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Author Topic: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?  (Read 7167 times)

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Offline air08

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Here is my story, and if anyone can throw in any statistics or anything to ease my mind, or just give me feedback I would greatly appreciate it... Thanks  :-\

On October 11th, I started becoming sexually active with a guy that I met. Our activites included oral sex( I was the giver, and the receiver each time) in which he never actually ejaculated in my mouth. There was precum. In addition to the oral, we had intercourse as me being the bottom each time. Each time, a condom was used. There were a few times in which he didn't even ejaculate. I understand condom use is a GREAT practice and I use use them always. Before he put it on, I am concerned that he may have rubbed his penis (with precum) on my anus for a few seconds. There was rimming involved, and some fingering as well (with me being the receiver each time, as well).

From October 11th- October 20th, there were about 5 occurances, and each was the same situation as described above. He NEVER fully ejaculated in my anus (without a condom) or in my mouth. The condom never seemed to break, and he also assured me it didn't.

On October 21st, this partner told me that he was HIV positive. He also advised me that his viral load is undetectable and has been for 3 years, and he takes very good care of himself with medication and goes a few times a year to his HIV specialist. I felt like I was going to curl up into a ball and die right at that moment (excuse me for the theatrics, but it was the first time someone I was with actually told me they were poz). I immediately got tested that day to make sure I was negative myself. (I tested negative about 6 months prior to this as well, so I just wanted to confirm I was okay before being with him). The resultes were negative.

I went back 9 days after last possible exposure (18 days after first) on October 29th, and the result again was non reactive. I understand the window period of 6 weeks. (Average seroconversion time being 3-4 weeks in the majority of people)

I have a test scheduled for November 19th, which would be 30 days since last possible exposure, and 39 days since first possible. The average time between both being about 5 weeks. When I go, I could estimate that by average statistics I'd PROBABLY test positive, if in fact I was, by then. I also plan on going a few weeks after that to confirm.

With each day that passes, I feel more and more anxious, and depressed. I know that he never ejaculated in me without a condom on, which is excellent. I am just very worried about the oral sex with some precum- even though it's technically low risk, or theoretical. I think over all, this is just the biggest wake up call I've ever had in my life. I see commercials it seems more frequently lately about HIV, and like I said I am just more of a wreck with each day that passes.

After about 2 weeks, during the first week of November, I had a cold. It IS cold season, and the symptoms were not of acute hiv infection. Runny nose, congestion, and a little cough being the only symtoms. I also noticed a small canker sore under my tongue which lasted a couple days then went away ( I understand this could be from stress, and also the cold itself... but what if it's from HIV?) Something in the back of my mind is always looking for things to point out about HIV, which creates more stress.

If someone took the time to read this, and if people want to continue to post to it, answering some of my questions about possible risks, and if I should be worrying as much as I am, please feel free.

I really need some guidance...

Thanks,
E.

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 12:09:13 PM »
E,

I don't expect your results to change - in fact, you don't really need further testing. There are thousands of serodiscordant couples where the negative partner remains negative. In fact, there have been studies done on such couples and the results show that as long as condoms are used consistently and correctly, transmission does not occur. The only seroconversions in the studies happened in the couples who sometimes didn't bother with the condoms.

Read through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them cofidently. They really do prevent hiv infection.

You need to always use condom with anyone, please remember that. You may well have been with other hiv positive partners, but you (and possibly they) didn't know. Your condom use is what keeps you hiv negative, not what someone tells - or doesn't tell - you about their hiv status. Keep using the condoms and you'll be fine!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 Andy Velez

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2007, 12:11:51 PM »
The most important thing in all of what you are reporting is that condoms were used everytime you had intercourse. They provide very effective protection. When they are used the HIV status of your partner becomes irrelevant. They do the job and protect you.

Receiving oral, being fingered, rimmed or rimming and having his penis rub against your anus are not risks for transmission. As far as giving oral, there is much more evidence that points to either low or non-risk than to it being risky, especially if ejaculation doesn't take place. The few cases which have attributed HIV transmission to someone having sucked a guy are questionable as to how solid the information has been and other risk factors were involved.

The longterm studies of sero-discordant couples both gay and straight with lots of mutual oral unprotected and lots of protected intercourse have resulted in not a single sero-negative partner having become infected. None. Zero.

The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. All but the smallest number who will seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure to the HIV virus. 13 weeks is the point at which the CDC suggests for a definitive result.

Essentially you are testing for peace of mind. Nothing you have reported suggests to me that you will get other than a negative test result. If your cold or other symptoms persist that's something to discuss with your doctor.

I expect you to come out of this ok, your fears notwithstanding.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2007, 05:14:17 PM »
I really appreciate the time you've given in responding to me. Deep down I think I am okay, but I am someone who sometimes over thinks things to my detriment.

The thing is, I really do like this guy. Of course, my main concern is protecting myself with him. I liked that you threw in some statistics on +/- couples. The thing I was worried about the most was oral. I think I plan on continuing something with him, and the reason I am so set on testing so much is because for that first week I felt as though I should have been told. I know I should have asked, but I knew we were using a condom so I didn't. But if I test negative after all that happened, then going forward I will feel more in control over the situation and will feel better.

I feel a lot better after your responses. At night is when I start worrying the most and get myself worked up. I start thinking about if I'd be able to tell my parents, or friends. I think of that more than dying from it, because I know HIV is no longer a death sentence if you are treated properly and take care of yourself. The stigma behind HIV is so overwhelming it's scary. More people should be informed about REAL risks, and realize people with HIV aren't monsters and it could happen to anyone.

After all this worry is said and done, I really feel as though I want to start contributing to HIV awareness and funding, because this truly is an eye opener.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2007, 05:53:36 PM »
It seems as if you have given some thoughtful time to considering the whole HIV experience. In this ongoing age of the epidemic that's a good idea. Lots of people both gay and straight are having great relations in sero-discordant relationships and successfully protecting the status of the seronegative partner. Mainly it just means always using condoms for intercourse.

Good luck with continuing to find your way with your friend in particular and this issue in general.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 12:27:53 PM »
Ann,

You said that you don't feel the need for me to get tested again. The last time I was tested was only 9 days after last *possible exposure. Given the window period, do you think I should still get tested on my scheduled date, at 30 days? I think that will be more of an accurate result, don't you think?

I am really trying to get the facts about HIV transmission and all of its possibilities before jumping to conclusions. Last night my current partner who advised me of his positive status, had a small pimple, which was bleeding a little bit because it was almost dried up and immediately I just get so worried and overwhelmed with anxiety and for the rest of the night felt uncomfortable with him even kissing me. I am trying to see if I can continue with this, especially after knowing I am definitely negative. I don't want to be one of those people who gets freaked out over little things, but maybe it's not for me? :(

If you have any words of wisdom, again, I'd appreciate it...

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 12:48:02 PM »
air,

Since the two of you used condoms, you aren't IN a window period. You haven't had a risk. You can test every single day of your life, but unless you've engaged in risky behaviour, you aren't going to test positive. Whether or not you test at 30 days is up to you. Anyone who is sexually active should be tested at least once a year, or twice if you're very active, but it would be madness to test after every single sexual encounter, especially when condoms were used.

Small, bleeding pimples aren't a risk factor either. If hiv were that easy to transmit, hiv negative people would be very much in the minority.

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 air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2007, 11:48:09 AM »
Well, today after work I am going for another test. Today is the 30th day from my last possible exposure to HIV from getting a tiny bit of precum in my mouth from oral sex. Given the average seroconversion time, I am just past 4 weeks. I'm very anxious today, because my last test was after only 9 days. If it was going to be positive, it's a better chance it will be today, based on timing. I appreciate your concern and assurance that I really don't need to test again. Each day gets a little better, I am just really hoping today turns out to be a good day!!  :o

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2007, 08:56:38 PM »
Well, it's World AIDS Day, and it's just a coincidence that today is actually my 6 week mark EXACTLY since my last exposure. The last time I posted was at 32 days, a little over 4 weeks and my results were negative. I have an appointment on Monday. We know my situation with having oral (he never came in my mouth) and anal (he used condom, he came once or twice with it on, but most of the times he didn't cum at all). I have had a cold for a while, and I know it is cold and flu season... I am getting a cough now too (Germs definitely don't make things easy when you're already kind of freaking out, do they?!) I just want some extra words of wisdom here, and if I was to continue having sex with this guy (I am really considering not) and if I don't perform oral on him, and he uses a condom- there really isn't a need to keep getting tested is there? Please respond, thanks...

-E

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2007, 10:06:05 PM »
With the use of condoms and having oral sex. You don't need testing. You didn't have a risk.

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2007, 04:18:20 AM »
air,

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 (twice is better if you're very active) and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

However, that does NOT mean you need to test after each and every sexual encounter you have - as long as you are using condoms for intercourse.

I'm not expecting your negative results to change.

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 Andy Velez

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2007, 09:18:26 AM »
E, anytime you have sex with anything other than your own hand there is risk. Even if it's only theoretical. But having said that, as long as condoms are consistently used for intercourse, they do the job and provide very effective protection. Dealing with this issue and your health in general is simply a part of your life for which you are responsible. 

You've already been told that giving oral is really more theoretical than actual as a risk. The few cases of transmission attributed to having happened that way are of questionable reliability. There is much more evidence through longterm studies of sero-discordant couples that it is NOT risk since none of the sero-negative partners have ever become infected. What it comes down to in this particular area is what level of risk you are willing to accept.

I can tell you that many, many thousands of both gay and straight couples have healthy sex lives together using condoms for intercourse and unprotected oral and are effectively protecting the status of the negative partner.

It sounds like you're interested in this guy. If you are then you ought to talk with him about this and hopefully find a way to work things out to your mutual satisfaction. From my point of view what you are expressing is an understandable concern, and one that with consistently responsible behavior on both parts can be resolved while still maintaining the relationship. But you will have to decide if this guy means enough to you to be worth working through your feelings and not allowing his HIV status to be the cause of ending your relationship.

As far as testing is concerned I do expect you will continue to test negative in relation to these recent episodes.

Andy Velez

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 10:04:22 PM »
Thank you for your input once again. I find myself having good days where I feel great about it, then others where it can probably even be seen in my face that I am scared/nervous all over again. I guess that's life. He actually has an appointment with his HIV specialist this thursday and invited me to go. I think I might take him up on the offer.  I guess lately I've been the type of person to dwell on things, but I'm glad you said I do have a reason to at least be concerned. I will continue to update as I go along and really can not express enough how grateful I am that there is a website that covers all of this info!

Thanks

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2007, 03:11:40 AM »
air,

If your friend is asking you to go with him to his appointment, I'd take that as a sign that he likes you and wants you to be comfortable in your budding relationship. If you like him too, take him up on his offer. As Andy mentioned, there are thousands of serodiscordant couples (where one is poz, one neg) all over the world who protect the negative partner's status by the simple use of condoms for intercourse. There are some on this website who have been in this type of relationship for years and years, without the negative partner being infected.

There have also 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. These studies went on for years and involved hundreds of couples. That's a lot of nookie - with no transmissions when condoms were used consistently.

Like Andy, I also fully expect you to continue to negative.

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 air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 11:58:25 AM »
Thanks guys.

I actually couldn't go with him today because I couldn't get off of work, but it looks like everything is the same with him as it has been over the last couple of years with each check up. So that is good. Last night we had sex with a condom, he gave me oral, and I gave him oral with a condom on his penis. I know this is really good safe behavior. I hear it from you, and hear it from others- however, each time at least for a few minutes I stop and think "What if..." I know it may be paranoia, but whatever it is happens each time.  I may need to talk to him about that. I just feel very uncomfortable because I don't want to continuously make it a big deal each time, like "Did you check the condom?" "Are you sure it didn't break" "Maybe you should just pull out before you ejaculate, even though you have a condom on?" These race through my mind for a few minutes following any safe play we have. Do you think this is normal?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2007, 04:20:17 PM »
Usually I don't find the use of the term "normal" to be helpful in a situation like yours. To me it's really a matter of when and if things become unmanageable.

You need to be talking with this guy and letting him know where you're at with your concerns within the context of having other feelings as well. You can be truthful without dumping. He may have some things he needs to express as well. So I'd say see what you two can sort out together. Somewhere along the line you ought to be able to get an idea of where you're at together and for yourself to differentiate between you are understandably concerned about the risk issue as contrasted with being over-the-top nuts about it.

 
Andy Velez

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 08:23:46 PM »
Thanks

I'm really trying to think logically.... I know the risk is almost non-existant in terms of having protected anal intercourse and protected oral... I just don't know if I can shrug off the what if's, no matter how much I like him. Even though I am being safe, in my mind I'm constantly thinking that ok yesterday was the last time we had sex (protected) so now I have to get tested 6 weeks from now. The whole window time thing is really on my mind. And this whole experience is definitely a real life awakening, in good and bad ways. One, I'm happy he told me even if it was after our first encounter. But secondly, I hope I can rid the fear of becoming infected even with condoms. I'm very sad tonight :(  Not looking for a pity party, just venting I guess?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2007, 04:33:34 AM »
You're not listening. Protected anal sex and protected oral sex are not low risk behaviours, they're no risk behaviours. Test all you want, the results will be negative.

MtD
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 05:01:53 AM by matty.the.damned »

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2008, 11:44:32 PM »
Good evening,

It's been a while since I've posted on here, just giving you an update. I am still seeing that guy who told me he was positive. Safe sex has been practiced and I feel a little less anxiety than I did initially (with good reason). I had my 6 week test on Dec 3, and it was negative. I will be going this week, which will be the 13 week mark just for a conclusive result. Nothing since then put me at risk (took everyones advice and stopped worrying about protected sex and getting blow jobs- it was really driving me crazy). I will keep everyone informed on my next result. Just wanted to thank everyone, Ann, Andy, etc for being there for people. I really needed some guidance and you provided that for me in a time of need and concern. Happy New Year!

-EB

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2008, 11:53:00 PM »
Honestly I wonder why we bother.

Your six week test is conclusive. You were never at risk. You had protected butt sex, remember?

You don't need to test at 13 weeks. I know you will, but you don't need to.

MtD

Offline air08

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Re: Possible exposures. I'm getting very stressed. Someone please respond?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2008, 11:53:18 PM »
Um, well my doctor advised me that it would be a good idea because this being the first time someone is positive and informing me of it, like many people, I'd worry. This isn't like I'm coming on here saying I shared a spoon with someone who MAY have HIV. I feel as though I had a good reason to post on here, and I followed what people advised me to do for my own mental reassurance. I was thanking everyone for advice, and yes I tested negative again, and can move on with my life. If you feel it necessary not to "bother"-- then don't. :)

Andy and Ann, thanks again. You definitely know your stuff, and can get your points across with o u t being rude.

 


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