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Girlfriend with HIV
Dec 12, 2004

Dear Doctor Pierone, Please can you help me, My girlfriend went for a HIV test 3 months ago and came back positive she never told me untill last week which has broken my heart we have been together 4 years. She had a Tatoo 6 months ago and we think this is the reason of the infection. So we went for a VL test and a CD4 and her CD4 was 533 and VL was 2900 the doctor here in Thailand said not to start tratment unless the CD4 drops below 200 and the VL is above 20,000 i have read on your website about starting treatment between 200-350 CD4 and above 55,000 VL im scared the doctor here does not know enough about this and she will become sick all i want is the best possible help for her. Im also starting to worry about myself i tested negitive but im scared of general living with her can i get the virus from general living like using bathroom same towels same food stuff we were planning to marry and have children and im totaly devastated. Please can you help i appriciate all your help Kind Regards Nick

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, sorry to hear about your girlfriend's HIV infection. Her numbers are good and indicate a good prognosis without treatment. Current recommendations about when to start treatment vary, but most of the studies suggest beginning treatment with a CD4 count in the 200 to 350 range.

HIV is transmitted from sexual contact, not non-intimate household contact. The transmission of HIV can be prevented by using safe sex strategies. Women with HIV infection can have children and for those with access to highly active antiretroviral therapy the infant transmission rates can be lowered to less than 1 percent.

This is small consolation, a diagnosis of HIV infection remains a devastating event for the person and their loved ones.



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