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Recent Infection or longer?
Jul 11, 2011

Hello I am a 40 year old man from USA but living overseas presently. I recently received an HIV positive result. My previous test less than one year ago was negative. My CD4 account was already low at 385 - does this indicate a very recent infection? Further, i need to tell my current partner - any advise on how to do this and does this mean he is also infected if I am infected? We do not use a condom and he is a bottom. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello.

If you had a negative HIV-antibody test "less than one year ago" and are testing HIV positive now, you can assume you were infected sometime in the interim. CD4 counts can drop precipitously soon after infection, before the body's immune response kicks in. Often there is some degree of immune recovery after seroconversion is complete.

Regarding disclosing your status to sexual partners, this is never easy. It's best to be honest and very direct. It's also worth pointing out that even though your partner has been exposed, it doesn't automatically mean he's acquired the virus. Not every HIV exposure leads to HIV infection. Your partner will need HIV-antibody testing now and at three and six months from the date of last exposure.

Good luck to you both. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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