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Scared out of my mind!!

Feb 21, 2008

Dear Dr. Frascino, I just found out (5 days ago) that my boyfriend of a month and a half is positive. He wasn't feeling well and had blood work done, we got the results and he tested positive. Foolishly we did not use protection, he thought he was negative and I tested negative in December and I am not promiscuous. I got tested the same day he found out and I am negative. I know from doing my research that I am not out of the woods until about 6 months, but is there a less of a risk of getting infected if you are really healthy? I work out all the time and have an amazing diet, plus I hardly ever get sick! I am freaking out and so scared! Plus how often should I be getting re-tested? Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Sorry to hear about your boyfriend's recent diagnosis. I agree it was indeed a lapse in judgment not to use protection. As I have said repeatedly we must all assume that all our sexual contacts could be HIV positive and take all the necessary precautions to prevent HIV transmission. It's worth repeating that 25% of the over 1,000,000 HIV-positive Americans have absolutely no idea they are infected with the virus!

As for your question, unfortunately being "really healthy" does not afford any protection against becoming infected with HIV. Your concerns about possible infection are definitely unwarranted. Of particular concern is that your buddy did not know he was positive and consequently was, obviously, not on antiretroviral therapy. He may well have had a sky-high HIV plasma viral load, which would increase the chances of HIV transmission.

Regarding testing, your initial test was negative, which is encouraging. You'll need a follow-up test at three months. If still negative, you'll need an additional test at six months from the date of the last possible exposure. If you remain negative at the six-month mark, you will have dodged the HIV bullet (and learned a very valuable lesson the hard way.)

Good luck to both you and your buddy. (I suggest you both should peruse the wealth of information on this site and its related links.)

Dr. Bob

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