If I Were to Test Positive?

Dear Christine,

I recently had a sexual encounter with someone other than my wife. Iím worried, scared and wondering what I should do if I were to test HIV positive. First, should I inform my wife? And second, what should I do about the medications?

Thanks for your help,

Dave

Dear Dave,

Testing HIV positive does not indicate that you have a current infection with HIV. Even if it did, there is still no easy answer about the drugs. Years of failed treatments and mounting evidence of serious and even lethal toxicities have changed the view of many AIDS experts. When patients are in good physical condition and have no health risks for developing AIDS, more and more doctors suggest avoiding AIDS drugs. Itís hard to say whether the adverse effects may compromise the quality of your life or cause you to lose your liver.

Since HIV has not been shown to cause destruction of immune cells either directly or indirectly, in my opinion attacking a virus you may not have or that might not cause harm with extremely toxic drugs known to cause harm is a very questionable course of action.

I'm not sure what you mean when you ask whether you should inform your wife. I canít advise on telling her about your extramarital encounter, but in my opinion, healthy relationships require honest communication.

If you decide to take a test and your result is positive, I strongly advise that you inform your wife as soon as possible. Even though there is no evidence that a positive HIV test means youíre infected with HIV, itís imperative you make her aware of your status out of respect for what she may hold to be true about HIV and AIDS and the fact that you may be in violation of civil or criminal codes if you donít disclose.

If you were to test positive and didnít tell your wife, you can be sure sheíd find out anyway, and then in addition to facing her anger and loss of trust, you could find yourself facing a judge or jury and serious legal trouble.

Christine

HIV Antibody Test Certificate of Accuracy

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References

to Questioning The Test FAQ's - Current References for HIV Tests?

to T Cells and Viral Load