Multiple BB Encounters and HIV Super Infection
Feb 27, 2012
So like an idiot, I recently just kind of accepted that getting HIV was prob going to happen and have engaged in unprotected receptive anal sex with about 40-50 guys. I was practicing 'serosorting' but who knows how protective that will be. Then yesterday I started to think "wait a minute what if one guy had HIV and was drug resistant to medication A and then this other guy had HIV and was drug resistant to B and C and I was exposed to both before the HIV virus had a time to take hold"
Ok so then I of course google super infection and re-infection and there it is, in black and white, that recently infected individuals, who don't know they are positive and aren't on HAART are able to contract multiple strains of the virus and a few case studies only lived 3.1 years...
Can you please help clarify this for me? I'm not going to have bb sex today, thats for damn sure, I had no idea of this added risk. You just figure oh if I get it I'll go on meds, I didn't think about how you can get all these strains.
Also I'm going to go and try and get a viral load test tonight to at least know if I already have it and then again in 3 weeks.
Please also I'm wondering how common these super infections are in NYC and any other information you may have on it.
Response from Mr. Cordova
Thanks for writing in. While serosorting does lower the likelihood of coming into contact with HIV, it does not eliminate the risk. If someone is infected with the virus, and does not know they are infected, they can easily spread the virus if they are having unprotected sex. If they are not on medication and their viral load is extremely high they are even more infectious. You mention having sex with 40 to 50 guys unprotected. If you acquired HIV 50 guys ago, you would have exposed 49 other guys to the virus. It's very possible that the very same thing has happened to you. Someone was infected but was unaware of their infection.
In regards to reinfection or superinfection the main concern for you would be that you could be infected by a strain of virus that is already resistant to class of medication that is used to treat HIV. If you are infected with a resistant strain, the medications available to you are limited. Another fear would be for someone who is infected with HIV that is not resistant to any medications, but then acquires a strain that is resistant to the medication they are on, causing a superinfection. Dr. Young tackles this question in an answer here.
I am not aware of of the number of cases associated with superinfection. In addition to your viral load test, I would suggest an antibody test three months from the last time you had unprotected penetrative sex.
In the event that your test comes back positive, be sure to check out the newly diagnosed section here on TheBody.com. Being diagnosed with HIV is certainly a new chapter in the book but the book is far from over.
Using a condom for each and every act of penetrative sex is one of the best ways to protect yourself against HIV and many STD's. Knowing what you know, I hope this will be a lifestyle change for you. Positive or negative, condom use will protect you.
If you are continue to have trouble using condoms consistently and your HIV test comes out negative, I would suggest testing every three months at a trusted HIV testing facility. More frequent testing will allow you to talk about your sexual practices with a trained HIV prevention counselor.
I hope this helps.
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