Hi Caroline,

Not direct experience, but I am on a good FIV yahoo group.  It is absolutely
true it is caused by deep bite wounds.  To make matters more complicated, a
positive test result can be caused by vaccinating the cat against FIV.
There is now a test to see if the positive result is caused by the FIV
vaccine or actual exposure to FIV, but it involves sending the blood off to
a certain lab in California, I believe.

Here is the FIV Yahoo group:


On 2/28/08, Caroline Kaufmann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Does anyone have any direct experience with FIV that they can pass on to
> me?  I know the gist of course, since I foster cats and have "met" *and
> lost the battle to*- both Felv and FIP in the past year (ugh).  I have
> heard that cats with FIV can be fairly successful- live heathly lives barely
> affected by the disease (is this true?), and it really is a lot like human
> HIV?  I have also heard this is the one retroviruses that is transmitted by
> deep bite wounds and NOT casual contact?
> I am going to help a man who has taken in a alley cat that hung around his
> house for about 3 years that tested positive of FIV.  He was clearly
> neutered by alley cat advocates b/c he has a tipped ear.  He says it's a
> wonderful, approx. 5 yo tuxie.  He has him in the bedroom for now (his only
> room with a door in his house) because his own cat is an extremely
> aggressive, neutered male and after 3 years of the tuxie hanging around
> outside, and being in the house for a while now- they can't sort out their
> differences and they will fight.  He wishes he could keep the cat but with
> his cat- being such an aggressive fighter, and the tuxie being a fighter
> when need be (alley cat mentality)-- he just doesn't see it as possible due
> to transmission to his cat.
> The cat did get outside and got in a fight recently- ended up with an
> abcess on his ear- being treated by a vet, stint put in and he has a f-u
> next week- but it was at that appointment that the vet found the FIV and
> said "segregate!"- as they always do.
> I am going to work to get the cat into our adoption program as a "special
> needs" cat in the hopes that someone w/o other cats, with a non-aggressive
> cat, with a docile female, with other FIV cats, etc., would be willing to
> take him on.  In the meantime, this man has agreed to continue to "foster"
> him in his home while I work to help him out with the situation.
> In the meantime, I want to build up my knowledge so that I have "talking
> points" for potential adoptive parents and I can educate if someone w/o
> prior FIV experience is willing to take him.  The man seems to understand
> that he could have a cat on his hands with something a lot worse (like Felv
> or FIP), so he's definitely not an overreactor and he seems well-educated.
> Any info that anyone has will be great!  Especially PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
> and/or accurate and trustworthy websites I can read and pass on to others!
> thanks,
> Caroline
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