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New Relationship

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roger1234:
Hello all
The person I am dating has been HIV positive for three years.  It was caught early and they have been on ARTs the whole time - a generic Atripla (Teevir).  Always undetectable once taking medication.

I want to make sure this person is getting good care as they are in a third world country so not sure how good the health care system is and also want to protect myself.  They have only ever gotten viral load tested three times and the last time was a year ago (always good CD4 and undetectable viral load).  From research I see six months is the recommendation for a person with stable undetectable results...so my question is can I rest assured this person is in all likelihood still undetectable one year from last check-up, and still healthy provided they consistently take their meds (which he does)? 

I couldn't find much for statistics for patients whose VL remains undetectable once on medication but I've read about "blips" and loss of efficacy of medicines in certain cases.

I am aware about all the U=U stuff and we still use condoms, I just would feel better with more frequent testing which in our situation is difficult.
thanks

Jim Allen:
Hiya,

VL testing is recommended every 6 months correct, although in places where viral load testing is at a premium for the select few things like the U=U messaging is lost at the moment. Before it begins to work in resource-poor settings more development/funding of viral load testing is required.

I'm pretty sure it was Breda Gahan who was telling the story about someplace she was working where the nation only had 1 lab with VL testing capabilities for the entire nation.

Unfortunately, health care or access to health care is not equal.

Jim

roger1234:
Thanks Jim, any insight on the second part of my question? 

"so my question is can I rest assured this person is in all likelihood still undetectable one year from last check-up, and still healthy provided they consistently take their meds (which he does)?"

Jim Allen:
HIV meds just work to suppress the virus, they don't make someone healthy as such and healthy is a wide concept.

Presuming your partner has good adherence and no resistance issues I would assume he will remain undetectable but without regular VL testing to confirm that there is no level of guarantee

harleymc:
First up congratulations!

Not knowing what country you're talking about, we can't advise whether testing more often than once a year is possible, but a local HIV support organisation should be able to tell you.

I had to hassle my doctor to get 6 monthly testing. She didn't see the need but because my lover is negative I wanted that knowledge for both our peace of mind.

Once again congratulations on your new love.

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