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Condomless intercourse

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DaveyK:
Hello, I had unprotected vaginal sex with an hiv pos sex worker that Iíve known for years. She assured me before hand that she was non detectable. Apparently this was not true. 13-14 days post exposure I came down with all of the symptoms except a rash. It was a very dumb thing to do and Iím kicking myself for doing it, but itís fine now. The thing is; Iím worried because her friend said she lied and that she has a drug resistant strain. Is it possible that I get to non detectable even though she didnít?  My results from a blood test come back Friday but Iíve had almost every symptom. Iíve never felt pain in my joints or buttocks like that before, not to mention the other symptoms.

Jim Allen:
So you had condomless intercourse with someone living with HIV and claiming to have a suppressed viral load (undetectable)? And someone who knows them claimed that their HIV has resistance?

DaveyK:
Yes it was unprotected. She said she was undetectable. Just before I came down with symptoms her friend told me that she was not undetectable. That she had lied and that she had a drug resistant strain.

Jim Allen:
That someone has HIV that is resistant to certain treatments means nothing much at all. To explain, there are multiple combinations of treatments for HIV, so if someone has HIV that is resistant to one or multiple medications, it doesn't mean they can't take other combinations of meds to achieve viral suppression (undetectable viral load). It's far more common than you think.

So next to scaremongering, your "friend", at the very least, sounds terribly misinformed or outdated.

Anyhow, if the person living with HIV has a suppressed viral load (below 200 copies) for six+ months and continues to take their meds, they can not pass on HIV sexually. However, as you can't verify their vial load or treatment status directly, and since you engaged in condomless intercourse, it's recommended to test to confirm your HIV status.

Test to confirm your HIV status six weeks post the potential exposure with a blood draw (lab) HIV antibody test. The result at this time will rarely change, and retesting at three months generally isn't needed.

Here's what you need to know to reduce your HIV risks:
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; testing is the only way to know.

Kind regards

Jim

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DaveyK:
Thank you, Jim. Iím so scared. I went today and had blood drawn for the test at 25 days post exposure. I canít believe I did such a dumb thing and trusted her! When I asked her about it she called me an f ing loser and said the cops wouldnít do anything because she informed me she had hiv but saying she was undetectable is apparently a lie. Anyway, thanks for giving me hope as far as the drug resistant strain. Iím worried as hell because I know she told me that in the beginning and afterward she had skipped several doses, so it makes sense that she would be resistant to the meds. I have another question if you donít mind;  I have had almost no sex drive for the last week. Itís not psychological. Iíve never been that way before Iím my life. Iíve always had an overactive sex drive and to be honest itís nice not to feel that urge so much. I wish there was some way to lower my testosterone for good so that Iím not so driven by my sex drive. Will my sex drive return if the viral load goes down along with the other symptoms improving? Thanks again.

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