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Partner of 12 years has tested HIV Positive and I have Tested Negative
Oct 1, 2012

Good morning Dr Southall:

Here goes, my partner of 12 years has been recently diagnosed with HIV, I have tested negative (via and EIA 4th Generation done through my states department of health 5.5 weeks post exposure-Neg) and a Oraquick Advance Rapid Test 6.5 weeks post exposure-Neg), I am so confused and scared. I have spoke with my states HIV/AIDS Hotline and they have informed me that I can rely on my test results as it had been 5.5 weeks post-exposure and is considered to be conlcusive. I will be testing at the 3 month mark again for some closure and mental peace. Is there a percentage or statistics that I can read about regarding individuals who tested negative at 5-6 weeks and then tested positive at 3 months? What are my odds? I am also trying to figure out my risk level as we primarily had oral intercourse to help in avoiding a pregnancy, we only had intermittent vaginal intercourse 3-5 minutes at or about 8 times this year to date, we weren't very sexually active because I live a very busy and demanding life due to my career. We sometimes would go months without having intercourse. I also had tested myself 1 year and 3 months ago and that was negative as well. (I have also tested at around 9-10 times throughout my life all negative) Please shed some light. I am so confused, I have never been so afraid in my entire life.

Thank you, v/r..

God Bless you.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The guidelines for HIV testing are to be initially tested at 3 weeks then again at 3 months, if both of these tests are negative then so are you, as long as there were no other types of exposure during that 3 month period, if so then the timing starts over again. There are some tests out now that can give a sensitivity rate of 3-5 weeks, but the general sense is 3 months is conclusive.

As for sexual intercourse and oral intercourse, oral sex carries the lowest risk of HIV transmission and for sexual intercourse, a couple things to keep in mind. First if your partner is on medications and has an undetectable viral load the likelihood of HIV transmission is reduced by up to 96% and with a condom even more so.

My husband is negative and is tested about every 6 months. This would be my recommendation for you as well as talking with your partner's healthcare provider about the possibility of PrEP, Truvada was recently approved for those who are negative and in a relationship with someone who is positive to prevent transmission.

Hope this helps with giving you peace of mind, be well and stay safe, Shannon



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