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Symptoms and testing?
Dec 12, 2000

Ryan, I'm married but had a male to male encounter. My partner said he was tested negitive. We had unprotected sex. Oral and anal, he did not ejaculate in my anus nor did I ejaculate in his. Also I did not ejaculate in his mouth, but he did ejaculate in my mouth, it was not much but he did. I have had head congestion, mild sore throat, joint pain, weight loss and constinence at about 4 weeks. He has had no sypmtoms. If I get tested at the 3-4 months time period and the test is negitive then my sypmtoms are not HIV/AIDS related, is that true? and how accurate will that test be at the 3-4 month time period? What are floaters? I am really stressed and worried, my spouse does not know and we have not had sex since, please help!

Response from Mr. Kull

An antibody test result at 3-4 months is highly accurate. By some standards, it is considered to be 95-99% accurate (for more information on the nuances of the window period, please read Definite Exposure). Some people choose to wait six months to get tested to insure a higher accuracy for their test. How long you wait to get tested is up to you.

Having unprotected anal sex with an infected person is an efficient way to transmit HIV. In the United States, men who have sex with men accounts for the highest risk category for HIV infection, and unprotected anal sex (receptive more than insertive) is the primary mode of transmission in this group. No ejaculation in the rectum probably decreases, but in no way eliminates, the risk for infection when compared with ejaculation in the rectum. It is highly recommended that you use condoms for anal sex. Performing oral sex on a man is considered low-risk. You decrease your risk for infection in this case by not having your partner ejaculate in your mouth.

Sexual HIV transmission to women in the United States probably occurs with male partners who either have sex with other men or share injection needles. Shame and stigma associated with certain behaviors and sexual orientations in society probably discourages people from being open and honest with their partners or themselves. If you are having sex with male partners outside of your relationship with your wife and you are choosing not to tell her, it is of the utmost importance that you use condoms with her and your male partners.

If you are experiencing symptoms that might be related to a recent HIV infection, you should talk to a doctor who has some experience working with HIV. Having a high-risk exposure and experiencing specific symptoms might call for specific HIV detection techniques for early diagnosis.

I encourage you to not only do what you can to protect yourself and your partners from HIV infection, but to also find ways to get emotional support for yourself during what must be a difficult and confusing time for you. You are definitely not alone in what you are experiencing and there are solutions for you.

RMK



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