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Found out he's poz
May 23, 2003

Hello. I'm a 38 yr old male in a long term relationship with another man. Two days ago I had an "indiscretion" with a guy I met at the gym. All this involved was some deep kissing and mutual oral sex. He sucked me to completion. I went down on him for a couple of minutes at the most. I had no cuts or sores in my mouth. I do not believe I came into contact with any precome, because I was trying very hard to be conscious of that. In the middle of this the guy tells me he's HIV positive, but has had an undetectible viral load for 4 years.

The research I've done on this site and others leads me to think that my risk from this encounter is probably pretty low, but it's still really freaking me out. I can't face the possibility that I've thrown away everything in my life in those 5 minutes. Needless to say, my partner knows nothing about this, but I think about little else and it's affecting my ability to sleep and concentrate. Do I have a reason to be freaking out like I am? Also, the other posts on this site indicates that research is not very conclusive about the risk posed by sex with people with undetectible viral loads, but most of the posts are several months old. Has any recent research cast new light on that?

Thanks for your help, and for a great site.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

And whats the name of that gym you go to? Oh, never mind. Yes, you are correct: Oral sex carries an extremely, extremely low risk for HIV transmission. Each new study thats published seems to push that risk lower and lower. That doesnt mean its impossible. And certainly STDs other than HIV, for instance herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea, can be contracted while giving and getting head. Avoiding cum decreases the risk for HIV. Theoretically, a low or non-detectable viral load would further decrease any potential risk. However, I should point out that the viral load in seminal fluid might be different than the viral load in blood.

So, should you be freaking out over this 5-minute gym exercise? No. Your risk is extremely, extremely small. Why not level with your lover? We all make mistakes, especially with hotties at the gym. Hopefully, your lover will respect your honesty and your relationship will be stronger than ever. Dont be too surprised if after you tell him about Mr. Thunderthighs on the Squat Machine, he decides to reveal his story about Mr. Studmuffin on The Buttblaster!

Dr. Bob



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