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HIV risk?
Jul 28, 2007

Hello, I hope you will be able to advise or reassure about something which has recently happened.

I am a 29 yr old gay man.4 weeks ago I met a guy and went back to his place. Things got a little heated although perhaps not what most people would consider risky basically, a little oral sex (I licked the base of his penis but didnt actually put the head in my mouth), I rimmed him. Unfortunately at one point he was on top of me and his erect penis (there was precum) rubbed briefly against my rectum although not full penetration. At no point did he ejaculate either inside me or in my mouth

The evening came to an abrupt halt when he suddenly announced that he was HIV+. I FREAKED out, left immediately.

I am now TERRIFIED, not least because I have a particularly vicious sore throat (which I am taking antibiotics for). I am now convinced that I am sero-converting.

The logical part of my brain is telling me that the chance of being HIV+ on the strength of what we did is very low (I did try getting PEP at the time but was refused).but I am naturally terrified and cant think about anything else at the moment.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance Mark

Response from Dr. Frascino

Mark,

I am very disappointed that you, as a 29-year-old gay man, "FREAKED out and left immediately" as soon as your partner disclosed his positive HIV status!

First of all, especially as a "29 year old gay man," you should realize by now that any potential sex partner could be HIV positive and therefore take all the necessary precautions to stay safe. What if your mystery man didn't disclose? Or what if he's one of the 250,000 HIV-positive Americans who have absolutely no idea they are infected? Would that make you any safer?

Your partner was being upfront and honest with you. Freaking out and leaving immediately is not going to get you a second date plus it was rude to make your partner feel that even his touch was somehow toxic. Yes, I realize you were rejecting the virus, not the guy, but bolting out of bed?????

Next, I'm disappointed that you are "now convinced that (you) are seroconverting" because you have a sore throat! Clearly you realize your activities with Poz-Guy were extremely low risk for HIV transmission. Plus becoming "terrified" just because you get a sore throat is irrational. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not infected. Symptoms, no matter what they are, do not equal HIV disease. Sexually active gay men should be aware of these basic HIV facts, rather than freak out like repressed religious zealots who have only attended abstinence-only sex education classes!

Next, I'm glad your efforts to get PEP were rebuffed, as PEP was definitely not warranted!

It's time to start using that "logical part" of your brain before it atrophies and you become a gun-toting, death penalty-supporting, homosexual-hating, religious-zealot, right-wing wing-nut Republican.

Your HIV risk was negligible. Your symptoms are not at all worrisome. The most I would recommend is a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark, primarily to calm your irrational fears and put any residual worries permanently to rest. And one more thing, if possible, I suggest you call that guy and apologize for your rude Republican behavior.

Dr. Bob



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