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HIV AND PREGNANCY
May 19, 2010

Dear Doc,

My wife is pregnant, and she did all her tests that are done when pregant and all came back negative but the HIV test was positive (ELISA). She then did Western blot and PCR DNA and I also did the ELISA test which came back negative. Her tests came back positive with a CD4 count of 290 and VL of (I think) 57000. She is now on medication to prevent mother to child transmission (Nevirapine & Lamzid).

This whole situation is very confusing, we have been together for almost 6 years. I last tested in 2006 and my results were negetive and she also tested negetive in 2006. We have been seing each other exclusively and have not been using a condom for at least more than two years now.

1. We dont know how she got infected. Is possible that this is false posive? I read somewhere that you can test positve and yet have a high VL and not all virus are infectious. 2. Why am I not infected if she is really positive? We have not be using a condom. 3. If this is true positive, how long has she had the virus?

Please shed some light on the above. Kind Regards, Worried and confused

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

1. It's possible there may have been a laboratory or clerical error. Your wife should see an HIV physician specialist. That doctor will run confirmatory tests to ascertain whether her initial tests are accurate.

2. Not every HIV exposure leads to HIV transmission (thankfully!). In the archives you'll find many similar stories.

3. Unfortunately that is difficult to predict with only a single blood test result. It's possible her 2006 test was a "false negative," and she's been infected for quite some time. Alternatively she could have been recently infected, and her CD4 count is still in flux. Her HIV specialist will take a thorough HIV-risk history and monitor her counts over the coming months. He will then be able to give a better estimate regarding when she may have become infected. I would urge you and your wife to read through the chapter in the archives devoted to magnetic couples. You will need follow-up HIV testing at both the three- and six-month marks to confirm your negative status.

Good luck to you both.

Dr. Bob



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