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Boyfriend just diagnosed, I am scared!!
Apr 23, 2009

HI Dr. Bob,

This is an interesting story... my boyfriend of many years was recently (today) definitively diagnised with HIV. This diagnosis was made after he had pre-op blood tests. HIs resulls came back as low across all areas and his surgeon was concerned. he was referred back to his primary and the results of follow-up blood tests were the same. He was then referred to an Onc/Hem who ran several tests. Still nothing. He then had a bone marrow biopsy. This also found nothing. However, in the report it noted an abnormal ratio of CD4-CD8 and recommended screening for a viral infection. His doctor says that he did not even consider HIV and that his surgeon may have done him a great service, as he had thought that the surgeon was being overly cautious. Now we know that he is positive for HIV and he has an appt. with a specialist. My question is what are my chances of having it as well? I had blood drawn last week and will have the results back in 2-4 weeks, but I am obsessing! I was pregnant in 05/06 and tested negative at that time (it was part of routine screening and I called for the results and was told neg.) and since then we have been very careful and used condoms in order to prevent another pregnancy. However, we have not always been careful. The (sad to say :)) truth is that we do not have a very active sex life and saying that we have sex once a week is aiming high. Many times we have not had sex because we have had no condoms, but there have been times (maybe 6-10) that we have had sex w/o and he has "pulled out". I realize that there is little that you can say but I am just so scared and my doctor is on vacation... Please.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I find it rather shocking that your boyfriend's diagnosis was so delayed! There were a number of red flags waving that should have alerted an astute physician to check for HIV! Unfortunately because your boyfriend didn't fit the stereotype (gay man), the diagnosis may not have even been considered. This is another dramatic example that HIV doesn't care if you're gay or straight. All you have to be is human.

Having unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive definitely places you at risk; however, it does not automatically mean you too are infected. Not every HIV exposure leads to viral transmission (thankfully!). The guidelines suggest you be tested immediately and, if negative, again at three and six months from the time of your last potential exposure (unprotected sex). If you remain negative at six months, your results are considered definitive.

Good luck! If your boyfriend doesn't know about this site, please introduce him to it. You both should take advantage of the wealth of information here. Begin with "The Basics" chapter that can be easily accessed on The Body's homepage and proceed from there.

Good luck to both you and your boyfriend.

Dr. Bob



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