HIV/AIDS Basics

What Is HIV?

Let's start with the basics: HIV is short for "human immunodeficiency virus." You can get HIV through condomless sex or by sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs.

The Latest

Could I Have Passed HIV to My Kid Through Saliva?

I am HIV undetectable for about one year now. Accidentally, I licked my finger and swiped a small scratch on my 4-year-old kid. Is there any chance that I have passed the HIV to him?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

46 Years Old and Concerned About the Future

How long can someone live with AIDS? Can a 46-year-old get a 45-year-old woman pregnant without getting her HIV positive?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

Non-Nucleoside Resistance and CCR5 Gene Therapies

The version of the virus I acquired had already developed resistance to non-nucleosides. With many of the gene editing therapies in the pipeline targeting the CCR5 gene, I'm wondering if my variant requires that gene to infect a cell?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

Will Starting HIV Treatment With a Low CD4 Count Hurt My Lifespan?

I read recently that, even though longevity is increasing for HIV+ people, people who begin treatment with a low CD4 count will probably live a shorter period of time. Do you feel this is true?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

Does a Viral Load of 16,000 Mean I Might Transmit HIV?

My viral load is 16,100. Is it possible that I can pass HIV to someone else, even if I only had sex with them three times?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

Why Can't Semen Be Tested for HIV?

It is understood that HIV can only be detected by blood samples. Am I right or wrong? Why can't semen be tested for traces of HIV?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

How Long Does My Husband Have?

My husband was diagnosed with AIDS. He had thrush, cryptococcal meningitis, and now the fly. His counts are holding steady (undectable at times) but he's so frail looking. How long can one live like this?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.

Late HIV Diagnosis: Have I Been Doing Well Enough on Treatment?

I was diagnosed with HIV seven years ago with a CD4 of 150 and viral load of 3,000. I started treatment and today I have an undetectable viral load and CD4 of 840. Is my evolution until today good?

By Mark Holodniy, M.D.