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When recomended?

Apr 12, 2001

Dear Ryan

I have read many sites that said testing is not nesesary after certain sex acts and is nesesary for others could you please clarify when testing would and would not be recomended from a clinical point of view. 1) Recieving or giving anal sex? 2) Recieving end of vaginal sex? 3) Insertive end of vaginal sex? 4) Giving oral sex?(with and without ejaculation) 5) Recieving oral sex? 6) Deep kissing? 7) Mutual masterbation? 8) rimming?

I think this would help a lot of people including myself if you could answer.

Response from Mr. Kull

Getting an HIV antibody test is a personal choice that will be informed by your medical provider, HIV counselor, nurse, or other expert opinions. It is important to have a working knowledge of risk and transmission in order to make an educated decision. You also need to look at the reasons why you are getting tested and what significance the result is going to have in your life. Some people get tested repeatedly within the window period or after extremely low-risk exposures simply to relieve anxiety. This is not recommended and may be detrimental to the individual.

Ask yourself the following quesitons when deciding to get tested:

1) Did any fluids that may transmit HIV (blood, semen, or vaginal secretions) come into contact with my mucous membranes (lining of mouth, vagina, anus, urethra) or bloodstream?

2) What is the level of risk involved in the activity in which I engaged? Anal and vaginal receptive intercourse, meaning the person in whom the penis is inserted, is considered high risk, followed by insertive intercourse. Receptive anal intercourse is generally considered a more efficient means of transmission than receptive vaginal intercourse. Receptive oral sex is considered much lower risk. Ejaculation in the body will increase the receptive partner's risk for infection. Fingering, receiving oral sex, and casual contact generally do not require testing.

3) What do I know about my partner? You can't always truly know your partner's status, but many times people have a good sense about their partner's risk for infection. If you know that your partner is positive, is a man who has sex with men, shares injection needles, has a history of STDs, or has had sexual contact with an HIV positive person, then your risk for infection might be higher.

4) Were latex condoms or other barrier methods used to prevent fluid contact? Latex barriers happen to be an excellent means for preventing transmission.

These are some basic beginning questions to think about. Making a decision to get tested is a tough choice and a highly personal one.


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