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Possibly a magnetic couple?
May 28, 2009

Hi Dr. Frascino,

Thank you for taking my question. My boyfriend and I had been in a monogamous relationship for 2.5 years. On April 8th he had unprotected anal sex with a stranger while in a different city. About a week to a week and a half after the encounter we had unprotected anal/oral sex, I was the anal-inservtive partner only.

A week later he came down with a fever of 103 for 2 days followed by a 3-day rash. He was diagnosed as HIV positive on May 20th. I want to be with him and I'm trying to be strong, but I can't help worrying about my own status. I've had little to no symptoms (a dry red patch on my back, possibly swollen armpit glands- but I'm being SUPER sensitive to everything and understand that these are often worried-well symptoms).

I was tested negative at 4 weeks and 5 weeks with blood and oral rapid tests. I was also administered the NAAT, and am awaiting the results. The HIV counselor told me my risk was low because it was only one exposure and only anal-insertive. I can't help but be scared out of my mind, and therefore make it even more difficult for my newly diagnosed boyfriend. My question is, what do you think about my risk of contracting the virus? The last exposure was at least 1 week before his symptoms occured.

Thank you for such a wonderful site full of useful information. I will certainly make a donation and encourage others to do the same.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The estimated per-act risk of acquiring HIV from unprotected insertive anal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 6.5 per 10,000 exposures. That your boyfriend was newly infected and not on antiretroviral medication at the time of your exposure could increase your risk, as he may have had a very high HIV plasma viral load.

Your negative HIV tests out to five weeks are very encouraging but not yet definitive. You'll need repeat HIV-antibody testing at three months and, if negative, at six months to confirm conclusively you dodged the HIV bullet. The odds certainly remain very much in your favor.

You and your boyfriend should spend some time perusing the wealth of information on this site and in its archives. We have a whole chapter devoted to magnetic couples in the archives. Your boyfriend should also review the information in the "just diagnosed" chapter that can be easily accessed on The Body's homepage.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that your HIV tests will remain negative and that both you and your boyfriend remain healthy.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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