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Positive, Negative..... confused, what next??
Oct 20, 2005

My wife went for HIV testing and was found positive, her CD4 count was 230 and i went for testing as well a week later and was found negative. My CD4 count was +1200 and the physician who is treating my wife said my CD4 is perfect. I am confused how could this be? we have been married for 13years and we have two lovely daughters. We were having unprotected sex for all these years and yet i am negative and she is positive. Whats the explanation from you the experts? Can i continue to have unprotected sex with her?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Discordance (when one partner is HIV+ and the other not) is well described. There can be several factors involved in why you are not HIV+. If your wife's HIV viral load (in blood but more importantly in genital fluids) is low, that reduces the risk of transmission. Further, you may be somewhat resistant to acquiring the virus. Genetically, some people are able to catch HIV more easily than others. Absolute natural immunity to HIV, to my knowledge, has not been described.

In studies of HIV discordant couples, over time more and more of the HIV uninfected partners become HIV+.

So, you have been fortunate not to have acquired the virus from your wife. Your daughters also should be tested. The safest approach, of course, would be for you to use a condom when having sex from now on. If anything, this might also make your wife feel better as I am sure she would not want to take any chance of transmitting this virus to you.

DW



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