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Jun 16, 2001

I have been living with a child who has tested positive for HIV. Both of us are sick a lot (common cold, etc.) Could I have been infected by this child? Also, Most of the illness are cured by antibiotics. If a woman is HIV+ would antibiotics help fight viruses? We have both had Pnuemonia in the past 6 months.

Lastly, could a man and woman who are both HIV+ have a child who is not HIV+? I know this as to do with the viral count of the sperm and the womans condition, but has this happened? Thanks you for all your help!

Response from Dr. Aberg

1. In order for a child to transmit HIV to you, you would have had to come into contact with HIV containing secretions such as blood. So, in other words, some type of blood to blood contact or if you had sexual relations with this child. You state nothing about the child's age, your age or the nature of your relationship. In a normal setting, household contacts are not at risk of acquiring HIV from indivuals that they live, work or play with.

2. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and do not treat viruses. There are very few effective anti-viral agents. An example would be acyclovir which is used for the treatment of Herpes viruses. So, taking antibiotics will not help fight viruses.

3. If you have had recurrent bacterial infections including pneumonia, I recommend having your physician test you for HIV as well as looking into other possible reasons for why you have been ill so frequently.

4. Yes, there have been babies born HIV negative from parents who are both positive. It is very important that this couple receive counseling and be on treatment. We know that women who are taking antiretroviral therapy (HIV medicines) and have an undetectable HIV viral load (in the blood) have a much lower chance of transmitting HIV to their baby than a HIV positive woman who is not on HIV mediciations.

Your welcome. Hope this information is helpful

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