The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

19 yr old & You said: If your partner were confirmed to be HIV-positive, the risk would be 0.1 to 0.2 percent per episode

Sep 28, 2003

Hello Doctor. All I'd like to tell you is that you are doing a great job with your service. Not to take much of your time, based on your statement "if your partner were confirmed to be HIV-positive, the risk would be 0.1 to 0.2 percent per episode." Based on this statement, you are saying that only so much get infected based on one episode. I am just have difficulties in understanding this statement. That really means, if you are lucky based on one episode, you will not be positive, if you are not lucky, then you are positive. So do you think you and many others who are positive, are just having bad luck!! I think this statement is not really accurate. Do you still abide with this statement? My other question is that, how does a guy who is negative turns out positive if he sleeps with someone who is negative. In other words, two negative how, can someone turn positive? How does someone become positive if the couple is both negative. But then, how does someone come positive from the first place, if someone was negative?? Am I making sense?

Thanks so much.

Response from Dr. Frascino


"Are you making sense?" No, not a bit. Two negatives never make a positive. For HIV to be transmitted, one of the partners needs to be HIV-positive. That's not all that difficult to understand, is it?

"How does someone become positive in the first place?" He (or she) must be exposed to someone who is positive (has the virus). Different types of exposures carry different levels of risk. Yes, the 0.1 to 0.2 percent statistical risk per episode is correct. This risk applies to unprotected receptive vaginal intercourse with a partner who is confirmed to be HIV positive. So this virus isn't all that easy to catch; -- however, is it possible for someone to contract the virus with a single exposure (say unprotected sex)? Absolutely.

Does every exposure lead to viral transmission? Absolutely NOT!

So, are those of us who did contract the virus "just having bad luck?" Yes, that's one way of looking at it. I don't think any of us would consider the day we became infected a particularly "good luck" kind of a day. Somehow, this all seems rather intuitive to me, but I do hope it clarifies things a bit for you.

Dr. Bob

Woo-hooo- and so on
Thank you!

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint