HIV Transmission and Testing > Am I Infected?

Multiple oral sex exposures

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jdukscared:
Dear all and moderators, thank you for your advice in advance! I have been reading this forum for a while and decided to post my worries about HIV transmission.  I am going in for a full check up tomorrow at my local GUM clinic, but Im real scared....and the anxiety is too much.... and your help would be very appreciated for some information.

Im a heterosexual male, age 27 living in London. For the past 6-7 years I have been regularly visiting massage parlours, on and off, with girls of different nationalities and origins.I have never performed unprotected penetrative sex (I dont remember condom breaking of comming off, otherwise I would have noticed and felt it right?). Many occasions I have given unprotected cunnilingus (30+) and received unprotected fellatio from these girls(20+) some lasting 1+ to 10+ minutes.

For the past few years I have been worried about HIV infection and I dont know why I kept going to these places and it feels like its been a living nightmare but have been so scared to test cause of the result. I called the Terrence Higgins Trust helpline and they were helpful and said the chance of HIV transmission is small through cunnilingus but possible.

I have not visited any of these places for the past year and have not had sex and much less visits 1-2 years preceeding and decided to stop once and for all and put these worries behind me.

I dont rememenber having specific HIV infection symptoms, had Tonsilitis 2+ and 4 years ago respectively and they scared me because I thought it was HIV infection (even though it could have been, was on antibiotics). Never had any rashes or vomiting for what I remember. 

What has really been worrying me for the last year from around about this time last year is that I fell ill with a high fever(dont know if I had swollen lymph nodes), lots of aching muscles, which lasted for about a week and recovered, which was followed by a mild cough and phlem for a couple of days or so, dont remember having a sore throat.  No sneezing or running nose for what I remember (could these be ARS symptoms?).  I know symptoms are not indicative of HIV infection but I cant help thinking about it.

1) How would you rate my risks of HIV from my exposures?And if some of parlour workers I visited were immigrants from Thailand and other asian countries where there is a high prevelance of STD+HIV. THT told me that in his opinion HIV prevelace in parlours is probably lower than the general population because they are so well trained with high condom usage. what is your opinion on this?

2) Do you know HIV prevelance in UK massage parlours and there been any documented cases of catching HIV from CSW and exposures I describe? I never had any sores in my genital area, although once a couple of years ago I got a strong burning sensation during urination, and I dont remember having a discharge, which lasted for about two days and went away ( what kind of infection would this be? is it normal to have these, perhaps due to masturbation?

3) My oral health is generally good, been to dentist once no bleeding gums but I have recently noticed receeding gums, went to the dentist and she said nothing about the gums and they looked normal. I also sometimes have dry lips and may have caused cracks (dont remember expo)in the lips exposing me to STD including HIV.Whats is the risk?

Sorry for the long post, whats is your opinion about the risks of my exposures and would you be surprised if I get a HIV+ result.  I look forward to your responses. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards





Ann:
jd,

1. People are not risky, but certain practices are such as unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. Getting a blowjob is not a risk for hiv infection at all.

Going down on a woman is not a risk either. It may be a theoretical risk, but it's also a theoretical risk that a meteorite will fall on your head the next time you leave your house. Not likely to happen, but not totally outside the realm of possibility. The fluids found in a woman that may be infectious are found deep within the vagina and you would not have reached these fluids. Also, saliva contains over a dozen different proteins and enzymes that damage hiv and render it unable to infect. Add to that the fact that the specific cells hiv needs to bump into to infect are not found in any great quantity in the mouth and you have no risk. Going down on a woman is not a risk for hiv infection.

It doesn't matter who you have intercourse with, as long as you are using condoms (and it IS obvious when they break) you are protected against hiv infection. Your questions about the women you've had sex with are irrelevant as you used condoms for intercourse.

2. Again, who you have intercourse with is irrelevant as long as condoms are used. We cannot possibly speculate on what the burning sensation was, although you would be wise to get a full panel of sexual infection tests done when you visit the GUM tomorrow. The other STIs are MUCH more easily transmitted than hiv.

3. See my comments above concerning saliva. It would be highly unusual for you to be infected with hiv via the mouth.

I fully expect your hiv test to come back with negative results based on what you've told us. This will be conclusive if it has been three months since your last unprotected incident of intercourse - if you have ever done this. Keep using those condoms and you will remain hiv negative. Check out the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use those condoms with confidence.

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.

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, make tomorrow's check-up the beginning of a lifetime's habit. 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.

Ann

jdukscared:
Ann:

Thank you for your quick reply and the detail and effort you put in your work and most certainly has touched many.

I have a question with regards to the quote below from your kind reply.


--- Quote from: Ann on October 25, 2006, 07:49:35 AM ---The fluids found in a woman that may be infectious are found deep within the vagina and you would not have reached these fluids. Also, saliva contains over a dozen different proteins and enzymes that damage hiv and render it unable to infect. Add to that the fact that the specific cells hiv needs to bump into to infect are not found in any great quantity in the mouth and you have no risk. Going down on a woman is not a risk for hiv infection.
--- End quote ---

I have read a few studies, more specifically a spanish study which reported no HIV infection seronegative partners in 19,000 instances of unprotected oral sex during a 10 year period (correct me if i'm wrong). It certainly is strong evidence against HIV infection through oral sex.

I have read that a high viral load increases the risk of transmission through oral sex in particular cunnilingus, and since all seropositive partners in the study would be under treatment and many, if not all, would have low viral load counts reducing the risk of HIV transmission thorugh that route.  What are your thoughts in this particular situation? Would it not somewhat discredit the results from this study and other similar studies, given the fact that all seropositive participants in the study would be under HIV treatment with low viral loads?

The mechanisms of transmission you describe thorugh cunnilingus certainly has given me a much better insight and reasoning about the physiological aspects of HIV in vaginal fluids.  You are by far the best person to ask, if there have been any studies regarding this and why are government bodies and doctors so reluctant and vague about oral sex risks?

I am uncircuncised, and I am always wondering if I have used the condoms properly after reading other posts about condom failure ( I believe I have used them properly, but there is always the mental doubt ), I do remember going 'limp' whilst 'in the act' but the condom never come off, and now I am wondering if the skin under the foreskin has come into contact of vaginal fluids and whether it is possible for HIV to infect this way?

I wil surely test for all possible STD's at my GUM clinic appointment tomorrow and it will be the scariest thing I will ever do.

Thank you again for your helping hand, and your reply has certainly commforted me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


Ann:

--- Quote ---since all seropositive partners in the study would be under treatment and many, if not all, would have low viral load counts reducing the risk of HIV transmission thorugh that route.
--- End quote ---

jd,

It is not true that all the positive participants were on meds. There have been three studies like the Spanish one and they all had the same results - no tranmsissions due to oral sex. I've been positive for over nine years myself, not on meds and my partner of over seven years remains hiv negative. We use condoms for intercourse but no barrier for oral.

As long as the head of your penis remains covered, you are fine. I understand what you're saying about being uncircumsized (same as my partner) but it's not a concern in this instance.

I'm fully expecting you to test hiv negative.

Ann

jdukscared:
Thanks for your support Ann. 

Its going to be really difficult tomorrow at the GUM clinic and even more difficult the week ahead of me waiting for the results

I dont know how I will manage... I dont even know how Im going to react if I test positive. Im trying to prepare for the worse

I will let you know of the results as soon as I get them... whether good or bad .... but Im preparing for the worse.... Thanks again Ann

 

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