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unprotected sex with viral loas of Zero
Jun 6, 2007

I entered into a relationship with someone who is HIV+ but whose viral count is zero. I am Hiv+ as well but have a 'moderate' viral load. We have unprotected sex. I have not penetrated because of my viral load. Is this safe?

I have heard that cocaine greatly contributes to the increase of viral load. Do drugs and or Alcohol have any affect on viral load or CD4's?

Response from Dr. Horwath

No, it is not safe to have unprotected sex. An undetectable viral load does not mean a viral load of zero. Also, an undetectable viral load in the blood does not tell you any information about the amount of virus present in other fluids like semen. Unprotected sex is associated with a risk of transmitting HIV regardless of the viral load, although the magnitude of the risk may vary with the viral load.

Cocaine and other drugs increase the risk of HIV infection because they impair judgment and affect people's sexual behavior. The direct effects of cocaine on viral load are not well understood.



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