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Wife HIV+ and Pregnant, Man Not: Are man &child safe?
Sep 11, 2004

Dear Sir,

If one's spouse have HIV+ [as indicated by a serology screening] and the husband does not yet have[HIV -ve] but have been sleeping /having sex with her for more than 6 months now, how can one/the man avoid getting infected ?

Moreover, is there any medication that the man can take to stop the virus from ever developing?

meanwhile the woman had itches b/4 some 6 moths ago and now the man has the same itches but no other signs , will he be infected in future?

Meanwhile, the lady who is indicated as infected is 5 months pregnant, should she abort the baby?

It's quite disturbing so HELP please.

Thank you and God bless.



Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your questions.

First, there are only a few ways to prevent infection to the male partner from a positive female partner-- first, avoid sexual intercourse; second, the use of condoms. Post-exposure treatment with antiretroviral medications can also significantly reduce the risk of infection, but only when initiated within the first several days following exposure. The fact that the male partner is negative after 6 months of sexual exposure is reassuring, but does not eliminate the need to be safe, nor the need for follow up HIV testing (for about six months from the date of last risky exposure).

As for the pregnancy, without treating the woman with HIV medications, the risk of transmission of HIV to the child is about 1 in 3. With the appropriate selection and adherence to a combination antiretroviral medication regimen, the risk of transmission to the child should be dramatically reduced-- to somewhere in the area of 1%. As an example of how this could work, in our state of Colorado (USA), since the introduction of combination therapy, there has not been a single child borne to a mother under HIV care/treatment since 1996.

I hope that this helps, BY

Virus Suppression
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