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I've Barebacked a HIV+ man

Mar 8, 2004

Dear Dr. Frascino,

I'm a 28 year old gay man, growing up being Gay I knew all about HIV. I have used condoms with all partners apart from one partner prior to this (I watched him test HIV-negative and for all other STDs) I recently met a new guy, we discussed HIV and other stds and he told me he didn't have anything. I rarely let them enter me without a condom over their penis, but I dispensed with them for him only for him to tell me hes HIV positive. I mean i'm 28 with my whole life ahead of me and hes dropped this bomb on me! We proceeded to have unprotected anal intercourse, I was receptive once with his ejaculation, and has insertive to ejacutlation with him. I hadn't heard from him for a few weeks until he called me to tell me he was sorry for what he'd done.

What are my chances?

Oh and by the way, you are one sexy doctor ;)


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Alex,

I don't think you can place all the blame on your partner for having "dropped this "bomb" on you. As a sexually active adult participating in consensual sexual activity, I believe the primary responsibility for staying safe rests with you. You state, "I rarely let them enter me without a condom." Whenever you do, you place yourself at risk for STD's, including HIV. Everyone must assume their sex partners have the potential of being HIV-positive, and take the appropriate measures to protect themselves. You cannot rely on what a person says. I wouldn't recommend trusting a guy, even if he offers to strap a lie detector on his Mr. Happy! The only way to stay safe is to be safe.

Your risk of HIV transmission is greatest for unprotected receptive anal intercourse with ejaculation with a partner confirmed to be HIV-positive. The per episode risk of that behavior is estimated to be between 0.1% and 3%.

Alex, the odds are still in your favor for not having contracted HIV, but testing is definitely warranted. You are beyond the period when PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) would be considered helpful (up to 72 hours after an exposure). Consequently, your only option at the moment is to wait for HIV test results. Because you had a significant exposure (receptive anal sex) with a partner confirmed to be HIV-positive, the CDC would recommend testing at three months and retesting at six months for a definitive result. We'll all be sending you our best luck and karma for a negative HIV test result!

Thanks for the sexy doctor compliment, although, considering the competition (other doctors), is standing out in a field of stressed-out science geeks really all that difficult?

Good luck, Alex.

Dr. Bob

How to Cope for 3 Months

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