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Mrs.
Jan 25, 2004

MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN HIV+ SINCE 1999 AND WE GOT MARRIED 2003. WE HAVE BEEN HAVING SEX WITHOUT THE USE OF CONDOM BUT ANYTIME I GO FOR HIV TEST, I READ NEGATIVE(-). HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Have you ever watched a game of Russian Roulette? The same principles apply. Every pull of the trigger (or sexual exposure) carries a degree of risk. Not every pull of the trigger results in the person blowing their brains out, and not every episode of unprotected sex with a partner known to be HIV-positive results in transmission of the virus.

The real question here is not "How is it possible that you continue to test negative," but rather why are you playing Russian Roulette? I would urge the use of latex condoms. If a condom fails, consider PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). You will need another HIV test three months after your last potential exposure to be sure you have not contracted the virus. You and your husband should discuss HIV transmission, negotiated risk, and harm reduction techniques with an HIV specialist and/or counselor ASAP.

Finally, I urge you to protect your negative status.

Dr. Bob



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