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Chances of becoming HIV Positive
Jun 28, 2008

My ex-boyfriend from 16 years ago (we have a 16 year old daughter) found out 5 years after we broke up that he had full-blown AIDS. Me and our daughter were immediately tested and it was negative. We are today very healthy. Why did I not become HIV positive when we were together? How in the world do I NOT have it?? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

There are several possible explanations:

1. He could have contracted the virus after you broke up and progressed on to AIDS in the intervening five years. This is somewhat unlikely, as it generally takes longer to develop AIDS; however, it's still possible.

2. You could have been exposed to HIV without acquiring the virus. Not every HIV exposure leads to HIV transmission (thankfully!). For instance, the estimated per-act risk for acquiring HIV from unprotected receptive penile-vaginal sex with a partner known to be HIV positive is 1 per 1,000 exposures. Consequently, even though you were in essence playing sexual Russian roulette, you could indeed have been fortunate enough not to have contracted the virus, even though you were definitely exposed.

Dr. Bob



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