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Will starting treatment lower the risk of infecting my partner

Mar 19, 2003

A few months ago I was diagnosed with HIV. My CD4 count is in the 800s, but my viral load is 80000. I have a HIV negative partner and although we have safer sex I am worried about passing on the virus.

Given my blood results, what is your opinion on starting treatments for my own health and would lowering my viral load through antivirals reduce the risk of infecting my partner? Even with safe sex there is a risk and I would liketo make this as low as possible.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

You're correct in the assumption that lowering your viral load will likely reduce the risk of transmission to your sexual partner. However, the decision to start medications for your HIV must balance several other issues, like the medical risks and benefits to you.

Overall, certainly before starting HIV medications, I'd work on finding ways to have the safest possible sexual intercourse (check out other forums on TheBody, for additional information). Learning about the use of condoms will both increase their acceptance (read: pleasure) and safety (read: when to use and the use of lubricants).

Hope this helps, BY

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