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Immune to HIV

Mar 23, 2004

Hypothetically speaking, I was just wondering, if someone were immune to the HIV virus, like those prostitutes in The Gambia, would they still be able to transfer the virus? I guess it would be similar to a female who passes on the hemophiliac gene to her son, although it doesn't affect her. She's only a carrier.

Thanks, Chad

Response from Dr. Pierone

If someone were completely immune to HIV they would not transmit. But if infection became established, but non-progressive due to relative immunity, this could lead to a carrier state of sorts. In this case, productive viral replication and shedding in genital secretions could allow for transmission to an intimate partner or to her infant at birth. This would not be considered a "carrier" scenario in the classic genetic sense.

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