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HIV Prevention Message Board

HIV Prevention Board Index

Re: Odds
Dec 13, 2008
If I didn't state this in my prior post, I'm not a professional, but I am a person living with HIV. It's interesting, humans love to push that risk/odds envelope. And trust me when I say humans, I do include myself.

There have been numerious studies of mixed status couples and their sexual practices...condom, no condom. One such study published in 1994 in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at 256 heterosexual mixed status couples. Of the 124 couples that consistently used condoms, none of the HIV-negative partners were infected. Among the 121 couples that did not consistently use condoms, 12 (about 10 percent) of the HIV-negative partners became infected. Additional studies found similar results. How is it possible that only 10% of the unprotected sexual activity between + and - people resulted in transmission?

When it comes to HIV there ARE many more issues to its transmission than comdom use, or not condom use. But focus on the most telling data; couples who always wore condoms NEVER transmitted the desease. VERY TELLING!

Research has shown it's not the easiest virus to catch. Some poz-partners may be on treatment which reduces the amount of viral load in their system and therefore, in their secretions. We know different fluids from a positive person will have different concentrations of the virus. That's why you are less likely...and I say less likely, to get HIV from pre-cum than from cum. Pre-cum has less virus.

Can a person on medications with a virol load 'non-detectable' still transmit the virus? Indications are no, but there are still ODDS. Why odds? -- Because we are humans. As I always tell people, "we live our lives on a bell curve". Every example, every interation of mankind can be placed on a bell curve. And when we go to have intercourse we bring with us a million interations of ourselves. Whereas HIV in and of itself may not be easy to catch, HUMANS ARE COMPLEX and we complicate the issue.

For you I would say no one can give you the odds as to why you did not contract HIV. What they will tell you is you seem to be in a subset of people who have had unprotected sex with an HIV infected person and did not yourself become infected. Although the subset exists, they don't know why...and therefore would never say never. Some researchers believe it has to do with the number of times you're exposed and when. Meaning your physical situation...coming off the flu, a cold, or so on. In the same vain there are infected people who never go on meds. Their bodies manage the virus and keep it in check. Their viral loads never go above 1000. Amazing -- it's about 2% of the population of infected people. Do the math...of the 1.4 million people infected in this country alone, its 48,000. LUCKY, but not many. I know I'm not one.

There are a lot of issues to how the virus is tranmitted, it's complicated. But thank God science is working to resolve and understand those issues. Again, the study says it all, "no couple wearing a condom 100% of the time in a mixed status relationship transmitted the virus".

It's the best I have for you,
Good Luck

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