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HIV and contact sports
Mar 23, 2010

Hello and thank you for all your work on this site. As someone who recently found out I was infected really helped me in the first week or two before I calmed down, especially all the doctors' forum responses.

I wanted to ask a question about contact sports. Before learning I was HIV positive I was planning to return to kickboxing. I think actually competing must be out of the question now since a fight can involve open wounds, and a lot of blood being splattered when you strike. (In fact I even wonder if I might have been infected during a match, since the style I practice involves so much close grappling). I'm still considering training but I'm also concerned that the normal light sparring it involves could be dangerous. I'm not really sure how easy it is to pass HIV by open wounds, and accidents happen after all.

Do you think I'm worrying too much? Would you generally advise HIV positive people to avoid contact sports? Would the risk be mitigated any by a low virus count? As much as I'd like to get back to training, I don't want to endanger the other athletes as well.

Thank you again, and for your answer in advance.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Get your viral load to undetectable most of all. I think there are contact sports that present fewer risks of bleeding than others, so I would probably gravitate towards those.

How can you enjoy any sport when you are worrying about infecting someone? I am glad you are thinking about this. What are the chances to infect someone if your viral load is undetectable and they are exposed to your blood? I am sure no one has looked into that question, although I am sure it has been used in court cases in boxing.

I wish I could advise you better, but I would not know what to do to be honest. With all the lawsuits of people who claim to be infected by poz people even with saliva, I am sure your liability is there for you to be concerned. This is just my opinion.


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