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Author Topic: transmission?  (Read 2485 times)

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Offline dude35

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« on: September 25, 2007, 07:47:44 PM »
I tested @ 4, 6, and 8 weeks using a Home Access kit after what someone may call a “high-risk” incident.  I am a gay man who allowed another man to penetrate me anally for about a minute or so. He did not ejaculate inside of me.

What are the thoughts of being still infected at 8 weeks? Can I rely on the Home Access kit @ 8 weeks as “somewhat” reliable? I see that a Dr. Handsfield on medhelp considers a test @ 8 weeks to be almost 99% reliable.  But is that for Orasure tests?
Though I know that symptoms are not considered a means of diagnosing, I have not had any that I know to be associated with ARS.

Having taken a statistics class,..my thoughts were this:

A. If a test is 90-95% accurate by 8 weeks, that would mean I would have about a 10% chance of being infected.  (.10)

B. Now, knowing the .10 possibility, the chance that this guy had HIV (say 20% or .20..and that would be considered HIGH in any city), the chance that I would still be infected would be:    .10 x  .20 =  .02 (or 2%)

C. Now, mentioning the actual risk, which I have read is 1/200 (with “full ejaculation”), which means logically my risk would be less considered it was not full ejaculation. But I will say 1/100 just to be safe (or  .01).

Conclusion: That would mean   .02 x .01= .0002 or  1/5,000 chance of still being infected.

I still did not factor other considerations into the formula:
- no symptoms (though not considered valid or reliable of course…but studies have shown that 50-80% of people have symptoms)
- 3 tests taken that were all negative that never yielded an “indeterminate” result.
- this being a “one-time” risk
-his viral load if he were indeed +ve
-the fact that HIV is not an easy virus to transmit

I do know that a follow-up of a 12 week test is needed.


Offline jkinatl2

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Re: transmission?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 08:24:17 PM »
Though it's exceeedingly rare for a negative test at 8 weeks, the established standard remains twelve weeks.

You can parse numbers all day, and it makes for great conversation. But the truth of the matter is, there are FAR too many variables in EVERY sexual act to place a finite number (even a range of numbers) on your "odds" of being infected. To my knowledge, only one study made this attempt, and they were eventually discredited for having made numbers up.

Example for the 1/1000 notion:

Las vegas bookmakers have now lengthened the odds of Elvis being found alive from 100/1 to 1000/1



I know that since I started doing HIV counseling in 1994, I have never seen anyone seroconvert who tests positive after 8 weeks.

Thing is though, letting a guy top you unprotected IS a risk, and the highest possible risk, sexually speaking. The absence of ejaculation lowers that risk significantly, but people HAVE and DO get infected through pre-ejaculatory fluids. As Ann is fond of (and exceedingly wise in) saying, to consent to unprotected sex is to consent to the possibility of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection.

About the reliability of tests, they are some of the most reliable tests in the realm of science. You will NEVER, EVER find a one hundred percentage in any ethical science. Such a thing doesn't even happen in mathematics (thanks for messing with my head, Stephen Hawking).

Pregnancy tests, for example, are considered to be between 97%  and 99% accurate when administered correctly, at the correct time.



HIV tests have come a LONG way since the 1980s. Even since the 1990s. And even in the last seven years, great strides have been made. If anything, they are so sensitive that they are more prone to (rarely) deliver a false positive.  The makers of the tests, wisely, chose to make their tests more sensitive than specific specifically to curtail the HIV pandemic. That's why a positive ELISA test is always followed up by a Western Blot test, and more bloodwork past that.

Personally, I think you are in the clear. But in the future, a condom is never a bad idea, even if only for a minute. And getting that last twelve week test will be a relief, I know.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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