a sky full of lighters (metafictionally) wrote in little_details,
a sky full of lighters

Strains of HIV

Setting: Modern-day Portland, OR.
Searched: "testing for strains of HIV", "determining strains of HIV"

Background: Having previously worked as an HIV/AIDS health and sexuality peer educator (and having done an internship working with HIV-1 in a teaching hospital's lab), I'm fairly in the know about subjects related to HIV/AIDS. I know about transmission and types and all that good fun, so background information isn't necessary! I just left my Book O' Facts at home (no, I really do have one, it was given to me by my old job).

Character in question was infected with HIV, is being treated, etc. He's started to attend support group meetings (specifically, a social networking group for HIV+ men in the Portland Metro area), and has met someone he may be interested in dating.

I understand, of course, that just because two men (or two women, or a man and a woman, interchange at will) are both HIV+ does not in any way mean that they can have unprotected sex without repercussions. Because of the fact that more often than not, each person would be infected with a different strain of HIV, unprotected sex could result in a double HIV infection, which would be bad for obvious reasons.

Searching with Google-fu has given me a whole plethora of interesting but unhelpful information, so I thought I would put it to you: Is there any way to determine whether or not two people have the same strain of HIV? I'm doubting it, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Tags: ~medicine: illnesses: hiv/aids

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