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question of life n death?
Dec 6, 2006

Dear Doctor, My husband, 30 yrs old tested HIV +ve thru ELISA and Western Blot in Nov 2006.His CD4 count is 249.has tb of the lymph nodes.undergoing treatment for the same. We have a 13month old son.I tested negative with Elisa test in the 8th month of pregnancy(in aug 2005) .In Nov 2006, I took an Elisa and HIV duo(IV generation test) both are negative. 1) What are the chances that me and baby are infected? 2) Is it possible that my husband has been wrongly diagnosed since I am not infected? 3) what is the percentage occurrence of the HIV virus in semen? 4) If a proper and healthy lifestyle is followed, can the lifespan be increased to 10 yrs and beyond?

We both are software professionals. Can my husband continue going to office? Please help us.

Regards

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

With a recent negative test, it is unlikely that you are infected. The only question is whether you and your husband have continued to have unprotected sex. If so, you should be tested again a few weeks after the last sexual contact. To minimize the chance of you becoming infected, you and your husband should practice safe sex. There s a lot of good information on this web site that should be helpful to you.

The only way that your child would have been at risk of infection is if you were infected or acquired infection during pregnancy. Again, with a negative test after pregnancy, your child was not at risk and is not infected.

With a positive ELISA and Western blot and low CD4 count, it is unlikely that your husband has been incorrectly diagnosed. The fact that you are not infected does not mean that he is not infected.

I'm assumng that your husband has been started on TB medications. SInce TB is contagious, you and your baby should be screened for TB, as well.

You don't mention whether or not your husband is on HIV therapy. However, with a CD4 count and TB, many experts would recommend anti-HIV therapy, as well. Therapy will offer your husband the best chance of improving his health and staying well over the long term. HIV can definitely be passed through semen; hence my prior recommendation for your to learn about and practice safe sex. Anti-HIV therapy can reduce but not eliminate the infectivity of semen.

HIV is only spread through sexual contact, blood or blood product transfusion, or mother-to-child tramsmission. It is not spread through casual contact (nor is it routinely spread between family members). So, yes, your husband should continue to go to the office, assuming that he is feeling well enough to do so and that his doctor has cleared him to return to work (if he is considered in the contagious stage of TB, he may not be able to return to work right away).


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