Transmission of HIV in mixed HIV status, heterosexual couple
Oct 9, 2009
My husband is HIV+ and was probably infected circa 5 years ago. We did not know of his infection until this month, and so had unprotected sex on at least 20 occasions in the five years. My recent HIV tests have been negative, and we are no longer intimate. Please can you tell me why I am not infected, and whether I should be tested beyond the normal HIV tests to ensure it is not lurking in my system somewhere?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Not every HIV exposure leads to HIV transmission. Thankfully! For instance, the CDC's estimated per-act risk of acquiring HIV from unprotected receptive penile-vaginal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV infected is 1 per 1,000 exposures. Statistically it's very possible that you did not contract HIV, despite the 20 exposures over the past 5 years.
Regarding HIV testing, it's recommended you get tested at the three- and six-month marks from the date of your last exposure.
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