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number of HIV exposures vs viral load
Nov 19, 1996

My lover and I have been together monogamously for three years. Recently he went for his first HIV test and it was positive for HIV. He knows he has been exposed to HIV on one occasion, and this was 8 years ago. He has never shown any signs of illness related to HIV and AIDS. My question is, since he has remained healthy for all this time, is there a greater chance for continued health because of only one exposure to HIV? Would it be safe to assume the viral load would be low? (He has not passed the virus to me, although we have always practiced safer sex.) Thank you.

Response from Dr. Cohen

Your lover's prognosis does not depend on the number of exposures he had to HIV. As for his viral load being low, there is no way to tell without checking it, since the viral load goes up BEFORE you become sick, not after. Obviously, he needs to find out where he stands in terms of viral load and CD4 cell count.

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