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Is there such thing as immunity?
Sep 23, 2004

My own Dr. avoids this questions with me, but I have to ask is it possible for one to be immune to HIV, or have some mechanism for fighting it off. I HAVE been exposed to HIV. An ex-boyfriend was positive and we did not use condoms (I did not know he was pos until later), a guy I dated was positive we used condoms but one broke with alot of pre-cum inside. Also, and i have been lectured, i have become fairly complacent about safe sex. With out sounding too much like a whore, in the past 12 months I have probably only used a condom two times and had 6 or 7 guys cum inside me, I have cum in guys the same amount. Don't judge, I have plastered the word SAFE in my office, home etc to remind me and try and get back on track. I dont do drugs, so that has no effect on my unsafe practices, but honestly the gay community seems to have a relaxed attitude on barebacking now. After my last bout of anxiety over testing, I have vowed to be safe. I have been negative on all my tests, am I immune or just lucky?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

No, I never judge and yes I agree, many people have become complacent about the risks of unsafe sex, despite the fact a cure for HIV/AIDS is not even on the distant horizon and that someone dies of AIDS every 10 seconds.

I like the idea of "SAFE" wallpaper for your home and office. Believe it or not, I actually saw a guy with SAFE tattooed on his Mr. Happy! He told me he tried "SAFE" post-its, but they kept popping off when he got a woody.

OK, back to your question immune or lucky? The answer is lucky, definitely lucky! Remember not all HIV exposures lead to HIV transmission. In fact, most don't! However, each exposure does indeed carry a risk, just like Russian roulette. Certainly everyone's immune system is slightly different and some folks might be more likely to get infected (or fend off a particular potential infection) than others. However, it's important to realize there are a vast number of different types of HIV strains out there, some more aggressive than others, and the virus is continuing to evolve new strains constantly.

I believe your vow to be safe. I can certainly advise you from personal experience that cohabitating with this virus sucks and not in a good way. Whenever you have sex, I want you to remember me, OK? Think of it as a three-way, except I'm only there to watch and remind you about your wallpaper back home. OK?

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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