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Who was infected first?
Apr 25, 2010

My step daughter and her boyfriend both recently tested positive. His CD4 count was 540, and his viral load was 6000. Her CD4 count was 280, and her viral load was 30,000. But he had seem to have the flu like symptons first, while the only type of symptons she ever shown were frequent yeast infections. She did get really sick (flu like, vomiting, etc) about a month after his first ocurrence. So are there any reliable clues here to determine which of the two was the first to be infected by the virus????

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question. No I don't think we could ever be sure. Since her Viral Load is higher she may get to a lower CD4 more quickly even if she were infected later. From my point of view they are both in the same situation: learning about HIV, having to consider treatment, and developing a support system. I would not let "who infected whom" create a blame and shame situation. They both need support. Both should think back to other partners they may have had in the past and reach out to them so that they can get tested. This shows how importnat it is for everyone to know their HIV status.

Best, Joe



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