HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Scared to Test & Scared of Infection


Hi - Thank you for reading this!

Approximately three months ago, I had two unprotected sexual encounters with a guy.  This happened over the course of one evening.  He is white, wealthy, heterosexual, a non-drug user, and college-educated...but I am not naive and am extremely concerned about his laissez-faire attitude toward condom use.  I am generally very careful, and I had no STDs before having contact with him.  I have no idea how many sexual partners he's had, but my guess is that he's had quite a few and not used condoms with many of them.  I have a rough idea of the demographics of the women he's been with - which are a low risk group - but I am in an area with high seroprevalence.  I should also clarify that the first time was "dipping" and the 2nd time he pulled out.

Roughly three weeks after this, I experienced a severe headache, sweating at night, pain when swallowing, and probably a fever.  These symptoms lasted for several days.  They started on Monday night.  I went to a doctor on Friday, and did not have a fever by that time.  I did not have a rash or swollen glands.  Obviously I was concerned about ARS.  I also had canker sores about one week after my other symptoms disappeared, which lasted for awhile.

One week after this, I tested positive for chlamydia.  That scared me, as it is my understanding that urethral diseases increase the likelihood of HIV transmitting.

I e-mailed him and told him that I had gotten chlamydia from him.  He e-mailed me back within about 12 hours and told me that he had been tested "for everything" as part of a full check-up about four weeks after our contact and everything had come back negative.  But he mentioned that he'd been given a Z-Pac for pneumonia prior to being tested, which would have cleared up chlamydia.  I checked, and it was the same antibiotics I had been given to treat my infection, but not the same exact dose.

Then he e-mailed me about 24 hrs later and said it probably was him as he had contacted an ex, and she had told him that she had chlamydia.  Does this sound credible?  Would someone lie about getting tested?

Anyway, I am going to be tested (rapid test) within the next two weeks, and have been very frightened.  Any advice?

Also, no matter what my results are, this experience has greatly increased my awareness and education on HIV and I do think that I would like to use it to help others somehow.


You can't go by demographics, education, wealth or anything else - including what the person claims about their health - to determine someone's hiv status. You need to make sure condoms are being used.

You have had a risk and you do need to test - although you weren't very clear when you said "I should also clarify that the first time was "dipping" and the 2nd time he pulled out." If you mean he never ejaculated inside you, this lessens your risk a small bit. (precum is also infectious) Symptoms or even the lack of symptoms means nothing when it comes to hiv infection, so you are doing the right thing in getting tested. Testing is the ONLY way to reliably know your hiv status.

Chlamydia is MUCH easier to transmit than hiv. Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus.

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 use condoms with confidence.

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.


I'm sorry it took me so long to respond your message, but thank you so much for writing this!!!  I really appreciate your support and advice, especially since my doctor didn't take me seriously at first due to my background!

Andy Velez:
I just want to reinforce what Ann said to you. It doesn't matter what you think you know about a guy's history, how great he looks, how sweet his talk is or anything else.

In plain words when you get laid the guy always has to be wearing a condom. No exceptions. If he doesn't have or won't wear a condom then don't do it unless you feel that doing it is worth risking your life. Because it's as stark and as simple as that.

Since this was a single incident and without ejaculation the odds are in your favor that you will test negative. But you can't always count on that. It's much easier for a guy to give a woman HIV than the other way around. So no more gambling with your life, please.

Good luck on your test.



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