Sex and symptoms
Jul 16, 2011
Dear Dr. Bob:
First, thank you for all the fine and selfless work that you are doing. You make are making a big difference to a lot of lives. My situation is the same as many it seems: I have recently (12 days ago) had sex with a SW, now have flu-likesymptoms and now feel almost resigned to having contracted HIV.
The sex was protected vaginal intercourse, but in the act I sucked on her nipple for a few seconds and am pretty sure she secreted a few drops of milk. I stopped immediately but by that point I am afraid that the damage may have already been done. My flu-like symptoms include diarrhea (after about 8 days), a sore throat (after 9) and the sweats. I am not congested, though, which normally I would expect to be if this were a cold. I am so worried. I do have a geographic tongue and suffer from GERD, which I am afraid might make it easier for the virus to enter my system. I wish I had washed out my mouth or double checked what had happened to be sure, but I did not and now I am pannicked and just do not know what to feel.
On the one hand I want to feel hopeful that my symptoms are a coincidence. On the other I feel like I may have just made to most stupid mistake of my life.
Doc, I just dont know what to do. Any comment regrding the situation would really help.
Thank you very much and keep up the great work.
- Very Scared
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello, Very Scared.
Yes, your situation is identical to many others in the archives: protected vaginal sex with professional sex worker. Unfortunately you are also jumping to the same wrong conclusion as so many others: "I now feel resigned to having contracted HIV"!
My response to you is essentially identical to all those others as well. (Here comes "The Department of Redundancy Department" again...and again!)
Protected sex is protected, assuming the latex condom was used properly and didn't fail (break).
Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected.
Ingesting "a few drops" of breast milk is not considered a risk for HIV transmission for adults.
If my reassurance is not enough to put your worries to rest, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative.
Be well. Stop worrying.
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