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Herpes & HIV?
May 9, 2008

Hey Dr. Bob, I just want to thank you for the services provided by this site because it was immensely beneficial in answering many of my questions. However, I would greatly appreciate your opinion.

I was a single male at the time, and about 1 month and 1 week ago, I had protected sex with a woman and unprotected oral sex. I received oral several times and performed oral sex once on her. She is of unkown serostatus but claimed to practice safe sex. I recently found out that she has had several different sexual partners on a frequent basis.

Exactly 12 days after my one nighter, I began to have primary outbreak symptoms of herpes. I had a complete STD screening, and tested positive for HSV-2 in a virology test. I also had 2 small blisters similar to herpes on my middle finger.I believe to be the finger exposed to her V.

My finger has slowly healed and my outbreak healed in 2 weeks after immediate Valtrex treatment in high doses. Now, during initial symptoms, I had swollen glands in groin& neck, nausea,fatigue,diarrhea,vomiting, and low-grade fever one night. This symptoms occured for about ten days and subsided.

Now, 5 weeks later I still have some swollen lymph tissue under my right arm and noticeable fatigue. I was on Valtrex for 1 week during the initial outbreak, took a week off and I will be starting suppressive therapy.

Given my situation, what is my probable risk to exposing myself to HIV?

She has not been tested for a couple years, and I was surprised by the HSV-2 because I do not have it orally. Though, I have just noticed a sore inside my cheek.

At the 1 month mark I was tested for HIV. No results yet, but I will be following up with a rapid test at the 3 month mark.

Any advice would be great, as I tend to worry excessively.

By the way, a donation to your organization will be on the way, as I feel you are very competent and inspirational.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Oral sex carries only a very low risk for HIV transmission/acquisition. Protected sex is indeed protected if the latex condom is used properly and doesn't break.

Herpes is much easier to contract than HIV.

The odds remain astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this one-nighter.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test remains negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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