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unprotected sex
Jan 22, 2012

my wife is 30 and was diagnosed with HIV last march after being hospitalised with pneumonia. her cd4 count was 100 and viral load 250,000+ she was put on atripla I was tested twice and both times negative but she has since taken to heavy drinking and going out on her own to drinking places and having unprotected sex. I know because I spoke to a guy she had been with, she missed her medication for 5 days on one occasion.she is now pregnant (not Mine) and we have separated but i do still care for her - is there any advice you can give me to help with this situation

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi, There are a few aspects to this question that I can address. First the transmission to you as her partner, we do know two things, 1st it is harder for a woman to transmit to a man and if you are on medication and have an undetectable viral load that likelihood of transmission decreases dramatically. 2nd, drinking and being on Atripla don't go well together and being pregnant now she should be off Atripla and onto another regimen as Sustiva one of the medications in Atripla can cause birth defects. She needs to get into care with an HIV specialist and with someone who works with HIV+ pregnant women. We know that if a woman gets on therapy during her pregnancy that the chances of her child being born positive are less than 1%. 3rd she obviously needs some mental health and substance use help, this is not unusual for many people living with HIV needing help in one if not both of these areas. I have been positive for 20 years and have monthly therapy sessions. There is no shame in this. What you can do for her, continue to support her and be there as much as you can for her and encourage her to get proper care and treatment, the end result though is that it is up to her and she is the only one who can make this decision.

Thank you for trying to be there for her.

Be well, Shannon



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