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Unprotected anal sex
Dec 19, 2006

Dear Dr Frascino,

I am 22 and I had unprotected, receptive anal sex on August 5th '06. He ejaculated inside of me. About three weeks later I developed an irritating, dry cough, then roughly a week later I got tonsillitis and diarrhoea. At night time I would become hot and sweat, and wake up with fever. The glands under my jaw and on my groin were swollen and tender. My tongue and mouth felt strange, and had a white coating.

My gay friends became worried and asked if I'd had unprotected sex recently, because my symptoms could be HIV, and I told them yes. They said I should have a test asap. So I had a test six weeks post-possible-exposure. It came back negative and I was quite relieved.

My question is: should I have another test, or is the test I had at six weeks enough to officially declare I am HIV negative?

In the past few months I have been coming down with a lot of throat infections and colds. I never used to get sick, but now I seem to get tonsillitis about once per month, leaving me bed ridden and unable to work. The lymph glands under my jaw become swollen and tender when this happens, and I get fevers.

Adding to my worries, the areas on my face around my nose and chin have become inflamed and covered in flaky skin. I treat it with hydrozole ointment, which helps, but doesn't completely fix it.

Thanks for your time,

Charlie

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Charlie,

You are 22 years old and having unprotected receptive anal sex. Why did it take your gay friend's concern to wake you up to the reality of your HIV risk? Considering we are twenty-five years into the pandemic, twenty-five million lives have been lost and an additional forty million of us are living with the challenges of being HIV positive, I'm amazed that you would be unaware of the potential disastrous consequences of unprotected receptive anal sex. There is no doubt your actions have placed you at risk for STDs, including HIV. Your negative six-week test is encouraging, but not definitive. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be conclusive. Charlie, at this point, you are still in the "window period" and will need to repeat your HIV test at three or more months from the night of your commando sexcapade. While waiting (and worrying), I would strongly encourage you to spend some time reviewing the information on this site, in the archives of this forum and at links related to safer sexual techniques, HIV transmission and HIV tests. I would also recommend you ask Santa for a healthy supply of latex condoms, water-based lubricant and common sense!

Good luck, Charlie!

Dr. Bob



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