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Author Topic: Please help!  (Read 3588 times)

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Offline aaa

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Please help!
« on: September 10, 2009, 07:48:15 AM »
Hi experts, I want to firstly thank you all for your time with helping to address various concerns related to their stories. Your generosity is very much appreciated.

I'm an early 30 straight male, was tested for HIV earlier this year and result was negative.
Here is my story, and sorry it's a bit too long, I wanted to let it out in as much detail as I can to help you understand the situation I'm currently in. I've divided them into two categories based on their risk levels.

First:
Approximately 5 weeks ago, I had oral and vaginal sex with several (5 or 6) sex workers of unknown status in different days, all went protected with condom provided by the SW. At end of each incident, I checked to make sure the condom was intact by either filling it with water or air. There were a couple of times where I did not wash myself after sex, so, there could be vaginal fluid left on my testicles or public hair, which could directly or indirectly (through my underwear) touches my genital area.
All sex incidents here lasted just a few minutes.

Second:
There was one time (with one of the girls mentioned above), I had an unprotected fingering activity for a couple of minutes. I did wash my hands before and after with soap and hot water before touching anything else. My concern related to this particular incidence is that I have a bad habit of biting my nails and surrounding skins from time to time, but never to the point that it would cause to bleed. I did made sure there was no cut or opening (with blood) before inserting my finger into her vagina. However, there could be skin damage from washing with hot water prior to that as hot water makes skin soft and biting areas more obvious, but again, no blood involved.

Symptoms:
Since I didn't believe any of these incident would have put me at risk for HIV transmission, I went and had unprotected sex with my partner (HIV negative female) 3 weeks ago, and I ejaculated inside her for a couple of times. What really got me worried was that about 2 weeks after that, she got a fever of about 101 degrees, which lasted for a couple of days with help of medication, she also mentioned that she has experienced light joint pains and has been coughing for a couple of weeks since. There is no sore or anything. I haven't felt any of these myself. I have read from various sites and posts that fever and flu at 2-4 weeks mark is a pretty good indication of ARS.

Based on your feedback for other cases on this site, protected sex (using a condom, although I never checked for what type or brand of condoms, I believe they were all latex, not sure with or without N-9) can effectively prevent HIV transmission, and fingering activity carries no risk. Some sites however, classifies these with low risk activities (which means there are still chance that HIV transmission).

So, here are my questions:
(1) If condom was not broken or slipped off, and assuming using cheapest type of condom (unpopular branded), would there be any risk in what I have involved?
(2) Would area at the bottom of my penis or testicles that was not covered by the condom touching vaginal fluid carry any risk during or after the sexual activity?
(3) Does the unprotected fingering activity I described carry any risk of HIV transmission?
(4) Assuming there was some skin damage on my finger from washing and biting, how likely this will allow HIV virus to enter my bloodstream, in another word, how is it different between blood from a superficial cut and blood from bloodstream? (Again, I didn't see any cut or blood during that incident, but I'm just curious on how is the risk of fingering different from unprotected genital contact? They are all skins, right?)
(5) I sincerely hope her fever and flu symptoms are due to coincidence (traveling + flu/H1N1 season), but could you please describe, based on your experience with answering all these HIV related questions, how many people with these symptoms at this time frame actually lead to actual HIV transmission.
(6) Would you recommend testing based on the risk I have been involved? And when would be a good time to do so?

I'm extremely worried over this and there is no word can describe my regret and guilt right now. The idea of me catching and then passing that to her makes me feeling sick and losing appetite. I have learned my lesson, and I will never do this again, if there is still chance.

Thanks again.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 07:58:54 AM »
AAA. the bottom line in all of this is that you are worrying needlessly.

The main thing is that you wore condoms everytime for intercourse with your non-regular-partners. Condoms provide very effective protection against HIV transmission. If a condom breaks it's qute clear what has happened because it ends up looking like a fringed hula hoop on your penis. 

Your privates and underwear otherwise could have been dripping with vaginal juices and that still wouldn't have put you at risk. As far as sexual risk is concerned it's strictly about about unprotected intercourse and not any of the other activities you have mentioned.

You can't give your partner what you don't have. And you don't have HIV. There is no need for testing on your part. Your worrying is something that we run into very frequently with partners who have gone straying. You'r a dawg like a lot of us here and you went straying. You can't undo that. That's a part of your history now. Take a breath and get on with your life.

This is not an HIV situation. But if there was a test for guilt you would likely fail that one. It's no sign of your higher character to be feeling guilty. The best thing you can do for all concerned is to let it go and get on with your life. And if you go elsewhere again make sure you are always using condoms for intercourse.   
Andy Velez

Offline aaa

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Please help!
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 09:44:49 PM »
Hi Andy and other experts,
I really appreciate the prompt response. I realized that I left out a couple of details to my incident, and I have added them below, please tell me if any of them would change your assessment?
(1) I also performed oral sex to one of the SWs with a piece of saran wrap, for about a min.
(2) I'm uncircumcised. (How much risk would this add?)

Over the last few days, I have been retracing every moment of each incident to make sure what I did was all "safe", and only thing that I wasn't was the fingering activity since I was in direct contact with her vaginal fluid. So, could you please take a look at question (4)? I'd love to get a technical explanation (or any reading you can point me to) on how is it different between unprotected fingering and unprotected vaginal sex? Afterall, they were all human skin, and can be damaged prior or during the vaginal contact, specifically, why virus can get into one but not the other? I remember Ann mentioned in one of the threads that the virus needs to get into the bloodstream, is there no bloodstream on our fingers but exist only in genital areas?

Based on what you have adviced others on this forum, I noticed that your risk assessments have been primarily based on condom usage. However, have you seen any case where condom did not work 100% of the time? And how many cases of ARS you have seen that actually led to infection? (Question 5).

If you were give a worse case assessment, what would it be?

Her fever and timing is my biggest concern. Both of us had seasonal flu in the past, but I don't recall any of us had fever as result of it. So, it's pretty rare case for her. If it were not because of that, I wouldn't be so alarmed and come here to bombard you guys with questions. I hope you understand.

Thanks again!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 01:42:42 AM »
You were never at risk with any of the situations you've provided.

Offline aaa

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 01:54:39 AM »
Hi RapidRod, thanks for your comment, but can you or any other experts here please educate me on my confusion with risk involving fingering (hand skin contact vs. genital skin contact) below? as well the likelihood of an ARS symptom turning into actual infection?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 02:04:48 AM »
Unless you had a large laceration, which required stitches, you wouldn't have a minute chance of contracting HIV. You have to have a substantial about of the virus enter your blood stream.  ARS doesn't apply here since you were never at risk.

Offline aaa

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Please help!
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 02:06:56 AM »
Thanks. But why this is not the case for genital contact? In another word, people who are infected through unprotected intercourse never saw their penis dripping blood, right?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2009, 02:13:55 AM »
The fluid were exposed to air temp change and ph change and don't tell me you don't know the difference between your penis and your finger.

Offline aaa

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2009, 02:30:49 AM »
But both fingering and sexual intercourse are considered "insertive", which means once it's inside her vagina, there would be no pH or temp change, and wouldn't newly generated semen (carrying virus) still capable of transmission?
Sorry for repeatedly asking similar questions, I'm just trying to understand the difference so I'm better educated on the difference.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2009, 02:39:07 AM »
Let me know when your finger develops a urethra.

Offline aaa

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Please help!
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2009, 02:53:00 AM »
So, you are suggesting that the infection happens through urethra, and not through damaged skin from genital-to-genital contact? My understanding is that the virus enters a human body through micro cuts on the forehead of the penis due to rubbing against the inner wall of the vagina.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2009, 02:55:41 AM »
Yes you are wrong.. Now we are done with this no risk issue. I've entertained it enough this morning.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2009, 07:55:13 AM »
That's right. You are wrong. For the male the risk for sexual transmission is through the urethra and the underside of the foreskin if he is not circumcised.

HIV is a fragile virus and needs a particular kind of receptive setting for transmission to occur successfully. The circumstances you are fretting over are not risks for such transmission. Period.
Andy Velez

Offline aaa

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Please help!
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2009, 02:25:37 AM »
Hi Andy and RapidRod,
I appreciate your help on this. I want to let you know that I went and got tested as an extra level of assurance, and since it was the only way I could truly put this behind me. The result came back as negative as you all have suggested. The test was done with OraQuick ELISA. However, it was only the 5th week since my exposure. Do you think this result is reliable regardless of the risk you have assessed me? In another word, does antibody start to develop on any single day or slowly builds up over time within the first x number of weeks? And would the amount of antibody that got developed in one day enough to be picked up by this type of test?

I really don't mean to abuse the policy of this forum, and I truly respect and appreciate the time you have put into this, I just want to make sure that the test result I got is a reliable source of assurance on top of what you have give me.

Thanks!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2009, 08:16:49 AM »
Testing at 5 weeks would not give you a conclusive result if you had a genuine risk. But you did not have a risk for HIV transmission. Testing was totally unnecessary. This situation is all about your feelings and has no basis in HIV science.

Buit you don't seem to be able to really believe that. Your testing negative is no surprise to us.

You don't need to re-test. But since you didn't listen to anything said to you before this, I don't know that you listen with any clearer ears now. YOU DID NOT HAVE A RISK FOR HIV. Period.
Andy Velez

Offline aaa

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 05:24:33 AM »
Thank you Andy for your repeated assurance.
Just out if curiosity, how likely Is it for a 5 week negative test to turn into positive at 3 months, if one was really infected.

Thanks.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 08:27:51 AM »
The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. All but the very smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure.

A negative result at 6 weeks is very unlikely to change to positive at 13 weeks. So if you have a negative at  5 weeks it's likely to remain that way when you re-test.
Andy Velez

Offline aaa

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2009, 06:28:22 PM »
Thanks you so much!

Another question. The test was done with OraQuick that check for HIV-1 (I believe), but not HIV-2, is there any reason for it and is that something I need to be concerned about? I read from somewhere that HIV-2 is rare in US, but why is that we can complete ignore this during HIV testing? Couldn't the virus transmit to the US like how HIV initially spreaded?

Thanks.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 06:56:37 PM »
Oraquick  covers both HIV 1 & 2.

Give it up and get on with your life.

Frankly, we're not here to answer every doubt and question that comes to your mind. We address specific experiences and evaluate whether there is a risk or not. There are lessons on transmission, testing and other subjects here that you can read or google for random information you want
Andy Velez

Offline aaa

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2009, 02:26:59 AM »
I'm sorry and I appreciate your prompt answers despite the level of risk you have repeatedly told me. That would be my last question.

THANK YOU!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2009, 08:05:55 AM »
You're welcome. Now use that information you've gotten here to practice safer sex in the future. Condoms are a must for intercourse.
Andy Velez

Offline aaa

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2009, 03:47:36 AM »
Most definitely! I have always been and always will. I'm just always skeptical about the quality and effectiveness of the condoms of various brand and models, even if they were used correctly and did not result in slip or breakage. I don't want to take any chance of catching anything.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Please help!
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2009, 08:14:03 AM »
Get over it! Life is risky. All you can do is do things as safely as possible.

A currently dated and properly worn latex condom will provide very effective protection against HIV.
Andy Velez

 


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