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Recovery from PML (HIV-)
Feb 25, 2001

I have 2 questions regarding someone who has PML and is HIV negative. How long is the JC virus contagious. Should universal percautions be used? What about sexual contact? The second question is regarding the 10 survival rate. Do these people stabilize and live a little longer than the 4-6 month prognosis? Or do they live a normal life span (obviously with some of the disabilities PML has left them with.) Do you know anyone who has lived a very long time with PML. The whole 10 issue is very unclear. Thank you so much for this forum, it is so helpful!

Response from Dr. Feinberg

It isn't clear how people get infected with JC virus (which causes PML) or whether people with PML are contagious to others. It can't be terribly contagious, because no one has reported spread of the disease in hospitals or nursing homes that I am aware of. The 10 year survival rate is also not known, but I suspect it is very low; most people do not survive a year in my experience, although this is based on AIDS patients.

just scared
sex drive

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