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RISKY FIDELITY
Dec 3, 2006

DEAR DR.FRASCINO, THIS MAY SEEM TO BE AN ODD QUESTION. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME. MY HUSBAND JUST RECENTLY GOT DIAGNOSED WITH HIV. HE STATES THIS WAS FROM A ONE NIGHT STAND. EVERY PROFESSIONAL I TALK TO STATES THE CHANCE OF CONTACTING HIV BY MERLY ONE ENCOUNTER IS SLIM TO NONE. IS THIS CORRECT? HIS FEDELITY IS ANOTHER CHAPTER I WONT DIVE INTO. BUT WHEN I REFUSE TO BE INTAMITE BECAUSE IF HE CAN GET IT BY ONE ENCOUNTER THEN, CANT I???? HE BECOMES CONFUSED..PROBABLY DUE TO HIS DISHONESTY. BUT AM I BEING SELFISH BY NOT HAVING SEX WHEN HE CLIAMS HE GOT HIV BY A ONE NIGHT STAND? WE HAVE 3 SMALL CHILDREN AND I WANT TO BE AROUND FOR THEM. IS THE CHANCE REMOTE OR MERELY A FLOOK? OUR RELATIONSHIP IS PERMANTLY TANTED BY HIS BEHAVIOR NOT THE VIRUS. BUT I CANT GET HIM TO UNDERSTAND THAT. WHAT ARE THE STATISTICS? THANKS SO MUCH.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Can someone contract HIV from a single unsafe sexual episode? Absolutely. In fact, the estimated per-act risk for acquisition of HIV for any particular unsafe activity remains exactly the same for each episode. For instance, each and every episode of unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex with an HIV-positive partner carries a risk of 5 per 10,000 exposures.

Should you choose to be intimate with your husband, it is imperative that you protect yourself by using a latex condom and water-based lubricant. If the condom fails or you have an unavoidable exposure, you should begin PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) as soon as possible to help abort potential HIV transmission. You can read about safer sexual practices, PEP, and "magnetic relationships" (one poz, one neg) in the archives of this forum. I would also encourage you to go with your husband to his HIV specialist physician visits and discuss these issues openly during the visit.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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