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Terrified Over Possible Transmission, Used Condoms But.....

Apr 2, 2005

Hi Dr. I have read through a lot of your answers. You are an AWESOME person for helping to comfort people who are so anxious over maybe having this virus that you deal with on a daily basis. You're way too kind. The world needs more people like you!

My question is as follows. I'm a 29 year old gay male and I was dating this guy for two weeks. One Sunday afternoon when I was alone in his apartment while he was at work, to my shock and surprise, I accidentally found his HIV meds while looking for a pair of my socks. Of course I went into total panic and automatically assumed I had definitely been infected. He told me before we ever had sex that he was HIV negative.

We had sex 7 times in those 2 weeks, each time he topped me. He is the one that insisted on us using condoms and he brought the issue up before me. He said he never has sex without them and there was no negotiating that. I told him that was great because I felt the same way. We used condoms and lube each time he topped me. Im pretty sure there were no condom accidents (breakage, leaking etc) but I cannot be 100% sure about that. The condoms looked intact afterwards as far as I could tell. He would cum relatively quickly as our sex sessions never lasted more than 10 minutes if even that much and we never really had rough hard sex. I believe this lessens the chance that damage could have been done to a condom.

My only concerns are that I only helped him put the condom on once and the rest of the time I am hoping he knew what he was doing and that he put them on correctly. We also used his condoms half the time and mine half the time. Something I dont normally do as I usually am more comfortable using my own condoms rather than someone elses. I did check the expiration date of one of his condoms and it was ok.

I also gave him oral briefly 3 or 4 times, didnt sense any pre-cum, but Im not too worried about that as the risk seems so low. Im more worried about the anal. I felt I could really trust this guy for some reason and I let my guard down a little.

My lesson learned is to always stick to what makes me most comfortable no matter what and that is 1) always making sure the other guy knows how to put condoms on correctly (dont assume guys know the right way to put them on) and 2)using my own condoms as you never know if the other person might have damaged or old unusable condoms. Hopefully these things werent fatal errors on my part, but what can you do now. What is done is done.

I am getting tested in 3 months, but I am under so much anxiety over possibly being infected that I am not sleeping right, not eating right and having a tough time at work. Do you believe I am maybe overreacting to all this and freaking out more than I should? I went to get tested immediately after I found his meds (that same week, test was negative) and the counselor there said my risk is relatively low. Am I stressing more than I should or do I have real reason here to panic.

Please answer if you can. Thank you so much!!!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino


I think the biggest lesson to be learned from your experience is that we must assume all our sex partners could be HIV positive, even if they claim otherwise.

Do I think you are overreacting? Yes, it does appear your degree of worry is out of proportion to any real risk. That your partner insisted on condoms is encouraging. Your three-month test should calm any remaining fears.

Good luck! I'll send some karma in your direction!

Dr. Bob

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