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Married + man and now have baby
May 18, 2004

I am very concerned about something since I have small children.... A family friend married an HIV postive man, who had kids with his HIV+ ex wife. They planned the baby, therefore having unprotected sex atleast once! Then, she had the baby vaginally, and when the baby was 4 days old, it almost died from the herpes virus. They maintain that neither she nor the baby is HIV+. Her husband said, and I quote, "It is impossible to get HIV from me because my viral load is low." I do not believe this, as I am not a stupid person. However, he has convinced her family that this is the case, and they have spread the word in our social circle, and unfortunately, people believe it because they don't do their own research. I am scared of their attitude, I'm scared of their baby's potential diseases, and I'm scared for my kids to be around their kids, who have constant severe nosebleeds. How likely is it that the baby has HIV, and what does the viral load mean? (for the record)

Response from Dr. Lee

The baby is not likely to be infected unless the mom is HIV+. Any amount of virus can transmit, although the lower the viral load (or amount of virus in the blood or semen) the less likely transmission will occur. But, clearly this issue is between the husband, wife and their doctor (I hope a doc was consulted).

Regarding the children- If they have "constant severe nosebleeds" they should be checked by a doctor. It is unlikely, but not impossible for your children to acquire diseases through exposure to the kids' blood.

Be well.


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