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couple with AIDS
Nov 4, 2007

Thank you Dr. Bob for your reply. Yes, we are seeing a very good doctor. But we had to go through a lot of doctors and tests to find out what was wrong with us. My boyfriend and I do plan on using condoms from now on. But I guess I was just wondering how it already affected us up till now. We were probably still both just HIV status before we met, but we are in our 40s and did not use protection. We both started getting sick fast about a year ago. Do you think that we caused each other to drop faster?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I have no way of knowing, in fact, over the Internet whether you and your partner actually did acquire each other's viral strain and if so whether that dual infection resulted in further more rapid progression of your illnesses. In any case, life only moves in one direction forward. Stop worrying about the past and focus on the realities of today and the promise of tomorrow, OK? I'm glad you are both now under the care of a competent HIV specialist.

Good luck to you both!

Dr. Bob

couple has AIDS Nov 2, 2007

Dr. Bob, My boyfriend and I both were diagnosed with AIDS this past August. His t-cell count was 89 and mine was 6. We have only been together for 2 years. I just moved back to this state 3 years ago. Before we met, we were both married. It seems unreal that we both had HIV before meeting each other, and that we had it for probably the same length of time. What will it do if we have unprotected sex now?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Another two married dudes (who certainly never should have been married in the first place) who had longstanding HIV/AIDS infections and you didn't know it until this past August???? Hmmm . . . here we have additional evidence once again that our HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs in the U.S. are an abysmal failure!!! It's frustrating, disconcerting and sad that over 25 years into the pandemic with over 25 million lives snuffed out by the virus, stories like yours are still so prevalent.

Now getting off my soapbox, I'll move on to your question. You both have advanced-stage AIDS. If you decide to have unprotected sex, you run the risk of contracting a superinfection. In other words, you could each contract the other's strain of virus. This theoretically could make your HIV disease progress faster or become more difficult to treat. For instance, if you or your partner picks up a strain that is resistant to one or more of the medications in your regimen, this could have disastrous consequences. Exactly how often superinfection (dual infection) occurs, we don't know. What we do know is that it is possible. You can read about dual infection or superinfection in the archives. Personally, this is definitely not a risk I would take.

I trust you are both under the care of a competent AIDS specialist physician. If not, you should be!

Good luck to you both. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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