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What do you mean by low or high exposure?

Mar 23, 2009

Thank you so much for the wonderful work you do in answering these questions considering that you are a very busy person. Having read your biography, I would also like to congratulate you for the great accomplishments in your career.

I have a question about what 'exposure to HIV' means. I often hear terms like high or low exposure and I dont really know what they mean. For instance, if one has protected sex with an HIV positive woman (prostitute) several times with condoms properly used and no breakages noticed, can this be considered as an exposure to HIV? If so is it, low or high? Should one get concerned enough to get a test in this case?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Thanks for your kind comments. "Protected" sex would not be considered an HIV exposure, assuming the latex or polyurethane condom was used properly and did not fail (break). HIV cannot permeate intact latex. An example of a low-risk exposure would be unprotected insertive oral sex. An example of a high-risk exposure would be unprotected receptive anal sex. The amount of risk depends on the statistical likelihood that HIV would be transmitted/acquired by a specific act.

Dr. Bob

Reinfection risk in HIV+ Partners with same viral strain (REINFECTION, SUPERINFECTION, 2009)
real risk,real symptoms,despite 16 weeks negative

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