from nonconsensual partial penetration 21-Oct-2004 to Oraquick test on 24-Jan-2005
Jan 28, 2005
Hello Dr. Frascino,
I would like first to thank you for this very informative website which helps so many, and which was also invaluable for me as I waited out my own window period.
Also I'd like to apologize for the length of this, which I hadn't mentioned to anyone except for the HIV test personnel and one friend I told a few days before the test.
I've been sexually active since 1986, and always safe, until one night last fall. I haven't seen anything like it in the archives here, so here's what happened.
Three months and a few days ago (Oct. 21), while in Oklahoma (though I live in New York), a guy I was with kept trying to insert his penis into me, and I kept saying no. Never having had anal sex in my life, I perhaps naively thought that merely tensing the sphincter would prevent him from getting in. He did get partway in, though I doubt too deep, as there was no pain or bleeding. Several times, with increasing impatience, I told him "no", and he would say "relax, I'm not going to stick it in" (actually if I did relax, it probably would have gone all the way in). Finally I had enough and rolled over, and told him again that I don't want any penetration. He then changed his tune from the "relax" to "it's too late, I was in, and busted my nut in you" as he so colorfully put it. While it did occur to me that I could press criminal charges for something like that, I wasn't very optimistic about it doing much good in that state, whose government (as opposed to the generally warm and sincere gay community there) leaves a lot to be desired with regard to gay issues. And pressing charges would do nothing to alleviate the risk to my health from that encounter.
Well, I had my doubts, as I didn't feel anything remotely resembling an orgasm in me from him, nor was there any leakage or even santorum. ;-) He said if I don't believe him, to defecate and see his "load" in there. I did (right after he left) and there was nothing other than a normal bowel movement visible. Perhaps he was just a sick individual who was telling lies in order to upset someone.
Of course pre-cum would also be a risk even without his ejaculation. Now he said he was "paranoid" about HIV and tested every 2 weeks and was negative, and did not have anal sex with anyone other than his partner, aside from the encounter with me.
However, I reasoned he'd have no reason to be paranoid if he was playing safe, and I had a hard time trusting someone who was lying through his teeth to try and get what he wanted.
Well, unlike a lot of worried wells on this website, I had no seroconversion or ARS symptoms at all. Occasional constipation, which I know has nothing to do with ARS (but might have had to do with keeping that sphincter even more tightly closed after that encounter?)
I originally found the thebody.com site through a Google search on I think "anal anatomy", but soon found out very helpful things such as the fact that the "window period" had gone down to 3 months since my last HIV test in 2001. And that HIV-2 was not something I should worry about, especially considering that the potential exposure took place in Oklahoma where I think there have been a total of either 0 or 1 cases of HIV-2 total? Also, while I was strongly considering a PCR test in the first few weeks after the exposure, I decided against it after reading this website.
I did not consider PEP, perhaps because I was in denial or skeptical that he'd actually penetrated me as much as he claimed. And eventually it became clear that speculation as to relative risk would not do much good; only a HIV test after the window period would definitively answer the question.
Last Saturday night I was having dinner with a longtime friend and the subject got to anal sex and if I've ever done it, and I ended up blurting out what happened. And on Monday I got tested at the 3-months-plus-3-days mark via the rapid test. It was negative, and the doctor said that since I'd had no remotely risky activities since the potential exposure, that this negative result was "pretty definitive" -- which I guess would translate to a hearty Woo Hoo here. :-)
Even though this experience was something I could have been very upset over, I took a more practical view, reasoning that worrying between that time and the test would do no good, and this website certainly helped. Especially after the first month (and no ARS symptoms), I concentrated on other things, though reading this website pretty regularly. And I resumed being strictly safe sexually; if I met a guy who right off the bat was talking about doing anal and unprotected oral from day 1, I'd excuse myself and seek out someone who actually takes their health seriously.
Spending 3 months waiting for those test results has certainly had the effect of making me not want to even remotely consider doing something that would again jeopardize my peace of mind like that again. Sex is supposed to me (and usually is) enjoyable, not worrisome.
I could ask some questions, but I'm pretty sure I know what the answer would be: (1) was I at risk from that partial penetration? (yes), (2) should I have been encouraged my his saying he was HIV- ? (maybe, but he was a liar), (3) is this 3-month-3-day HIV test definitive and conclusive? (very likely), and (4) is it possible I could have contracted HIV-2? (almost infinitesimal chance of that happening in Oklahoma in 2004). (5) Should I test again at the six-month mark? (some might recommend it for peace of mind, but it's probably not necessary?) (6) Did my tensing that night do any good, or did it increase risk of bleeding and thus transmission, as the perpetrator said? (it may have done both?) (7) Everything I've read about anal sex says that if he did really get inside me with me tense and unwilling like that, and with no lube as was the case, it should have been very painful and difficult. But there wasn't any pain; does that mean that he really didn't get in as far as I or he thought? That he barely got inside, and only in the anus, not the rectum?
Are these answers correct? I actually was encouraged by one study that was relevant to question (1) which stated that the lower anal skin (before the transition to the rectum) has a dead keratinized layer on top which, like unbroken skin, can't be infected by HIV, so perhaps my being "tight assed" that night did reduce my risk by preventing access to the more delicate rectal tissues (keeping it from going past the anal canal).
Thanks again, N.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Yes, I would agree with you about the questionable veracity of your sex partner. The fact that "he said he was 'paranoid' about HIV and did not have anal sex with anyone other than his partner, aside from the encounter with you" sends up more waving red flags than a Chairman Mao memorial celebration in Tiananmen Square. Add to this the dude's persistence in trying to bareback you and his unlikely claim of "busting his nut" unprotected inside you, and I think it's safe to assume this whack job has serious "issues." Then again, it was Oklahoma, right??? That probably explains quite a bit right there.
So, on to your questions. For the most part, I agree with your answers. I'll just add a few comments:
1. Generally "penetration," even partial penetration, is not subtle. I'm fairly certain you would have been quite sure if indeed he got in your back door.
2. I wouldn't trust what this nutcase said, even if he had a lie detector strapped to his tallywhacker.
4. "Infinitesimal" is probably grossly overstating this risk.
6. No, I don't think this increased your risk at all.
7. I doubt he got in at all.
So N, I believe you have processed this whole unpleasant event very rationally. Congratulations! That rarely happens in this forum! Finally, thanks again for another reminder of why I don't spend anytime in Oklahoma. The friendly folks there also recently passed a constitutional amendment banning marriage and most likely other forms of relationship recognition of same-sex couples. Such nice folks, those Oakies.
Take good care, N. I'd avoid the square red states as vacation destinations until they once again come to their senses.
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