POZ Community Forums

HIV Prevention and Testing => Do I Have HIV? => Topic started by: Hopeful_22 on June 22, 2022, 12:31:48 pm

Title: Scared and need reassuring please
Post by: Hopeful_22 on June 22, 2022, 12:31:48 pm
Hello. I've been reading this forum online for a few months now and it has been very therapeutic for my fears. However, I still find myself not being able to get these fears out of my head.So in advance, please understand I in *NO* way have any bad intentions at all WHATSOEVER. I am just a truly freaked out person questioning everything in my life right now. I have read enough to know not to post symptoms, so I'll just describe my situation and ask my 2 questions.

Early March I was diagnosed with oral gonorrhea. As I've never had an std before (and didn't know you can catch them orally) this has completely shaken me to my core. Ever since then I've been terrified of what else I didn't know and could have caught. I was retested after treatment and it was cured. At weeks 5 & 7 I did finger stick antibody test for HIV & they were negative. The lady at the health department said if I was positive it would've shown on the week 5 test, however everytime I calmed down in fear, something else I read made me scared again.  Week 8 past exposure I did a full panel test and everything was negative including syphilis & the hep ab&c.. At week 9 another antibody, negative. Week 11 another 4th generation vein draw, negative. & week 13 93 days an antibody finger stick negative. I've been put on anxiety meds during this time, and also saw an ID doctor too who said test was conclusive but to test at 6 months too. It's now week 16, & now I'm scared that maybe the lancet used to take the 93 day test was somehow not new, and my exposure risk is starting over. Please, I know there would be no reason for this as to I saw her take a new packet out and begin to set up, but as I was filling out my paperwork at the same time I didn't see every single item being taken out, so I now have that fear. She threw everything away after and was really nice to me, so believe me I feel extremely guilty for even thinking a used lancet might be a possibility. I know it's crazy and irrational, and I hate myself for even thinking that way. This fear overall has just taken over my life for the last 4 months and it's hard to function everyday.

Once again, please believe I have no bad intentions. I am just in an extremely bad place mentally and have no real knowledge of hiv or even thought of risks before the oral gonorrhea exposure. That was the only exposure as I used condoms FAITHFULLY for vaginal sex. I haven't had sex at all in 16 weeks now out of fear and guilt.

Sorry for the long post, and thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions in advance.
Title: Re: Scared and need reassuring please
Post by: Jim Allen on June 22, 2022, 12:34:15 pm
So what oral exposures did you have? Certain oral acts are not an HIV risk to start with, so please be specific.
Title: Re: Scared and need reassuring please
Post by: Hopeful_22 on June 22, 2022, 12:41:13 pm
I performed unprotected oral sex on a man, and during that act I caught oral gonorrhea. Now I'm scared that I could've caught hiv from it too
Title: Re: Scared and need reassuring please
Post by: Jim Allen on June 22, 2022, 01:14:54 pm
Right.

Quote
I'm scared that maybe the lancet used to take the 93 day test was somehow not new

Even if it wasn't new it's not going to be an HIV risk. Some other infections, but not HIV.

Quote
I've never had an std before (and didn't know you can catch them orally)

Well, not only is oral sex an STI risk, but any sexual contact is an STI risk. However, the levels of risk for various STIs also depend significantly on differences in how the diseases or infections are transmitted.

In terms of HIV and giving a blowjob, the mouth generally lacks a route for HIV to infect, and saliva also neutralises HIV by damaging the receptors needed to infect human cells. Giving a blowjob is such a minute HIV risk that it doesn't warrant specific testing outside of the standard yearly screening.

It is a risk for other infections.

Quote
Week 11 another 4th generation vein draw, negative. & week 13 93 days an antibody finger stick negative.

You didn't acquire HIV from this encounter, that much is certain and testing at 6 months is about 25 years outdated. I'm not going to pretend or go along even if you do have anxiety that testing at 6 months is a thing or is needed.

Quote
That was the only exposure as I used condoms FAITHFULLY for vaginal sex. I haven't had sex at all in 16 weeks now out of fear and guilt.

Guilt? Do you have a partner?

Regarding condoms STIs and HIV, here are some basics for you.

HIV can't transmit through an intact latex or polyurethane condom. Unless a condom obviously fails during intercourse, there is no reason to be stressing or testing for HIV outside of the standard yearly routine.

Condoms also reduce the risks of other STIs. However, the protection levels for various STIs depend significantly on how these infections infect. Some STIs (Not HIV) can also be acquired through skin-to-skin contact or viral shedding during sex on areas not covered by a condom, such as genital herpes, human papillomavirus [HPV], etc

Use approved condoms and check for a certification mark (e.g. FDA, C.E., ISO or Kitemark) as it means the condom complies with safety standards. Check the expiry date and make sure the condom is still within date.

Use lubricant, condom-safe water-based lubricants that make condoms more comfortable and reduce breakage risk. but avoid oil-based lubricants as they can weaken or break condoms.

As for putting the condom on correctly:

Incorrectly done, the risk of breakage can increase. Place the condom on top of the erect penis and pinch the teat at the end of the condom before you start to roll it down the penis. By doing this, you'll squeeze out any air bubbles and ensure there is room for the semen (cum). Roll the condom down to the base of the penis.

If it's on correctly, it will roll downwards easily. If you've started putting it on the wrong way, take it off, and even if you or your partner has not ejaculated (cum), there can still be semen or (pre-cum), so it's important to try again with a new condom. (More to do with risks from other STIs/pregnancy than anything else)

Finally, never "test" the condom before or after intercourse. It's not needed at all and could damage the condom, as it's not a reusable (re-stressable) product, and testing could lead you to mistakenly think that the condom was damaged during sex when in fact, you caused the damage after the intercourse by trying to "test" it

Instead, use condoms correctly and consistently. If they don't break during intercourse, there is no reason to stress or test for HIV outside of standard yearly screening.

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse correctly and consistently, with no exceptions. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about PrEP as an additional layer of protection against HIV

Keep in mind that some sexual practices described as safe in terms of acquiring HIV still pose a risk for other easier acquired STIs. So please do get tested at least yearly for STIs, including but not limited to HIV, and more frequently if condomless intercourse occurs.

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms; the only way to know is by testing.

Kind regards

Jim

Please Note.
As a member of the "Do I have HIV" Forum, you are required to only post in this one thread no matter how long between visits or the subject matter. You can find this thread by going to your profile and selecting show own post, and it will take you here. It helps us to help you when you keep all your thoughts or questions in one thread, and it helps other readers to follow the discussion. Any additional threads will removed.




Title: Re: Scared and need reassuring please
Post by: Hopeful_22 on June 22, 2022, 01:31:10 pm
The guilt is from this being just a casual fwb situation. It was self guilt over it. I thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am trying to get my mental health together, and just going forward casual sex isn't worth the anxiety for me.  Thank you so much.
Title: Re: Scared and need reassuring please
Post by: Jim Allen on June 22, 2022, 01:34:09 pm
You're welcome and I hope you can treat and manage the anxiety.