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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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Hep B and Co-infection
Aug 5, 2010

I have been co-infected with Hep B and HIV for 2 years, both are undectable and my t-cells are in the upper 900's. My partner is negative and we recently had unprotected sex for the first time. Please tell me the details of tranmission of both. I am really worried. Thank you so much

Response from Dr. McGovern

The risk of transmission of both viruses would be very low. That is the good news about antiretroviral therapy (ART). The guidelines suggest that ART should be considered in discordant couples to prevent transmission. Of course the final decision on whether to use ART needs to be discussed with the couple.

However, I am not encouraging you and your partner to have unprotected sex in the future. I think your partner should go for follow-up counseling about the nature of the exposure to determine if testing should proceed. ART should be thought of as an adjunct to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted viruses like HIV and HBV, in conjunction with other preventive measures (eg condom use).

What I think is most important however is that your partner get tested for HBV and if negative, your partner should get immunized...The vaccine is great and will give both of you some peace of mind.

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