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False Hopes??
Apr 5, 2001

Good Afternoon Doctor Little. I was wondering if you could give me your input on this matter. About 5 weeks ago I was out with a person I felt was a friend. We went to a bar and then he proceeded to go to a bad area of town. He was going to look for drugs, however something else came out of it. He paid a woman to perform oral sex on him. He then forced me into the same situation even watched as it took place. Very upset I went a few weeks worrying if I had contracted anything like syphillis, ghonnorhea, Herpes, etc. When those all came back negative, I began to think about HIV. I know this is considered a low risk activity for men on the receiving end however I have been petrified for weeks now. I spoke with my Primary Care Physican and he told me that the act performed was virtually no risk for me. He advised me to not worry. He even guaranteed me that the tests would come back negative. I asked him about the possibility that she had blood in her mouth and it entered my urethra. He told me not to worry because the blood would really have no-where to go. It would just stay there. The only possibility for risk in my case would be if I had a bleeding cut on my penis and she had an open wound in her mouth. He said to take the test and then again at 3 months and six months and not to worry. When I asked him what the possibliity was I contracted HIV, he simply made a big fat 0 with his hand. I told him that I experienced one or two days of diarrhea and one night of sweating as well as a few aches and pains here and there. He told me this was because I was making myself sick over nothing. That sort of made me feel better. My 4 week HIV test came back negative just like he said it would. Two things. First do you think my 3 month and 6 month test should be the same? Second,do you think he would offer me a sense false of hope that I don't have this thing or should I take his word for it being he is the professional and all. Doctor little I hope you get to read this and respond to me. I'm one of those worried well people who would greatly appreciate your time. THANK YOU!!!

Response from Dr. Little

I understand your concern and am relieved that your antibody test result at 4 weeks was negative. The risk associated with insertive oral sex (what you described), is unfortunately not zero. The risk is however, probably quite low compared to receptive anal or vaginal sex. I agree with your physician that your risk is very low, though I almost never say never. I think that follow-up testing at 3 and 6 months is advisable, though I do believe your risk is quite low. It is impossible to say what I think these test results will show, except to say, that this activity is associated with a relatively smaller risk than other forms of sexual activity. In general, the risk of transmission is most likely (to the best of our knowledge) related to the viral load in the infected contact (the higher the viral load, the higher the risk), and the quantity of bodily fluids exchanged (ie. the more material carrying infectious cells, the higher the risk). There are programs around the country that do focus on the identification of people prior to the development of antibody to HIV if you find yourself in this situation again. Otherwise, I would proceed as described. Good luck.


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