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Can I cause my partners viral load to spike?

Aug 11, 2007

Myself and my partner are both positive. It is strongly believed he was infected from me. We still maintain a monogamous relationship,and practice barebacking. Recently, his viral loads tripled and his CD4 count dropped, while my CD4 count rose, and my viral load dropped. Is it possible that by him receiving my ejaculate that that could be the cause of his viral load spiking? Can reciving semen cause one's viral load to spike???

Response from Dr. Frascino


The mere act of receiving semen would not cause your partner's viral load to spike. The common causes for an increasing viral and resultant decline in CD4 count include:

1. Intercurrent infections.

2. Vaccines.

3. Noncompliance with HIV meds.

4. Development of resistance to current antiretroviral medications?

5. Dual infection (acquiring a new, more aggressive strain of HIV).

I would suggest you have your partner check with his HIV specialist to evaluate his increase in viral replication and possible need for intervention. I would also suggest both you and your partner reconsider the risks associated with barebacking, even "monogamous barebacking," between two pozitoids.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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