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one-night-stand partner later tested positive
Jun 22, 2009

During a separation from my main partner, I had a one-night stand with another man. He was an old friend and single. He's a couple of years older than me. This occurred in July 2008 -last year.

Just two nights ago (Friday, June 19 2009), via gmail chat - the man revealed he had tested positive during a second HIV test and he had gotten the results about two and a half months after our one-night stand last year.

I am re-hashing the events of our one-night stand. There was oral sex - we did the sixty-nine. He did not ejaculate and neither did I. The oral sex was prior to intercourse. We used a condom - he wore it and had ejaculated in it.

There was no alcohol involved but I was depressed and running low on self-esteem over my separation and over the events causing my separation from my main partner. We never had sex again after that night. He has been the only sexual partner I had had apart from my main partner.

It sounds all cut and dried - however - I now realise the many grey areas of our activities that night and my own lack of knowledge and ignorance on what is low-risk or high-risk HIV sexual behaviours. I currently have a back tooth that is broken. It had caused a lot of pain and I have never went to the dentist with it. I killed the pain using a strong Asian menthol spirit called white flower which is used for body aches and pains and running noses. I however cannot recall when the tooth was first broken - before or after the one-night stand. I also cannot recall if I had any mouth infection during the one-night stand.

I reconciled and reunited with my main partner - who is also the father of my two-year-old daughter - in late January this year. We have been sexually active again since then and living together again. We have never used a condom.

Since learning of the HIV-status of my one-night-stand partner, I am quite frankly feeling heavy-laden with guilt, stress and grief. I had lied to my main partner - saying I had not slept with anyone during our separation. I lied feeling it was necessary, considering the frailty of our relationship in the first months of our reunion. I do regret being dishonest very much.

I however cannot speak for my main partner. We were separated for almost a year - from March 2008 to January 2009 - before he came back seeking reconciliation. We had separated because he was unfaithful and throughout our separation we had never spoken nor seen each other until our reunion. He only said that he had not had a physical affair with the person concerned.

My grief and stress is over the risk I may have exposed to my main partner and our daughter. I am torn over what is right and what is wrong in terms of informing my main partner of the one-night-stand. I am scared of the consequences. After speaking with a niece yesterday, I have concluded that I will tell my main partner when I receive test results of my blood - whether it is positive or negative.

Since learning of the HIV status of my one-night-stand just two nights ago, I have been calculating the window period of that sexual activity and it's been almost a year now since then. In effect, the window period is over.

Meanwhile, the man I had the one-night-stand with is awaiting results from a third test he has done. He says he should get it within the next three months. He says he never knew of his HIV-status when we had our one-night-stand as the last test he did came back negative. The results for the second test came back positive for HIV - and according to him, this was two and a half months after our one-night-stand.

I have never contracted a sexually transmitted infection nor have I ever tested positive for HIV. The last HIV-test I took was when I registered for maternity clinics in 2006. My daughter was born in April 2007. I have always been a faithful partner until that night in July 2008. I say this only to let you in on my sexual history.

Towards the end of last month, May 2009 - I donated blood for the local hospital's blood bank through Red Cross. I understand the blood has to be screened for all viral infections. I had marked tick on the form saying I do not have multiple sex partners. I was speaking from the perspective of my current marital status. I am planning to get in touch with the HIV Unit here to inform them of my desire to have the results for HIV-screening and my reasons for it.

In my gut, I am a trembling, frightened soul who cannot believe the great risk I have imposed, especially on my daughter and on our future with her father. We have been talking about having another baby. We have been sketching out marriage plans. I feel so defeated and in utter despair and I know depression is descending in on me as since learning of the HIV-status of my one-night-stand, I have felt like such a false person and I feel so wretched for my daughter.

I do not know what I actually want from this forum in terms of answers. I guess my heart is screaming for professional and spiritual direction in how to handle this situation and how much of a risk I am in of contracting HIV from that one-night stand. How do I cope with the guilt over lying and grief and depression I feel as I continue to keep the secret and love my two loved ones? Should I even keep this a secret until I get results from HIV-tests? What pre-cautions do I take while taking care of myself, my partner and our sweet daughter?? Am I on the right track here in how I am thinking of dealing with the situation????

Please give me a break-down of the situation I am in - especially in terms of the risk I have of contracting HIV from my one-night-stand. I also wish to have confirmed that given the time period between that one-night-stand til today (almost one year now) - is it true that if HIV is present or not present in my body - it will show in blood tests and it doesn't need further testing to verify the results? And what symptoms would show physically today if indeed I am HIV-positive???

Thank you. God bless.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your problem is "guilt, stress, and grief;" not HIV!

Your HIV-acquisition risk was relatively low. That you donated blood through the Red Cross in May and did not receive notification that your blood was unacceptable due to a positive test is strong evidence that you are HIV negative (although donating blood should never be used as a means of determining if one is HIV infected!).

As for how to handle your current situation, I strongly agree with your decision to level with your partner. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt, but it's also the right thing to do. Lasting relationships are built on honesty. I would advise talking to your partner right away. I see no reason to wait. An HIV-antibody test will undoubtedly be negative. One way to level with your partner is to show him this post. I believe it clearly details what happened and your genuine remorse over being less than honest.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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