HIV Transmission and Testing > Am I Infected?

Im petrified

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cr8sea:
I have had a casual relationship with a man who i knew to be promiscuous (17 women in less than 7 years). Ive had all types of sexual encounters with him, anal vaginal and oral. We've only been protected once during these encounters, although they've been very few (about 6 or less total, two vaginal, of which one was protected, and one anal) . He swore he was clean and has always tested negative every time he went for a check up every six months. A few months ago he returned to his country and then came back. We had oral sex once again but now for some reason im petrified he might have HIV. I dont have a real explanation why im so suddendly worried, which i should have been from the begining. But i need help...I need to know what are my risks and how soon can i get tested. My last encounter with him was 5 weeks ago.
Thank you so much

Ann:
cr,

You need to know that referring to someone who is hiv negative as "clean" is very insulting to those of us who are hiv positive because of the implications that we are "dirty". Please don't use that language here.

You have had a risk and you do need to test. The window period for hiv is three months (12-13 weeks) and a test at that time will be conclusive. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, so while a negative result at six weeks is very encouraging, it MUST be confirmed at the three month point.

Please read through the Welcome Thread and follow the Lessons links found there for more in-depth information on transmission and testing.

You need to assume ANYONE you have intercourse with is hiv positive and protect yourself accordingly. 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 STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can make sure your fella is using them properly. While you're on either of those pages, have a look through the bottom three links in the left-hand column. They discuss ways that you, as a woman, can protect yourself. I recommend the female condom as they are also excellent barriers against hiv infection, and importantly, they give YOU the control over condom use. They can even be put in place in advance so you're not fumbling around at the crucial moment. They're fiddly to use at first, but if you can put a tampon in, you can use these. It gets easier with practice. Give them a try.

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.

Hiv is serious stuff and I hope you stop taking chances with your health by having unprotected intercourse. Good luck with the testing, and feel free to let us know how it turns out.

Ann

cr8sea:
Im sorry i didnt mean to insult anyone by the "clean" comment. By it i just meant he didnt have any STDs not just HIV. But you're right, that was unthoughtful.

Im getting tested today, although its been five weeks...im not sure if its even worth doing it. But i guess i rather do it than sit for three months not knowing. I also was going to give him a call and ask him when was his last test...since we havent had intercourse since april, just oral the past month. I dont know, i feel like im fumbling for something to tell me ill be ok somehow.

I wish i could take it all back.

Andy Velez:
Well since you can't "take it all back," you can do the next best thing. You can learn from the experience.

Everytime you have intercourse the guy has to be wearing a condom. No exceptions. It doesn't matter how much you like him, how great he looks or what you think you know about his history. A condom is a must. Everytime. Only when you may find yourself in a securely monogamous relationship in which both partners have tested negative together can you consider not using condoms.

HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. Hopefully you will have dodged the bullet this time. Good luck with your test.

Cheers, 

Ann:
cr,

If you get a negative result today, it's unlikely to change. It will be conclusive for the intercourse and giving oral is a very, very low risk. Studies of serodiscordant couples found that when condoms were used for intercourse but not oral, not one of the negative partners became infected. Not one. This is discussed in the transmission lesson, which is linked to in the Welcome thread I asked you to read.

Good luck on your test.

Ann

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