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Urgent - Please Help Me!!!
Oct 7, 2003

I am 19 years old... I was the receptor of unprotected anal intercourse w/ ejaculation inside of me w/ an HIV positive partner... we had anal intercourse this way about 5 or 6 times... he is on meds and his viral load is undetectable (120-130 and on the decline)... I was wondering what are the chances that I was infected? We are not together anymore... I was tested about 5 days after my last exposure and it was negative, but I will prob test again this week... I am really scared I may have gotten HIV... but would my risk be significantly lower since his viral load was so low? What factors would affect my susceptibility to being infected? They say that it is 'luck' but its gotta be more than that--- its gotta be more medical than that right? Thanks so much for answering my question, sir. I appreciate your help so much... I feel so lost with nowhere to go.

Response from Dr. Remien

While a low viral load may reduce the risk of transmission of HIV, it does not eliminate the risk. See the following Q&A on this forum: "non-dedtectable viral load, what is the possibility of infected sperm"

There are many factors that influence transmission of HIV, including the strain of virus in the HIV+ person, the HIV viral load, the health of the HIV- person, mode of exposure, genetic factors in the uninfected person, etc. And add to that "luck." Unfortunately, unprotected receptive anal sex, with ejaculation is one of the riskiest modes of transmission of HIV. You will not know if you are infected until you are able to test three months and then again at six months after exposure. An HIV "antibody" test will not show positive a few days, or two weeks after exposure. Please make sure you are going to a qualified doctor or an HIV testing site, and also make sure you speak with a counselor about your testing. This is not meant to alarm you, because it is very possible that you are not infected - especially if you were not aware of an acute viral syndrome within a couple of weeks after exposure. But you do need to see qualified professionals - in person - to deal with this. And please, speak with a counselor about finding ways to avoid having unprotected anal sex with new sex partners. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have pleasurable sex, but it is also important that you keep yourself safe and also free of the type of anxiety you are now experiencing.

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