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Patient turned HIV negative after HIV drugs

Dec 4, 2007

A couple zi am counseling in their mid 50's recently started a relationship. The man is HIV negative but the female aquired HIV from a previous HIV husband and says took HIV drugs more than 8 years ago and as of 8 years ago she has been HIV negative. Can this happen and is he at risk of HIV from unprotected sex with her?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Someone is either confused or not being truthful. Once someone has contracted HIV they are HIV positive for the duration of their life, even if they take HIV medications. For your couple in counseling the possibilities are:

1. The HIV-positive woman may have been misdiagnosed initially. If she had a "false positive" HIV test she could test HIV negative sometime later with or without HIV medications, because in essence she always was and continues to be HIV negative.

2. The HIV-positive woman is confused about the difference between being HIV positive and perhaps having an undetectable HIV plasma viral load.

3. The HIV-positive woman is being untruthful.

The bottom line is that if she was truly HIV positive in the past she is still HIV positive now. Repeat HIV testing now will confirm HIV serostatus one way or the other. You could also request a copy of her previous medical records to review those results.

Dr. Bob

blood on a pint glass

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