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aids-tcell 38
May 12, 2002

My 5.5 month pregnant sister found out that her boyfriend has AIDS after he had a physical for fatigue. His T-cell is 38. He was started on meds with no label and then sent to the U of MN to what he thougt was an appt. It was so that he could be tested on with all new experimental drugs and he does not want to do it. My sister has been negative on her 1st 2 tests. Her next test will be next month. What are her chances for being negative? Should he do the trials? Please help!! Thanks so much.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

I have to admit that I am a little confused about your brother-in-law's situation. It may be that he was referred to the University for evaluation for a clinical study. There are many aspects (both pro and con) for participation in clinical studies, but I suggest them to many of my patients. In any clinical study, I'd want to make sure that my study participates understand fully all of the aspects of the study design, risks, benefits and confidentiality; it would be unethical to enroll in the study without this understanding. In the end, if he does not want to participate in the study, he does not need to-- this fact should not alter his ability to access care (by ethical standards).

As for your sister, the fact that she is HIV negative is obviously good news. The risk of transmission from any one sexual encounter is actually not very high-- her risk of acquisition of HIV would depend on a vareity of factors-- for example, how many times she and her husband have sex, what his viral load is. If they have been together for some time and she is HIV negative at this point, I'd think that her risk of infection on subsequent testing is probably pretty low. Either way, she needs to have repeated monitoring (both labs and clinically); definately good counsel about safer sex practices.

I hope that you find this helpful, BY


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