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Author Topic: advice please  (Read 2647 times)

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Offline overseas worker

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  • Posts: 9
advice please
« on: August 11, 2008, 09:56:29 PM »
really appreciate that this forum exists and thanks in advance for the help.

I work overseas and need to be HIV tested to renew my visa.  The last time i was tested was 2.5 years ago and i tested negative (i actually tested 2-3 times including 6 months after the most recent encounter).

Since then, i have had relationships with 2 women as well as having used professionals probably 3-4 times.  I have had no unprotected intercourse with any of them, and never had a condom break.  I'm pretty fastidious and not a big drinker so i am quite certain about this.  I have also used american condoms that i buy each time.  i do not have herpes and have never had a sore, cut etc etc.

I have had oral/hand performed on me (always using a condom with a pro) and have fingered.

To get my visa renewed, i need to submit to a test by the government.  Do i have anything to worry about?  I am a little anxious about the whole thing - both about the risk and also about the potential that i may be informed by a foreign government.  I can travel out of the country and get a test in a more free environment if you think i have something to worry about.

I have read a few of the threads and apologize for the request, but i would greatly appreciate it if you could just review some of the basic research about protected transmission risk to hetero men.

Offline atlq

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  • Posts: 518
Re: advice please
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 10:49:31 PM »
Overseas,

Based on what you have written, you have nothing to be anxious about....Oral sex and handjobs are not routes of HIV transmission and since you had protected intercourse with each of your partners, there is no risk there either....


“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008, 01:08:32 AM »
i've read quite a few of the threads on here.  For insertive oral, fingering, it seems like the key point is that there has never been a documented case and the health authorities (like CDC)  refer to theoretical risk just to make sure people understand that there is, well just that.

for protected vaginal intercourse, it seems like there is less science quoted - just a basic statement that if you wear a condom you are protected and that condom failure is quite noticable etc.  I know the experts here have a lot of data and experieince and mentally it would make me feel a lot better if i saw some studies cited about transmission risk to hetero men through protected vaginal.  Sorry, it may be a often repeated question but to be honest there is a lot of information out there.

To say something is "no risk" is a pretty definitive statement, i would just appreciate maybe a pointer or two to some of the science behind that statement.  Thanks in advance and sorry to trouble you.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: advice please
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008, 04:38:29 AM »
You are asking why there isn't more on studies on hetros that use condoms? Is that what you are asking? Because if you use a condom correctly and consistently, you won't contract HIV. That goes for both straight and gay.

Offline overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008, 05:25:12 AM »
yes, sorry that is what i am asking.  In some studies, condoms are estimated to be 80-95% effective which on the face is low risk but still some risk.  On this forum the answer i see is no risk.

I am just wondering if the difference between 100% and 80% is slippage, breakage and unreported non-usage. 

You know, to be honest i don't know anything about this but like a lot of other people, i find it easy to get worried.  I would certainly hope condom makers make an effective product and i would have to believe that they would be under incredible scrutiny in terms of efficacy.  I know that condoms can break, be misused or people can forget them.  however, even cdc website states that latex condoms form an impermeable barrier to the pathogen.  I would imagine that there would be some massive lawsuits against the condom makers if condoms were not impermeable.  So i guess i understand that.

Basically what i am asking is if there is a 100% confidence interval in condom efficacy assuming no break.  from what i have read, about 5% of the cases in the US are hetero men, non IV users.  Is the basic assumption that non-usage or mis usage of condoms account for all of this?  Any population studies or screens on that to validate?

Like i said, i really have no idea.  I appreciate you taking the time to answer and stop people like me from freaking out - and for helping people look after their health.

I also know that the only way i can find out for sure is to test, which i have to do anyway.  I am just wondering if i should leave the country to have a pre-test somewhere i can be assured of patients rights.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: advice please
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 06:01:31 AM »
worker,

There have been long-term studies of couples where one is positive and one is negative. In the couples who used condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, but no barrier for oral activities, not one of the negative partners became infected with hiv. Not one.

Go take your test with confidence. You've done nothing to put yourself at risk for hiv infection.

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 overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 05:19:09 AM »
will do.  I feel better after this thread but still some lingering concern which i guess i need the test to completely dispell the feelings part.

I find it suprising that there is not a clearer set of messages out there in the media and on the web about condom use.

what you are doing here is far more important than what i do in my job.  i'm a little humbled to see people like you being able to help this many people.  God bless you.

Offline Ann

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  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: advice please
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 06:51:33 AM »
Worker,

The main reason we don't see clear, straightforward messages concerning safer sex and hiv transmission is because sex is such a loaded subject. There are people out there who would rather let people become infected through ignorance than talk about the real deal. It's all about political and moral agendas, rather than people's best interests.

Keep using those condoms (and make sure you check out the links in my signature line) you'll be just fine where hiv is concerned. Really! I was in serodiscordant relationship myself for eight years and he remained hiv negative, so I speak from experience as well as from extensive reading of peer-review scientific literature.

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 overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 07:46:56 PM »
i really appreciate your response and i sincerely hope this doesn't try your patience.  I have been putting of the visa process and test because i am just a little anxious.  I've spent the past few days thinking through every encounter over the past two years - and i am 100% confident that i did not have one single instance of any unprotected intercourse or any broken condoms.

However, two things are bothering me.  On the internet you can read about sero-discordant studies where a small percentage of consistent condom users became infected.  The other is the "condoms reduce risk by 85%" data point.

Now, i am feeling like it is unlikely i have " no risk".  Ami i off base?  I know i need to just go get this done either way, but i need to get my head straight.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: advice please
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 07:53:35 PM »
Worker,

I was in a serodiscordant relationship for over eight years. We used condoms for intercourse and nothing else. He is hiv negative to this day. There are other people on this forum who were/are also in serodiscordant relationships, some for many, many years with the negative partner staying negative through condom use.

Condoms prevent hiv infection. Now stop fretting and go take that test for your visa.

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 overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2008, 10:13:10 PM »
Ann, thanks for your help.  I appreciate the facts as well as some encouragement as you know this is not a subject that is easy to discuss.

Like many people i see on here, i am getting my head twisted around easily by a few things.  First, from everything i have read here, hiv/aids is non-symptomatic - you may or may not have had symptoms and if you do, they are remarkably similar to things that are also very common in the general population (cold, flu, etc).  I think that makes it very easy to start freaking yourself out.  Second is that there is a lot of information out there and much of it seems contradictory.  Last is good old fashioned guilt.

I've made my appt and will be getting it done this week.  Still feeling quite anxious although i have conclusively replayed everything that has happened to me in the past few years and i have not had a single instance of unprotected intercourse or condom breakage.  I just keep trying to stay busy with other stuff and remind myself of that. 

Thank you again, i will post back with the results.

Offline overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2008, 04:59:26 AM »
got my test done.  because it is a government agency, i have to wait a week to find out the results.

I have been pretty anxious over this - while the things you tell me help me think about the logical side, it's very hard not to get subsumed thinking about it.

Could use some moral support.  thanks to all

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 24,890
Re: advice please
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2008, 06:49:36 PM »
Like Ann I expect you to come out of this ok.

Condoms do the job very effectively as far as intercourse goes.

You can make your waiting week a lot easier to get through by getting productively busy with other matters. It really helps.

Good luck with what I expect will be a happy result.
Andy Velez

Offline overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2008, 12:48:42 PM »
I am now completely paranoid about this...I took my test 5 days ago and pick up my results in 2 days.  I can't stop going through the what if scenarios.

Am I needlessly worrying?  Right now, I don't have a lot of confidence - I am just worried sick.  Please help.

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: advice please
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2008, 12:58:20 PM »
worker,

Yes, you're worrying needlessly. Re-read your entire thread - there's nothing new to add.

I'm fully expecting you to test negative - and so should you.

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 overseas worker

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: advice please
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2008, 05:23:29 AM »
I picked up my results today and I tested negative.  It has been 52 days since my last encounter (protected with ex-girlfriend) and years since my last unprotected.  So, if you agree I will also consider this definitive in addition to renewing my visa.

I greatly appreciate all of your help and information.  God bless.

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: advice please
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2008, 08:26:34 AM »
Worker,

As protected intercourse is NOT  a risk for hiv infection, you are indeed hiv negative. Keep using those condoms and you'll stay that way.

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

 


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