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Author Topic: Risky exposure, but with protection.  (Read 6050 times)

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Offline worriedfromthailand

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Risky exposure, but with protection.
« on: July 23, 2007, 10:38:37 AM »
Hi all,

First, I would like to thank the owners and operators of this forum for providing this service which helps put minds at ease, and also provides support.  My heart was warmed to read posts in other sections of the forum that provide support for people dealing with and for those supporting others who are HIV+. 

After reading many of the posts here in the "Am I Infected" section, I have been quite relieved after living in a hell of guilt and paranoia for the past week since my encounter.  Still, I would like to present my personal situation and ask the experts for their opinion.

7 days ago, while in Thailand and while extremely drunk, I had 2 encounters with working girls.  I recognize this is not a forum for dealing with moral issues, but for the record, I feel very guilty and remorseful for having engaged in these acts.  In the first, I had vaginal sex with a condom with a girl who was menstruating.  After complaining about pain after only 1 or 2 minutes, she promptly left, and I then noticed the blood on the bed.  I quickly removed the bloody condom, but do not remember washing my hands (or my genitals).   What I do remember was that I was fidgeting with my contact lenses all night, and was using an eye dropper all night to relubricate my contacts.  This entails touching the area around my eyes to hold them open, though I do this with my left hand, and I am sure i would have removed the bloody condom with my right.  Am I at risk for contamination via eye from the bloody condom to the hand to the eye?

What worries me is that she left so quickly, and she kept talking about going to "eat pharmacy" (her english was not good).  Did she stop becuase she was guilty about having sex while being sick (perhaps with an STD)?  Did she need to go to the pharmacy to get her STD meds?  Did the blood i touched with my hand infect me via my eyes?

Shortly thereafter, I saw another girl, and there was some genital on genital rubbing (on the outside) and I felt via my hand that she had vaginal secretions at that time.  We went on to have protected sex with a condom.

Am I at risk in this situation either?  What worries me is the genital to genital contact which was unprotected (but lasted only 30 seconds).  She was not menstruating.

I realize after the fact that the night of escapades was dangerous, and I cannot believe that I would have done that in hindsight.

Thanks in advance

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 12:36:46 PM »
You were never at risk. Even if I don't have sex, I wash my hands before messing with my contacts.

Offline Ann

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 12:40:19 PM »
Worried,

No, nothing you describe is a risk for hiv infection. None of it. Condoms have been proven to prevent hiv infection and you did the right thing in using them.

Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus that is primarily transmitted INSIDE the human body, as in unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. The think you're worried about with your eyes is not a risk because the virus would (if it was present in the first place) have been outside the body and rendered unable to be transmitted.

The genital to genital contact is also known as frottage and frottage is not a risk for hiv infection.

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex with a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Although you do not need to test over these specific incidents, anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 12:51:03 AM »
I don't mean to be annoying, but I want to be very sure.

Based on what you're saying, it would be 100% silly for me to worry about being positive? 

@ RapidRod

Although you said I should wash my hands when dealing with my contacts, that is a SEPARATE side note, and has nothing to do with me being infected with HIV?  I cannot get HIV from rubbing my eyes with bloody hands?


Offline Ann

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 05:54:32 AM »
Worried,

Hiv is very fragile. As soon as it finds itself outside the human body, small changes in temperature, pH levels and moisture content quickly damage the outer covering of the virus. This outer covering MUST be intact in order for the virus to latch onto very specific cell types and infect them. This is why none of what you describe is a risk, including rubbing your eyes.

I used to wear contact and I agree with Rodney that you need to wash your hands before putting them in or taking them out. This has NOTHING to do with hiv and everything to do with ordinary bacteria. Take care of your eyes, they're the only ones you have.

As I told you above, as a sexually active person you should be testing for hiv and all the other STIs at least once a year, as a matter of ROUTINE. As long as you make sure you are using condoms, correctly and consistently for anal or vaginal intercourse, you can fully expect your ROUTINE hiv tests to return negative results.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2007, 02:05:56 AM »
Just out of curiousity, what makes the genital on genital contact a no risk activity?  I did have the head of my penis, and therefore my urethra, in direct contact with vaginal secretions (on the outside of her vagina) during this contact.

Thanks

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2007, 02:10:30 AM »
Well Worried,

The secretions from a woman that contain HIV (should she be HIV positive) are not found around the outside of her vagina and the vulva, rather they're found at the other end of the vagina, around the cervix which is inside the body.

Since the head of your penis wasn't near her cervix, you really don't have to be concerned about HIV in this instance.

MtD

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 12:33:37 PM »
Out of curiousity, what allows HIV to be spread via IV needles?  If the virus is not spreadable after leaving the body, what allows it to stay viable in a needle?  I don't really understand the mechanics of how it is spread from IV.  This is unrelated to my risky (or not risky) behavior, just a point of curiousity.

Thanks

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2007, 04:10:23 PM »
Blood to blood exposure. If you would have read the "Welcome" thread which says, please read first before posting you would have known.

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007, 09:15:41 PM »
Its been exactly three weeks from the last encounter and I have clogged sinuses and headache.  I know there is a forum policy to not discuss symptoms or lack thereof as a way to gauge infection, but I hope someone  can at least tell me if clogged sinuses are a potential symptom of seroconversion.  Please have sympathy, as the onset of symptoms and the three week timeline are very disconcerting and hopefully just freak coincidence.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 09:19:13 PM »
Hopefully? It IS just a freak coincidence. Your symptoms are not the result of HIV since you never had a risk in the first place. If you're feeling unwell see your doctor.

MtD

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2007, 12:59:58 AM »
Thanks for the reassurance.  I apologize, this is the only place where I can talk about any of this, so I am sorry if this is against the rules.  Please allow me rephrase the question.  Is nasal congestion one of the symptoms of seroconversion?


Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2007, 01:03:27 AM »
Thailand,

We don't discuss symptoms here because symptoms (or their absence) mean nothing when it comes to diagnosing HIV. What does matter is risk behaviours.

Now listen to me carefully honey:

You don't have HIV. You didn't engage in behaviour which would have exposed you to HIV. You don't have HIV.

Are you getting that?

Whatever is giving you a blocked nose, it's not HIV.

MtD

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2007, 01:12:43 AM »
Thanks.  I am putting it behind me.  I will get my regularly scheduled HIV test.  I'll let you guys know (you probably already know).

Offline Bucko

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2007, 02:41:00 AM »
Thanks.  I am putting it behind me.  I will get my regularly scheduled HIV test.  I'll let you guys know (you probably already know).

You cannot be infected without a risky activity, and you didn't have a risk.

Brent
(Who is glad Thai is putting it all behind him)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2007, 07:21:13 PM »
Hi guys,

I just wanted to check in, let you know how I'm doing.  It helps me to vent here, so if you don't care, I apologize in advance.

My symptoms went from sniffles, to fever, to semi sore throat, to a sensitive throat (its not in pain, but it gets tickled easily, and i cough a bit).  This is probably irrelevant information to all of you and will be ignored.  I just want to write it down so I can come back and look at it later.

I know I said that I'd forget everything and just move on with my life, but putting it out of mind is harder than I thought.  I am not here to ask more questions, just to vent.  I try to reconvince myself every day that you guys are experts, you know what you're talking about, and my fears are completely irrational.  Coming here and reading posts of others who have questions helps me.  One thing that helps me in particular is using the search function to find people who've had similar situations, and have put it behind them. 

I probably have a problem with paranoia, and I should seek help for it.  The paranoia is so bad, that I can't even enjoy pot!  I will probably seek help for it if it starts to degrade the quality of my life beyond an inability to enjoy weed, and this one time paranoia party after having sex in thailand.  This experience has definitly opened my eyes to one thing: paranoia is a powerful force to keep you in line.  I know I'll never engage in any even remotely risky activities for the rest of my life.  My goal is to never have to ask another question about potentially risky behavior in this forum again. 

I am coming up on 4 weeks since the incident.  I will get tested just for some peace of mind on the 6th week.  I will then get tested again at 13 weeks.  From what I read here, a 6 week negative result is a very good indicator, is this true? 

I hope I didn't offend any of you, and thanks for listening.

Offline Ann

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2007, 07:43:14 PM »
worried,

When you get your negative six week result, you can consider it conclusive as you didn't have a risk in the first place.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2007, 02:41:26 AM »
Do different strains of the virus have different transmission methods?  Is the fact that I was potentially exposed in Thailand have any bearing on your determination of my risk? 

Also, I've read elsewhere that vaginal fluids (even the ones not from the cervix) do have the virus present, and my urethra was definitly exposed to that fluid.  Why is there disagreement about vaginal fluids?

Thanks

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2007, 03:02:53 AM »
Worried,

Different strains of the virus do not have different transmission methods. You don't need to concern yourself with strains. So long as you understand that using condoms and water based lube will protect you from HIV, you'll be ok.

Oh also, you need to understand that YOU DIDN'T HAVE A RISK TO BEGIN WITH. Have we told you that already?

Also, I've read elsewhere that vaginal fluids (even the ones not from the cervix) do have the virus present, and my urethra was definitly exposed to that fluid.  Why is there disagreement about vaginal fluids?


We can't explain why some other websites make claims like this. All we can tell is that our advice is based on sound peer reviewed science and that's why we're right. You'll have to ask those other sites why they're giving you incorrect information about HIV.

You are HIV negative.

MtD

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2007, 08:22:02 PM »
im starting to go mad.  The paranoia is unbearable. Ive failed to mention throughout all this that i have a girlfriend that i love with all my heart.  I could not introduce condoms into our situation because she would have been very suspicious.  I had sexwith her a week after posting here, 2 weeks adter my protected encounter, and now today she is starting to exhibit the symptoms.  I know everyone says not to use symptoms as an indicator, but i have nothing else...  No one else who apends time with me has gotten sick.  Im so worried and scared right now.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2007, 09:12:39 PM »
Look Thai,

I'm sorry that you're having problems dealing with this, but the reality is that you don't have HIV. You had protected sex.

What you've got here is an attack of the screaming guilts and that's something we can't help you with. You should discuss these issues with a mental health professional.

MtD

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2007, 09:35:45 PM »
Intimate couples often pass various back and forth to each other. If you and/or your gf are having physical problems that's something to discuss with your doctor(s).

No matter what your head and the guilt machine you're lugging around so dramatically are telling you, this is NOT an HIV situation, no way, no how. Really.
Andy Velez

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2007, 12:01:40 AM »
I feel like the coincidence might be too much of one.  Her symptoms are different than mine.  She has a raised bumpy itchy rash on her cheek and chin (she never once mentioned a rash to me in the 4 years we've dated), and her throat is beginning to feel sore.

The lymph nodes under my chin and behind my ears are swollen.

I'm sorry, I am going nuts.  When she said the word rash to me, my heart sank.  Something funny is going on... 

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2007, 01:44:20 AM »
My right foot has been in pain since I first got sick.  I thought it was unrelated, but today I read online that foot swelling and pain in joints in the foot can be a sign of lymphedema.  My right foot is swollen!  I don't recall ever hitting my foot or causing any trauma too it that would make it swell and be in pain for over a week.  Additionally, the nodes in my neck, both under my chin and under each side of my jaws is slightly swollen.  My sore throat has persisted throughout the week, and is starting to get better.  I have never in my life had symptoms even remotely like this.  Please, I beg of you guys, give me some info about this? 

Also, this post on thebody.com from an "expert" said that there IS risk when menstrual blood is present.

http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Strippers/Q182205.html

Supposing I have the virus, what are the chances I passed it to my GF?  We had unprotected sex 3 times, but i could not complete the act becuase of guilt each time, and it always lasted less than 2 minutes.


Offline Ann

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2007, 04:30:40 AM »
worried,

Dr Bob said that condoms protect even against hiv infected blood. That doesn't say "risk" to me. Dr Bob always tells people to get tested - he's erring on the side of caution and the fact that some people may have had risks they didn't report.

Like you and your girlfriend. Did you two test for hiv and all the other STIs before you started having intercourse without condoms? Because if you didn't test, then you've been putting yourself at risk with her. Hiv can infect anyone, not just sex workers. It will infect when condoms aren't used and it won't infect when condoms ARE used. It's a simple concept.

Unless you and your girlfriend have tested TOGETHER, you should be using condoms. If you haven't tested together, then you need to test. Both of you. Not because of your sex worker incident, but because of any unprotected intercourse either of you may have had in the past.

Use condoms and prevent hiv infection - yes, even in the presence of menstrual blood. It really is that simple!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2007, 02:41:44 PM »
Unfortunately, neither of us has ever been tested.  I am trying to go get tested asap.  I will let you all know how it goes. 

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2007, 10:55:50 PM »
Do HIV Strains from around the world have different testing methods?  What is testing for HIV-1 vs testing for HIV-2?

Offline Ann

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2007, 05:03:46 AM »
worried,

Hiv-2 is rare outside certain West African countries or countries who play host to West African immigrants. Both strains are tested with an ELISA. If you want to know more about testing, read the Welcome thread like you're supposed to and follow the links.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline worriedfromthailand

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2007, 02:36:04 AM »
I know it seems like you can never get rid of some of the people who post questions, and I am truly sorry.  I am freaking out however and beg for your assistance.  Its been almost 2 weeks since I first reported symptoms.  My clogged sinuses went away within 24 hours, and gave way to fever for the following 24 hours, and a dry/sore throat with a dry cough for the past 1.5 weeks.  I am still coughing today.  About 1 week ago, my lymph nodes in my neck started to swell.  They are still swollen.  This freaks me out like you can't imagine.  I am going tomorrow @ 1pm to get tested.  Supposing my symptoms were becuase of acute HIV syndrome, would I be able to test positive already?  Will i have to get a confirmatory result at 6 and 13 weeks?  I am tired of not knowing.  I stay busy during the day, but those moments when I'm alone are dreadfully lonely, and all I can think about is the life I might have ruined (my girlfriend's).  I am ok with whatever fate happens to me, but if i did something to my GF, I would never forgive myself, and she wouldn't either.  I have no one else to speak to about this, so I keep coming back.  Please help.

Thank you,
worried.

Offline Ann

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2007, 05:21:16 AM »
worried,

If you test positive, it won't be as a result of your protected incident. Condoms prevent hiv transmission. I should know, I'm hiv positive and my long-term partner is hiv negative. He stays that way because we use condoms.

I'll put what I wrote above a different way. How do you know your gf hasn't put YOU at risk? You two need to test TOGETHER before you continue not using condoms.

As for your symptoms, forget it. Symptoms or even the lack of symptoms mean nothing when it comes to hiv infection. ONLY testing will reveal your (or your girlfriend's) hiv status.

If you're having physical worries, see your doctor. We cannot diagnose you here.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline worriedfromthailand

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2007, 03:23:16 AM »
I'm not here to bother you with questions about my situation anymore.  I never got tested, but I believe that I don't have HIV thanks to your counseling. 

HIV is still something that occupies my mind though, and I was wondering what the impact of something like this was

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/06/potential-cure-.html

I know there are news stories every so often about potential cures, but what is the deal.  Are there any that are actually really as close as the media say they are?  This one is rather recent, and was wondering your opinion about these things.

Thanks

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risky exposure, but with protection.
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2007, 05:44:41 AM »
Thai,

We're familiar with that research. If you'd like to read more about it and some of the discussion about that particular approach to treating HIV infection, you can do so in our Research Forum. Please note that you aren't permitted to post in that forum, but you are welcome to read there.

MtD

 


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