Dr . Bob - you are the best!
Nov 23, 2005
I have been reading your column (and archives) since "my brain-dead stupid incident" two months ago. I received oral sex from a sex worker (in the great city of Amsterdam). I was very drunk, and having a good time with some business associates before we lost our senses (not sure if they did - but I know that I did). I have been married to a great woman for 15 years and then I snapped - a stupid lapse of judgement. I know that she used put a condom on my flaccid penis to start - but I am rally not sure it stayed there. Anyways, I was so drunk I couldn't even get it up for intercoarse (or which I am very grateful for). I know that this is question that appears many times in the archives but it would seem that everybody like to give a time for which they received oral sex. My question is "is time of oral sex really an parameter for being infected with HIV"? (Just for record - she tried for about 10 minutes to get me hard and then I just gave up.)
I too have gone through all of the guilt, night sweats (from guilt I think), and phantom symptoms. I took your advice and told my wife and she was extremely relived that I told her the truth. This has really helped me! We have 2 small children and I just received a vasectomy. My 8 weeks before before being tested for sperm count occurs at my 13 week mark. Up until this date, my wife and I have always used condoms for vaginal sex, and I have not given or received oral sex since "the incident" (she wants it but I am too paranoid about being HIV+).
I know, I know - the risks for oral HIV infection is low (0.5 in 10,000 with an HIV+ person), but I too am very anxious about what the hell I did. I hate to ramble but I just can't help myself.
Dr. Bob - you (and the other great doctors at thebody.com) provide the WORLD with a very upbeat and positve service to all scared potential HIV+ persons. I hope that the best thing that comes from this fantastic web site is a different perspective for people that don't have HIV! Everyone should cherish the life that they have been given, be careful with themselves and be the best person you can be to others and to the rest of the world.
I am saving for a donation to your foundation!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Amsterdam is one of my favorite destinations. You certainly are not alone in losing or, for that matter, heightening your senses while visiting this extraordinary city.
It seems as though you intellectually understand the facts:
1. Oral unprotected insertive sex carries a very low risk for HIV transmission.
2. Your symptoms are most likely caused by guilt and worry.
3. The estimated HIV-acquisition-risk statistics are very encouraging.
Regarding your specific question on "time," generally speaking, the longer the duration of the potential exposure, the more likely is HIV transmission. Although this is not an absolute. In other words, HIV transmission can occur with a very minimal nookie session whereas it may not occur with a marathon sex-fest.
My advice is for you to have a three-month HIV-antibody test to confirm what both you and I suspect to be true: that you are, in fact, HIV negative. I'm delighted you confided in your wife and that she is being supportive. The entire experience will ultimately strengthen your relationship. Trust and honesty are the foundation of a healthy union.
Thank you for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org). I'll send you my best good-luck karma that you're test is negative.
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