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Relationship and HIV test
Feb 8, 2013

Dear Doc Many thanks for your very informative forum which i visit weekly. After 6 months on Atripla, my cd4 count is gone up to 400+ from 300 and my viral load is undetectable. I have been on treatment since March 2012, no major side effects. Doc says im responding well to treatment. Will my HIV results be + or - if i were to take a test?. Secondly, will kissing pass on the virus to my partner? Will definitely use condom for sex. Havent garnered courage to tell him yet but he is really pushing for the intimacy and fear if i keep avoiding the subject i will lose him. At the same time i do not want expose him. Im 45, we havent kissed or had sex and we do not see each other often but he wants a shift from that - its a long-distance relationship but he plans on moving closer to home. I know disclosure is the right way to go, but its so difficult and im honestly not ready. Stigma here in most parts of Africa is rife and there are no real and effective support groups in my country. For good HIV treatment like Atripla I have to travel to South Africa to access. Please assist.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting from Africa.

Sounds like your doing very well on your HIV treatment. Despite having an undetectable HIV viral load, your HIV antibody test will always be positive.

Kissing is not a risky behavior, so your partner isn't at risk from this. Indeed, there is compelling scientific evidence that if you have an undetectable HIV viral load, your risk of transmission of HIV, by any means, is dramatically reduced even with the use of condoms- we call this premise "treatment as prevention", or TasP.

Disclosure to a new partner can be very challenging, but I'd certainly encourage you to find the words to tell your partner. Our blogs on TheBody.com or perhaps searching the interviews at The Positive Project may give you a good vocabulary to have the discussion.

I hope that's helpful and stay in touch, BY



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