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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Which one of us contracted H.I.V. first?
Nov 12, 2010

In Feb. I tested H.I.V. negative. In May or around, my husband and I both had an unprotected extramarital affair while still having sex unprotected. He "claims" that he and the woman both tested negative before the affar. He found out he was positive in July but did not inform me until October. I too tested positive. We both informed our lovers and they tested negative. I'm not sure my husband is being truthful with me. Accusations are flying back and forth with me being the infector from his family and vice versa from mines. My husband "claims" his CD4 level was 700 on his first test. My first test was 300. I paniced but my Doctor told me that the number fluctuates and It may be higher on my next test which is next week. Does our CD4 numbers, with mines being much lower mean that I contracted H.I.V. before he did. If it does not is there a way that we can tell who contracted it first? I am praying that my next CD4 count is higher. I'm also tired of being blamed for this.

Response from Dr. Henry

CD4 counts are not a reliable/accurate means to determine timing of HIV infection since the course of CD4 changes (and baseline pre-infection level) after infection is highly variable. The CD4 count does fluctuate widely and in fact if yours clearly increases over the next two measures that might indicate that you were recently infected (need to track course of HIV RNA level as well to shed some light on that possibility). Trying to determine blame in situatons such as yours for infection often is discouraged and can stand in the way of access to good health care and optimal mental health/stress management. KH

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