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husband tested negative, does this mean I am too?
May 15, 2002

DR. Kull, Approximately 5 years ago I had a vaginal sexual intercourse with a married man, whose HIV status is unknown to me. Currently I have only had 1 sex partner who is my husband for the past 4 years. Two years ago my husband had a needle stick injury at work. He tested HIV negative at 3,6 and 12 months post exposure. My question is that since my sexual experience 5 year ago the person I had sex with has had another child and so have I, both children who appear healthy. I need to know if the HIV testing done on my husband would indicate that I am at low risk/no risk of having HIV. My husband and I have never had protected sex. Please answer I need to know.

Response from Mr. Kull

Based on your husband's HIV test results, he is not infected with HIV.

While it is quite likely that your husband would have been infected with HIV if you were infected (and vice-versa), you should not base your own status on someone else's results nor on the "appearance" of things (like the fact that your children are healthy). Some people can have repeated exposures to infected people and not become infected with HIV (see Risky Love and Is it anyway possible?)

Please do not be alarmed by what I am saying. It is highly unlikely that you are infected with HIV. I am simply stating that from a technical standpoint, if you truly want to know your HIV status, you need to get tested yourself.

You don't mention barriers to testing in your question, so what is keeping you from getting tested yourself? It can be an anxiety-provoking experience for anyone, but people often feel better knowing instead of guessing.

RMK



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