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Monogamous couple,one high vir load, one undetectable
Mar 24, 1998

We have been a monogamous couple ( Male & female HIV Pos.) with a active sex life for the first six years of our ten year relationship. One of us has been on many meds with a routinely high viral load dispite many combo treatments for the last four years and the other has remained undetectable vir load having used no meds at all. (We know one of us was HIV Pos when we first became sexually active ten years ago).

Your thoughts please as to why one of us has an undetectable V.L. dispite no treatment for so many years. Thankyou.

Response from Dr. Currier

I wish I knew the answer to your question for it holds some important clues into how the immune system is able,in some situations, to control viral replication. It sounds like you have been exposed to the same "strain" of HIV so the difference is how the immune system is able to control viral replication. There are some people, a small number who show a lack of progression despite HIV infection, some of these people have different genetic factors that appear to impact ( prevent) entry of HIV into cells.

-JC



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