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How long after transmission can one transmit???

Sep 30, 2005

Dr Bob, you are an exceptional person by any measure. I am a med student and we are currently studying AIDS / HIV.

This site is fantastic for providing me with information about it.

My question is out of curiosity but I thought it could fit into the realms of this discussion forum.

OK, let's say that transmission does occur from a positive female to a negative male. So the male becomes positive after that event. I realise he doesn't produce antibodies for b/w 1 and 3 months, but we're not talking about the transmission of antibodies, we're talking about the transmission of HIV itself. So how long after will he have detectable levels of HIV in his blood and semen, at a level high enough to potentially cause transmission again.

Sorry for the technicality of this question.

BTW, why do you sometimes call Bush 'Dubya'. I am not American so forgive me if it is a native joke.

I think he is foolish in his decision making too!

Luv ya - you are my hero.

Hope Steve doesn't mind you having so many admirers!


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Jennifer,

You are correct in assuming that even though it takes weeks to months for an infected person to produce detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies, that doesn't mean that person isn't infectious before the point his HIV test becomes positive. In fact, as it turns out, the period of time just prior to having detectable antibodies is when an individual is most likely to transmit the virus. This is because the HIV viral load is sky high and the person is not on antiretroviral medications and often does not even realize he or she is infected. Exactly how long after initial exposure a person actually becomes infectious varies from person to person, and is dependent on multiple factors, including viral strain and host immune response. But certainly the time course is quite soon after exposure and well before the HIV test turns positive.

As for Bush, his middle initial is "W." His Texan accent and mangling of the English language turn "W" into "Dubya" when he tries to speak.

Finally, no, Steve doesn't mind. He has his fair share of admirers as well.

Dr. Bob

Where are the doubtful women?

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