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Author Topic: risk?  (Read 2797 times)

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Offline doublecheck

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« on: July 01, 2008, 01:04:43 AM »
  I am sure someone has asked this battery of questions a million times, so I apologize for that in advance. I am 22/male, and have a question about whether I have had an actual risk, or whether I am simply being neurotic.
   I had a sexual encounter, while drunk, with a 36 y/o male. We didn't do anything for which a condom would be necessary. In fact, I hardly did anything; I was the received oral sex and anilingus. There was no penetrative anything. The only thing bothering me is the fact that i gave myself a paper cut (the blade on a roll of packaging tape) that same morning.  Probably 12 hours or so earlier. There were four cuts, (rather resembling the bars in a cell phone signal) close together on my thumb. I don't remember whether or not semen was on my hand, but I assume so since it seems likely that his semen should end up on my hand at some point.
  He tells me he is healthy. I would not be concerned, except that now my lymph glands seem swollen (underarm irritation, dull pains in the groin, neck etc.) I don't know if anxiety about his being older and my being drunk has somehow, in my mind, caused guilt or hypochondria (I am prone to this) or if I have a real--or at least not completely theoretical--concern.
    Anyway, I know nothing else happened to put me at risk. I had a full std test earlier in the year.  I suppose I just wanted some reassurance to quell my anxiety.
thank you for any information you can offer about this.     

Offline RapidRod

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Re: risk?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 07:03:24 AM »
You were never at risk of contracting HIV.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: risk?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 08:18:08 AM »
HIV is a fragile virus. It is only passed sexually in very specific ways: unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse. All the other "risks" are theoretical rather than actual as we have learned in the epidemic. However, other STDs are easier to acquire so in general we recommend that anyone who's sexually active ought to at least annually have a full STD panel done.

None of the activities you have described would have put you at risk for HIV transmission. No testing is necessary.

Andy Velez

Offline doublecheck

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Re: risk?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 10:35:23 PM »
Thank you very much for the information. It is so difficult to come by accurate information; for most of my life I've come across what I now believe is mostly ignorant, stigmatized information. So thank you for that.
  I don't think I'm obsessive compulsive. If I were, I would not post with absurd questions such as: "I had a dream that I had oral sex with a man and I had a minuscule, days old cut on my hand. In the dream, semen may have got into the cut. I must be hiv positive right?"

  But I do have some questions that I acknowledge spring from personal experience, but about which I am nevertheless curious.

 The oral sex question is puzzling to me. That is "insertive unprotected" oral sex. I understand there have been studies done on serodiscordant couples practicing protected and unprotected oral sex without transmitting infection. I tend to think (but what do I know) that this is true--that it's a low low risk. But, I wonder about other factors, like cuts in the mouth etc.--those things which seem to cloud the situation inevitably. I don't know about the study, but I imagine that the serodiscordant couples would not engage in unprotected oral sex while the negative, insertive partner had cuts etc, in the mouth. How much, if at all, do these "conditions" affect the risk?

  Now here is my personal account for reference: I had three instances of giving/receiving unprotected oral sex. I had what I thought, and now, am certain, was a cold sore on my lip. It was the first one I had ever had since I was a child (I am aware that it's herpes) and I wasn't sure what to do since I was on the brink of engaging with this new sexual partner. I waited, I think, a little under a week and aggressively treated the sore so it didn't erupt into a full-blown wound. For better or worse, I realize, since it may have made the skin more irritated. In any case, it was my last year of college, and my last hurrah. I gave oral with the sore thinking it was okay. I realize I may not have waited as long as I should have to potentially give him herpes, which I feel bad about.

 But my larger question is: what is the potential risk? He did not ejaculate in my mouth. The sore was not "open" in the traditional, cold sore sense; nor was it inside my mouth (they never are inside the mouth, I realize). Anyway, i would only have come into contact with pre-cum. What if, anything, is the risk? I am curious not only to quell my own neuroses, but also to know for future reference. I would like to be as informed as I can be. I hope this is an appropriate question, if a cumbersome one.       

Offline RapidRod

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Re: risk?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 06:39:31 AM »
No risk of contracting HIV.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: risk?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2008, 07:28:48 AM »
Although from time to time we get a story of someone insisting they became infected through giving head, those stories never hold up under serious scientific scrutiny. By contrast, longterm studies of both gay and straight couples who had lots of unprotected mutual oral and only protected vaginal and anl intercourse, resulted in not a single case of transmission to a sero-negative partner.

Common sense of course indicates that if one has just had oral surgery or has any sort of just fresh wound in the mouth that giving head wouldn't be a good idea. The risk is also thought to be less if ejaculation doesn't take place orally. But ultimately it's about your personal comfort zone with what risk you are willing to accept. Orally the risk is more theoretical than actual. In the real world of HIV we dont' have proven cases of infection that way.

In your instance I would not consider testing to be necessary. The unhappy thing as you have noted is that you may have passed along herpes to your partner.

Andy Velez


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