|questions about HIV - reentering dating at 47
Jan 10, 2009
I have heard that if you had unprotected sex once with a man who's had sex with a man, the risk of contracting HIV lasts for a minimum of five years...true?
| Response from Dr. Frascino
Exactly where did you hear that? Fox News? The Vatican-blessed Science Network? Mormon Bible camp?
Remember when your mother told you: "Don't believe everything you hear?" Well, this is one of those cases! Five years? No, of course not. HIV is a virus. It (unlike the Mormon Church) doesn't care if you're gay, straight, bi-curious or Republican closeted. The "window period" between HIV infection and the detection of anti-HIV-antibodies in the blood (testing HIV positive) is exactly the same for everyone. It's usually defined as the first three months after primary HIV infection (six months for some situations, such as an occupational exposure). Testing HIV negative outside the window period is considered to be definitive whether you are straight as a lawn dart or gay enough to bottom for Liberace.
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