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Lesbians and Hiv

May 3, 2011

Hello Doctor, I am writing today to gain perspective on my situation, and to maybe clarify some things for myself. I am a lesbian, never slept with a man before, but I slept with a female who has been with men. About four weeks after the encounter I developed a sinus infection, took antibiotics which lead to a yeast infection, and then I got a six week negative Hiv test (rapid test, finger prick). At eight weeks I went to my gynocologist, and a few days after that I got my period. Now I have had menstraul issues my entire life, but I am worried. It has been over a week and my period is extremely heavy still, and I am very tired. Should I worry? The woman I slept with insists she has been tested, however one never knows until they test themselves. Please, your expert opinion is highly valued at this time. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your HIV-acquisition risk is negligible. Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV. (Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected.) Your negative six-week rapid test is extremely encouraging, although for an HIV-antibody test to be considered definitive, you'd have to wait until the three-month mark.

I don't think you should worry about having contracted HIV from this incident. If you're still in contact with your gal-pal, you could ask her to get a rapid HIV test. The results are available in just a few minutes. If she does test negative, your negligible theoretical risk would decrease even more. The only risk would be if your partner contracted HIV very recently and was still in her window period (HIV infected but not yet making detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies).

If my reassurance is not sufficient for you to shake your worries, get a single three-month HIV-antibody test. The results will undoubtedly be negative.

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob

Barebacking in undetectable/STD free poz-poz relationship (BAREBACKING IN A POZ-POZ RELATIONSHIP, 2011)

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