HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Any help appreciated - scared :(

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I had protected vaginal intercourse with a lady last Thursday. As far as I know, the condom stayed in tact and, there was s***men in the tip which further confirms this. When I went to the bathroom to dispose of it I noticed some blood on my face. At the time I thought nothing of it. Later I found out the woman was on the last day of her period and it was menstrual blood (most likely).

Three days later I developed a really high fever, night sweats, headache and exhaustion. I had no sore throat but did have nasal congestion and a slight cough - my doctor said it was a flu like viral infection and, when I asked if it was ARS/serconversion he said it was very unlikely. Also my best friend who is a DR said that ARS after 3 days is too early.

I'm really scared at the moment and keep going through these "what if" situations. Unfortunately I was drunk at the time so I keep thinking I may have been "careless" or put myself at risk. Can someone please answer these questions?

1. Was my risk/exposure to HIV zero?
2. Is 3 days after exposure too early for ARS?
3. If the condom had broken I would have known right?
4. Could menstrual blood have entered the condom and infected me in any way?
5. Could blood have been passed from my hand into my body/mucous membranes in anyway?

It was too dark to notice any blood on the outside of the condom. Also, she was fingering herself on ocassions and may have touched my penis or other parts of my body after.
I am stressing purely because of the flu like illness I developed three days after exposure. I always practise safe sex and, I think its more the sight of blood and knowing HIV is a blood borne virus which triggered this reaction.

Andy - I have been in this situation and you have helped me once before. Unfortunetly I've slipped through the cracks again and let my mind get the better of me - any help is appreciated.


Matty the Damned:

You did the right thing and had protected vaginal sex. As such you don't have to be worried about HIV in this case. The fact that you appear to have come into contact with menstrual blood makes no difference whatsoever.

You need to know that symptoms, or the lack of them, mean nothing when it comes to diagnosing HIV. Since you've not placed yourself at risk of being infected your symptoms will have some other cause. Work with your doctor to determine the cause.

Having said that, all sexually active people should have a full STD screen at least once a year. Twice is better. If it's been a while since your last full screen or if you've not had one before you should make an appointment with your local sexual health service. Check out your Telstra phone book to locate your nearest SHS. Please note I'm not suggesting that you need to test for anything as a result of this sexual encounter, rather it's a good habit to get into.

Finally you might like to take the time to check out our Welcome Thread to learn more about how HIV is and is not transmitted.

(Who is an Aussie himself)

Thanks buddy - that is reassuring. One question (I promise not to drag this out...)

I know I shouldn't diagnose myself with symptoms but, can flu like symptoms 3 days after an exposure be HIV ARS related? This is what freaks me out the most. Exactly three days after the incident this flu/viral infection hit me from nowhere - one minute am ok, next im sweating and knocked out in bed. Appreciate your thoughts.

Thank you.

Matty the Damned:

No, ARS (or as we call it down here -- seroconversion illness) doesn't rock up three days later. That's WAY too soon. But it's also not relevant in this case. You used a franger and therefore couldn't have contracted HIV.

Really there's no need to test for HIV as a result of this.

Remember too that it is winter down here in the Land of the Long Weekend and we're experiencing an unbelievable cold and flue season this year. My guess is you've landed a simple dose of the wog.



Thanks - feel a lot better now mate!

I probably got it from the Shisha I was smoking/sharing with friends Friday night.....great way to exchange saliva. In fact a friend who was there also wound up sick with the flu.....but of course, my mind won't let me believe something logical like that. Or the fact that my office is plagued with flu victims.....well the nation is.

Ok I'll stop ranting and return to reality :)

Thanks again - you guys do a great job here.


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