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What percentage are "immune" to HIV infection?
Aug 19, 2013

My husband of 9 years was just diagnosed and has a cd4 54 and viral load of about 1 million. Somehow I am negative. We've always had an active sex life, every kind of sex, almost everyday for 9 years. Even shortly after our kids were born (natural) when I had barely recovered from lots of internal stitches, I also had hemorrhoids...it's just so hard to believe I am negative.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there,

Thanks for writing in. No one is immune to HIV. However, as you can see from your own experience, HIV is not transmitted during each act of sexual intercourse. Also, the type of sexual act increases or decreases the likelihood of transmission. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex, and the risk is always higher for the partner being penetrated. If the majority of the sex you were having was vaginal then the risk of transmission was fairly low. For receptive penile-vaginal sex, the risk is less than 1% per act. That's fairly good odds. However, after nine years of almost daily sex, it sounds like you are one lucky lady!

Going forward, I would suggest using a condom for each and every act of penetrative anal or vaginal sex. f your husband's viral load is undetectable for six months or more, and you both are monogamous with each other you could certainly look into not using condoms because transmission would be considered unlikely if those two criteria were met. Another added safety precaution would be for you to start PrEP. PrEP is a once daily pill that you take to help reduce the likelihood of acquiring HIV during intercourse with your husband. You can discuss the use of PrEP with your husband's doctor.

When you have a moment be sure to check out the archived Mixed-Status-HIV Couples forum here on the body. The link is HERE..

I hope this helps.

In health,

Richard



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