HIV+ and barebacking, reinfection a theory or posiblity?
Sep 17, 2001
I am a gay HIV+ man and have been hearing conflicting information regarding HIV+ barebacking. A knowledgeable friend says the dangers of transmission of a different strain, or re-infection, is only a theory. There are no documented medical cases to date of a HIV+ person being re-infected or catching multiple strains of the virus after infection. That while using a condom helps stop other sexually transmitted diseases, it's not going to make a difference to my viral load or compromise my immune system any further.
Response from Mr. Kull
Questions similar to yours have been answered in this forum. Please take a look at:
"Just the Facts: Reinfection" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/TransmissionSexual/Q59372.qna)
"What are the risks for us" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/TransmissionSexual/Q9770.qna)
There are also links in those responses to other information about the topic of reinfection/super-infection.
There is not enough evidence available to support the concept of super-infection (the term to describe an HIV infected person being infected by another strain of HIV, which might cause failure in antiviral treatments or increased progression to AIDS). Laboratory studies have been able to demonstrate the process of super-infection, but there is not much information on how this works in humans and if introducing different strains of HIV to an infected person actually makes a difference. One documented case strongly suggested complications caused by super-infection (http://www.thebody.com/step/retro2000/march4.html). A study is being conducted to further examine this theory. Experts are divided on this topic.
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