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Freaking Out update
Aug 22, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob,

Thanks for responding so quickly. I saw the specialist today and found out that my CD4 count was 400 and my viral load is 495. Hubby had CD4 at 800 and viral load of 6000. This would tell me based on what I've read all over the internet that we were newly infected and most likely it came for hubby. The Dr. we saw would not estimate how long either of has been infected. I'm mad, upset and confused. I really need some kind of confirmation that this happened in the last year so I can make the right decision to move on with my life in a healthy way. Can you offer any insight??

You are a blessing and thank you for all your support!

Darlene

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Darlene,

An HIV specialist can run a specialized test called a "detuned" ELISA, which can distinguish recent from chronic HIV infection. Of course, it seems to me the best place to get the information you desire would be directly from your husband, if he's willing to give honest answers. You have every right to be mad as hell, upset and confused. I'm sure your husband is mortified and probably feeling very guilty. Ask him to level with you in no uncertain terms. There really is no point in hiding or lying anymore. Once he realizes this, he may be willing to talk.

Dr. Bob

can you determine how lony you'v e been infected with HIV? (newly HIV+ and freaking out!) Aug 21, 2008

I've been married for almost 3 years when all the sudden, I need to see my gyno for discharge issue. He tells me it'a an STD and i need to talk to my husband about hi fidelity. Then Doc asks if I want the full STD screen with HIV. I agree. Doc calls me back the following monday to come to the office. At that point, he informs me I'm Hiv +. i'M FREAKING OUT! i TESTED NEG IN 2004 and have been safe. So, can an STD like Trich live dormant in a man for 3 to 4 years brfor infecting a partner, and can the HIV virus lay dormant for any number of years before presenting in blood work. Totally confused and certinly scared!

All my Best,

Darlene

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Darlene,

It's time for a heart-to-heart talk with your hubby. If you've been married for three years, been completely faithful and now have several STDs, there really is only one obvious explanation. Are there ways to determine how long someone has been HIV infected? Yes, there are some tests that are used primarily for research purposes that can distinguish recent HIV infection from a more chronic or longstanding infection. However, this really isn't the issue you should be focusing on. You need to see an HIV specialist. The specialist will run additional blood tests to confirm your HIV status and, if that is confirmed to be positive, additional tests to ascertain the status of your immune system (CD4 count) and activity of the virus (viral load). Your husband will also need to be tested, as it appears likely you contracted the infection from him. Obviously the two of you need to have some serious discussions about what has happened. Couples counseling may help.

Darlene, if your HIV-positive status is confirmed, I suggest you read the chapter "Just Diagnosed" on this site. It can be easily accessed on The Body's homepage under the heading Quick Links.

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

Dr. Bob



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