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positive couple and sex
May 7, 2006

Both I and my wife are positive. Can we have unprotected sex? And can we have more kids? Thanks for your taking some time to answer my concerns.

Response from Dr. Wohl

There are cases of individuals with HIV being re-infected with other strains of the virus - including virus resistant to some HIV medications. It is unclear to me how often this occurs but there is some risk. IF both your wife and you have very low viral loads, the risk of so called super-infection would be less. Likewise, if neither of you are on medications to fight HIV, the risk of transmitting a drug resistant strain to one another would be very low.

The problem is if you are on different medications. Resistance in one person could then be spread to the other.

As far as pregnancy, your wife would risk transmitting HIV to the infant. With proper HIV therapy this risk can be reduced from 30+% to around 5% - assuming her viral load is about undetectable at time of delivery and she foregoes breast feeding. 5 out of 100. You would need to decide if that is an acceptable risk. As you know, babies with HIV often do not do very well.


hepititus B
Newsweek Article

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