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May 18, 2009

My wife and i had unprotected sex for 4 years until i was diagnosed with HIV. My best guess is that i contracted the disease about 3 years before i met my wife. 4 years into the marriage i had a test done and found i was hiv+. She was tested and remained Negative. When i was diagnosed my viral load was around 400 and my cd4 was 162. Very odd to have numbers of this sort. I have had Hep c for at least 10 years that i know of and that may account for my unusual hiv diagnoses cd4 count and viral load.

My question to you is this?

Why has my wife not contracted HIV from me while we had unprotected sex and anal sex for four long years? Some doctors i talk to say its luck. I think that is a cop out answer. Was it because of my low viral load? No transferring in Semen? Is my wife immune to HIV? We had unprotected sex for 4 years about 3 times a week. Thats not luck. There is science behind it, and Im just curious as to what your thoughts are on that? My wife and i are talking about losing the condom because quite honestly i believe that if my doctor wasnt under the western medical umbrella he would be truthful and give us the real answer as to why she was never infected besides saying its just pure luck. Its not pure luck. There is a reason why my wife was not infected during four years of all types of sexual activity. I just have a hard time getting anyone to actually say what the reason is. After much research, i pretty much know why. I just welcome anyone elses theory on the truth of the matter which i have been unable to find anyone to give me the truth. What are your thoughts, opinions and theory on this subject. I appreciate anything you have to say on this mater.

Thanks Again.

Response from Dr. Frascino


This question comes up very frequently (see below). The science behind the "luck" is that not every HIV exposure results in HIV transmission. There are many host and viral factors that are involved in whether HIV transmission occurs with a particular: for instance, whether the HIV plasma viral load is elevated; whether there is any mucosal trauma during sex; whether there are any concurrent STDs, etc. These factors are very changeable. This list of variables is extremely long. The CDC estimates that the per-act risk from acquiring HIV from unprotected receptive penile-vaginal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 10 per 10,000 exposures. That risk remains the same with each unprotected exposure.

Consequently should you stop using condoms? No, absolutely not. To do so would be putting your wife at risk. Remember, there are over 33,000,000 million of us infected worldwide with over 56, 000 new infections each year in the U.S. To knowingly put your wife at risk would be unconscionable in my opinion. (I could never put my HIV-negative husband at risk.)

To sum up, there are very solid scientific reasons why your wife has not seroconverted despite having had multiple HIV exposures. I don't believe you are having "a hard time getting anyone to actually say what the reason is." Rather I think you don't want to believe the reasons you have been given and selfishly want to clear your conscience of guilt if you forego using condoms. Sorry, that is not the reality of the situation and now you've been told. I urge you not to play sexual Russian roulette with your wife's health. Please show her this post. Failure to do so would only confirm your indefensible considerations to put her at risk and selfishly motivated.

Good luck to you both.

Dr. Bob

unprotected sex May 18, 2009

i had unprotected sex with my husband who"s been hiv positive over since 1993 and has been undetected on and off dor the past 2 years.we have had unprotected sex for the past year.i tested through out that year,with negative results. question?why have i been tested negative?

Response from Dr. Frascino


The best analogy I can give is pregnancy. When couples try to get pregnant and stop using birth control they don't always conceive with their first unprotected nookie, right? In fact some couples try for years and then one day wham, conception occurs. Similarly with HIV: Not every HIV exposure leads to HIV transmission. In fact many don't. However, that doesn't mean one exposure can't lead to HIV transmission! Certainly just like pregnancy it can happen with the first unprotected sexual coupling. You mention your husband has had undetectable HIV plasma viral loads "on and off." Certainly when the HIV viral load is suppressed to undetectable levels the risk of HIV transmission decreases significantly.

My advice to you is to begin protecting yourself (and your HIV-negative status) immediately by insisting on latex condoms each and every time. You'll also need follow-up HIV tests at both the three- and six-month marks to confirm your negative status.

Stay safe and stay well.

Dr. Bob

Dr. Bob Please You Are An HIV Specialist

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