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My partner just got diagnosed HIV+, so far I'm negative...
Aug 5, 2012

Hi there! My partner just got diagnosed with HIV. Back in November 2011 we both went and got tested before we decided to stop using protection. At that time, we got tested with the rapid test through UCSD Antiviral Research Center, which include the antibody and the HIV Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) and both came back negative. I must add that the first time we met in September 2011 we did have unprotected sex, not an excuse but we were both drunk, but after that we did use condoms when there was penetration, until the results of the test came back. So, all this time I have assumed our relationship was monogamous, not so sure now. He swears he has not had sex with anyone else, protected or unprotected. Well, not to make the story longer than what needs to be, as soon as he told me he was positive I went and got tested and both my tested, the antibodies and the one the done by the military, (whichever that is - we both are in the Navy) came back negative. I was relieved, but it got me pretty confused. If he got infected before we started dating, why didn't the HIV NAT come back positive? Or better yet, how reliable is this test? Is it possible to give a false negative? And why if we have been having unprotected sex for the last 9 months I'm negative? Is it possible that I am not infected after been exposed so many times? I have to get tested again in three months to be sure, but this is really freaking me out. Thank you for your help.

Response from Dr. Wohl

It can be very possible to have an HIV+ partner and, despite unprotected sex, remain HIV-uninfected. Transmission of the virus depends on many factors and it can under some circumstances be rare.

That said, it is also unclear how long your partner has been infected. Why did he get tested again now when both your Sept results were negative and he has been monogamous? Seems fishy.

NAAT testing is very good for picking up recent infection. I would get tested again in a month and if negative I would be reassured. Meanwhile, obviously, you safe sex from here on in.

DW



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