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Pls clarify
Aug 30, 2006

With an undetectable viral load does that mean I cannot infect ? I have a child and I constantly worry about infecting her. One night she asked me to scratch her back( i know i know i'm being ridiculous, but when its your child) i was so scared that it could have been a small open cut somewhere i simply scratched through her shirt. i'm meticulous about keeping my razors etc out of reach (just in case). Does undetectable means there is no HIV in your blood or just small amounts? --

Also, i would like to thank you Katherine!! I have posted questions within the last few weeks ( i'm newly diagnosed) and you have been extremly prompt and helpful. This really means alot to me - I have not told anyone including family my status so this is my only outlet for now.

God bless you

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

You can relax -- HIV is not spread through routine family activities, including close physical contact, kissing, sharing food or utensils, etc. and would not be spread through back-scratching. However, minimizing potential exposure to blood or bodily secretions through razors, open sores, etc. is wise.

An undetectable viral load just means that the amount of HIV in the blood is lower than the usual tests can measure. In people with undetectable viral loads, HIV can be measured with "super-sensitive" tests, so very, very small amounts of HIV are still being produced. People with undetectable viral loads are less likely to infect others, but should still avoid possibly exposing others to blood or bodily secretions. As discussed above, however, infection through routine family activities is very, very unlikely.

Thanks for your kind words. Being newly diagnosed can be overwhelming and I'm glad that we've been helpful. I wish you the best and hope that you will continue to write with questions.


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