Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

Reinfection

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cockar:
Hi everyone, so I have a question, just that I wasn't sure where to post it...

Me and my partner we're both HIV+, we both are taking Atripla and we do take care of each other... We still have sex, we use condoms but I'm pretty worried about any reinfection.
Last night the condom torn and Im pretty worried about a reinfection. I understand getting reinfected would be terrible for our organism and we could stop responding to treatment... DO you suggest me anything?
I have an appointment with my dr until next friday but I need an urgent opinion.

Jeff G:
You can relax ... the whole super infection thing is way overblown and although its possible its highly unlikely , very highly unlikely that you and your partner who are on treatment and probably with very low viral loads would come to harm from a broken condom or if you didn't use them at all . I will add that condoms are a pretty good idea if you are not in a monogamous relationship because of other STD's , not HIV .


Some doctors trot out super infection scare tactics because they don't like the idea of people with HIV having sex . In my humble opinion super infections are not quite as rare as unicorns but close . You really shouldn't be worried about this but its understandable that you do because of all the hype and misinformation on the subject .     

leatherman:
so far in all the dozen or so cases of reinfection/superinfection, neither partner was on successful therapy (on meds with UD viral loads) - that is both partners either were not on meds or were not adherent so both had high viral loads. Therefore one partner had the high viral load making it easy for him to infect the partner, while the partner had no defenses and so was reinfected.

the first report I ever read about this was about two guys. Both were in the hospital on failed therapy (not just poor adherence but NO adherence) with viral loads so high they were experiencing OIs (and that's why they were in the hospital) They actually had sex in the hospital. (can you imagine?? so sick you're hospitalized with AIDS and yet running down the hall to screw another patient?!?!) Testing showed that not only did they have their mutated resistant HIV; but the mutated resistant HIV from the other partner - which ended up drastically limiting their medical options.

For most people, not only does an UD viral load reduce the chances of spreading HIV to nearly zilch; but when on successful therapy, your HAART acts as both PrEP and PEP making any sort of reinfection probably even rarer than unicorns. LOL

jkinatl2:
If you are mutually monogamous I would not hesitate to advise ditching the condoms if you want.

This as a safer sex educator since 1994, and a moderator on the AM I INFECTED forum.

Seriously, no risk for superinfection, reinfection, or any other HIV malady.

tednlou2:

--- Quote from: Jeff G on August 25, 2013, 11:42:56 AM ---Some doctors trot out super infection scare tactics because they don't like the idea of people with HIV having sex . In my humble opinion super infections are not quite as rare as unicorns but close . You really shouldn't be worried about this but its understandable that you do because of all the hype and misinformation on the subject .   

--- End quote ---

This is what I've come to believe.  I hear experts say it is very rare and mostly happens in early infection, if at all.  But, you still have so many healthcare workers in HIV medicine say it can happen much later.  They do usually say it is still rare.  I can see why so many are confused about the truth.  I have wondered whether they just aren't up on the science, or whether it is a scare tactic.

I've also had a couple HIV medical professionals claim they've seen "several" non-adherent patients pass on drug resistance to their partners.  I asked if both were taking the same regimen and the other WAS adherent, how could this happen.  They said the other partner was on another regimen (or had not started meds yet) and needed to switch (or start), and they learned resistance had shown up that wasn't previously there.  It seems I mentioned this here before, and many said drug resistance doesn't happen in this way either, or is as rare as "superinfection."     

So, what does the science tell us on this?  Do you have to worry about your partner, or trick, not being adherent, in terms of your own drug efficacy?  I mean, I know drug resistance can be passed along in initial infection.  I know being infected with a different strain, when you're already infected, has been shown to be rare, and something that would be seen during early infection, if at all.  That question comes up a lot.  Passing drug resistance is not a question you see as much. 

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