesn't fail, the HIV-transmission risk would be essentially nonexistent.

5. I cannot diagnose the cause of your problems over the Internet. I suggest you have your HIV specialist evaluate your current symptoms.

6. Smoking is bad for your health, HIV positive or not. I strongly encourage you to stop. Alcohol in moderation is not a problem.

7. There is always hope; however, in reality, a cure or vaccine is not yet even on the distant horizon.

8. This is varies from person to person and is dependent on many factors, including what strain of virus you contracted; the integrity of your immune system and how effective it is in fighting HIV; concurrent infections, such as TB or hepatitis C; etc., etc., etc.

I realize you have many questions swirling through your mind at the moment. Do spend some time reviewing the information on this site and related links. It will go a long way toward answering your questions. Finally, do not delay establishing care with a competent HIV specialist. That is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to improve and sustain your health.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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