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Religiously Testing

Apr 3, 2013

I have been with a man for 5yrs and we were not using protection, he recently tested positive to which he swore it must have been from before we met. dilemma is i have been testing negetive since we have been together am a regular blood donor. since he tested positive i have had about 4 test done Elica and PCR all still negative. is this at all possible

Response from Dr. Wohl

Yes, this is possible. There are many people who are in such couples, called discordant, wherein one is HIV+ and the other HIV- despite a period of unprotected sex. The potential explanations why you have not been infected are many.

Foremost is luck. With odds of infection maybe being in the 1 in several hundred to 1 in several thousand, you just may be fortunate to have dodged the HIV bullet.

Luck also is favored if your partner's viral load is low, either naturally or with HIV medication, The lower the amount of virus in the blood, the lower the amount of virus in the genital fluids and less risk of infection.

Additionally, not all types of sex carry equal risks given everything else being equal. If you are a top and he the bottom, your risk of infection is somewhat less than the other way around. Oral sex, if you read this forum regularly, we know carries essentially no risk of transmission.

Lastly, there is you and your own immune system. Some people are relatively resistant to acquiring HIV. This is pretty rare and is not 100% protective but is a factor.

So, good news is you are HIV negative. To stay that way you and your partner should use condoms. He should get on HIV therapy and get his virus down to undetectable. Whether you should be on medication to protect you from infection would depend on whether condoms were an option, your partner's access and success with HIV treatment, and your own feelings about use of such prophylactic therapy.


Risk signs of HIV and STDs
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