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Open Heart Surgery/Blood Donation

Sep 30, 2005

Dr. Bob,

I'm facing a rather large dilema. I had been informally dating an HIV+ guy when this all came about. We had only on one occassion has unprotected oral sex - I was insertive and receptive. So a case of giving and getting. Regardless, my 4 month old niece now faces having to have open heart surgery for VSD. Her mother and I are the only two that we know of that are the correct blood type (O+) What do I do? First, what is the likelihood that I contracted HIV? I've read other postings that says it's very low, but I'm still completely terrified. Also, I'm assuming I shouldn't donate for her procedure? Please Advise. I'd gladly face HIV if it meant her well being, but I'm hoping that both of us come out of this just fine. Thanks for your help.

Best Regards, Mark in Chicago

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Mark,

Sorry to hear about your niece's VSD. Hopefully the surgery will go well.

One episode of unprotected insertive and receptive oral sex with an HIV-positive partner would have a very low risk for potential HIV transmission. I don't know the time course of your pole-bobbing experience or the date of the VSD repair; however, if you have a three-month interval, you could get HIV tested and feel confident that your result is definitive.

However, if you're still in the window period, it's best to be honest and refuse to give blood, rather than do so and worry about it afterward. Many blood donation centers do not even accept blood from gay men (a ridiculous rule that does not make any sense scientifically), so you may be off the hook. If your niece needs blood and her mom is 0+ as well, chances are they will want to use her blood as a first option. The blood banks will also have a supply of 0+ blood on hand. Of note is the fact that "directed donors" (i.e. having friends and family donate blood for a specific need) is no safer than using blood from the blood bank.

Bottom line, I do think "you both will come out of this just fine."

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Trying to keep it together at sea (Donation coming when back in port)
Should I get Circumcised?

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