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Blood transmission and viral load

Mar 8, 2011

I am 55 yr old mail hiv pos/pos hep c, did treatment for hep c and have been positive sustatined responder now over two years - yea. Have been on cocktail for 16 yrs and two my meds changed once and been on one for 16 yrs - were changed not because I or hiv built up immunity but other reasons. Have been undetectable except for a few blips now and again. Live a very health life and do not drink/smoke, do drugs or anything to reinfect myself. I also have no other STDs. My t cells have allways remained between 190 and 275 which I can live with and have. My question has to do with the study from Switherland that says that if a person is undetectable and has no other STDs that they cannot pass on the HIV virus. I believe this study was done using a sex study and not blood to blood transmission. I am not refering to hiv transmission and sex I am refering to hiv and blood transmission like with a scrape on the arm that produces allot of blood. Now I know it sounds to good to be and wish it was but I know reality. My question is since I am undetectable if a person was to come into contact with my blood would it be much harder for them to contract the hiv from me then from a person with a high viral load. If I was to say get a small cut on my arm and accidently brush up agains someone and the blood was transferred to someone what are the chances of them getting aids? Do they have to have an open bleeding wound also? Many thanks for taking time to respond.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Question: "My question is since I am undetectable if a person were to come into contact with my blood would it be much harder for them to contract the HIV from me than from a person with a high viral load?"

Answer: Yes, absolutely! The risk of HIV transmission via any route is significantly decreased in HIVers who are on effective combination antiretroviral therapy that suppresses the HIV plasma viral load to undetectable levels.

Question: "If I were to get a small cut and accidentally brush against someone, what are the chances of viral transmission?"

Answer: Nonexistent, assuming the HIV-positive blood touched only intact skin.

Question: "Would the person need to have an open bleeding wound also?"

Answer: Yes, the HIV-tainted blood would need to come into contact with non-intact skin.

You're welcome!

Dr. Bob

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