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Nov 6, 2004

Am a male HIV1 +. I recently had sex with a female HIV+ friend (i don't know which type) during which the condom burst. This was happening for the third time this year. I heard of superinfection and that worries me. My questions to you are 1.) does a superinfection repeat the same clinical (and laboratory) manifestation seen in acute HIV infection? will there be a window period, swollen lymphnodes, skyrocketing viral load etc?) 2.) how do I know whether or not i have been re-infected? 3.) what are the immediate and longterm clinical implications of a re-infection? and finally 4.)What does it matter whether one is re-infected with the same HIV type or with a different type or sub-type? In answering, please consider I was diagnosed in June 2003 and my latest labs are CD4 600 VL 4000. Am treatment naive.. my partner is in the AIDS stage but I do not know her labs.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

1. symptoms can appear mimicking acute infection, particularly if the virus is somewhat different and the immune system does not recognize it as HIV. 2. There are no lab tests currently available (outside of very sophisticated research labs) that offer a test to discriminate viral strains. 3 and 4. Implications vary. If a drug resistant strain is transmitted, this could have profound downstream implications regarding effective treatment.

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