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Living with a spouse with AIDS

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I just figured out my husband has AID. our son is 2 months old and during my pregnancy I had test twice for HIV. result was negative. we during 2.5 years had unprotected sex. his previous wife and daughers are also negative even though he was sick before they where born (thoug hhe figured out about desease 10 years after that). How it is possible and is I didn't get infected by now can I in future?

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replied December 16th, 2009
HIV and AIDS Answer A8516
Hello, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem to be concerned about what saved you from contacting HIV even after 2.5 years of unprotected sexual intercourse with your husband who is living with AIDS and worried about the future chances of contacting the same.
Well, I will help you by sharing the results of some studies conducted regarding the transmission among heterosexual partners one of whom is HIV positive and other one is HIV negative or of unknown status. Heterosexual contact is responsible for 35% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States today; 64% of these heterosexually acquired infections occur in women suggesting more efficient male-to-female transmission than female-to-male transmission. In the study published in 2001 from Rakai, Uganda, the chief predictor of heterosexual transmission of HIV was the level of plasma viremia. Transmission was rare when infected partner had a plasma level of <1500 copies of HIV RNA per ml. Younger age and genital ulceration seen in sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, chancroid and herpes simplex virus also increased the probability of transmission per coital act. In other studies, lack of circumcision has been strongly associated with a higher risk of HIV infection in males from their female partners.
So, in your case you might not have contacted HIV because of low plasma viremia in your husband or the absence of other cofactors such as genital ulcerative STDs.
In future, the foremost would be to follow safe sexual practices such as the use of condoms, refraining from anal intercourse and treating any ensuing ulcerative STDs promptly and to reduce the viral load by interventions and keeping CD4 count high in your husband by therapy so that chances of contacting HIV are further lessened . But the risk of transmitting the infection can never be brought down to zero.
Hope this helps. Take care.

Note:This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.
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