Sex & the non progressor
Mar 6, 2005
Today I went to an HIV specialist for the first time since I was diagnosed which was over two years ago. My viral load is still undetectable and my t-cell count is 1069. Last Oct it was 1640, but I discovered I had a skin infection at the time that blood was drawn.
The doc looked over the results and told me that he really thinks that I am a non progressor. The fact that my viral load hasnt changed at all in over two years makes him think I could actually be immune to this thing!
If that is the case is it possible for me to pass it to others still? I understand I will always test positive for the antibodies, but he doesnt think I have the disease.
I still and will always practice safe sex, but I would like to know
Response from Dr. Frascino
A non-progressor? No, probably not.
A slow-progressor? Perhaps.
Immune to HIV because your CD4 count hasn't changed much in two years? No, extremely unlikely. In fact statistically, your chances of being immune are essentially nonexistent.
Perhaps you misunderstood your HIV specialist. It's true your immune system is presently controlling your HIV infection well. But if you are HIV positive, the odds are that, over time, the virus will begin to damage your immune integrity. We have over two decades of experience with this virus. Experiences like yours are fairly common. Continued monitoring of your viral load and CD4 counts every three to six months is warranted. I hope your HIV specialist told you this as well. If not, I suggest you search for another specialist! Also, if he really told you that he doesn't believe you have the disease, even though you consistently test positive for anti-HIV antibodies, that, too, is very concerning to me and you might do well to seek out a second opinion from another HIV specialist.
Finally, are HIV-antibody-positive folks who have CD4 counts in the "normal" range and undetectable HIV viral loads still infectious? Yes. It is indeed possible that despite your excellent counts and non-detectable viral load, you could still transmit the virus. Safer sex practices remain essential.
Good luck. Stay well!
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