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Desperately need some advice
Nov 9, 2011

Dear Dr. McGowan; I really need your help.I have search the forum an havent found any posts related to what I am going to ask you. I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend in June 2011 I was the top and he was the receptive partner. He found out 3 days after he was HIV positive due to a medical he had to do for his job. Besides sex we use to have oral sex where we would do stuff like cum swapping. It was the first time we actually had sex I have tested six weeks after exposure (rapid test) which came back negative.Re tested again making it the two months after exposure which I did a rapid test and Elisa test which both came back negative.At the 3 months of exposure I retested again (rapid) test an the results was still negative. Now I am desperately confuse as I ws expecting my results to be sadly positive.

I have been experiencing arm pit pains under both my arms off an on, pain under the side of my necks on both sides off an on as well some discomfort pain by my groin areas. There are no swelling in any of these areas an from what I have been reading they can be my lymph telling me something is there.From your knowledge do you think I am positive even though I am testing negative as the virus have not had time to be pronounce in my body. My other question to you is how long after exposure you can actually past on the virus on to someone else? What are the possibility of top to bottom infection. Please help me with whatever advice you can lend. All the way from Trinidad and Tobago. Thanks much

Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear T and T:

I am glad that your boyfriend got tested and informed you so that you can both take care of yourselves.

There is a 1 in 500 chance of becoming infected from one incident of unprotected anal sex with an HIV positive bottom. (http://www.ucsf-ahp.org/HTML2/Online_Resources/HIV_Risk_from_Topping.pdf). So the odds are definitely in your favor since you only had one episode of unprotected sex.

The vast majority of people who will become infected with HIV will test positive by 3 months. Testing at 6 months may pick up a few additional cases and can be done to give you peace of mind.

Swollen lymph nodes (glands) can be seen with acute/newly acquired HIV infection and generally wouldoccur in the first few weeks after exposure. If you have had these swollen glands for more than a few weeks andf have had negative HIV tests than it is unlikely to be due to HIV. Many conditions can cause swollen lymph nodes. It is important to also get tested for syphilis and other STDs which may be transmitted more easily tahn HIV.

Best, Joe



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