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HIV/STD testing and how long to wait "I infected my wife"
Jan 23, 2012

five years ago i had risky encounter then developed many symptoms afterwards but tested neg for hiv plus many other std tests. I recently married and infected her with the virus that she is so sick and wanted to divorce me in just 3 months of our marriage. i thought i am fine and ready to move on and have a happy family but this doesn't seem to be the case. Can you please tell me doctors what are the tests that i need to get tested for to find out what is wrong with me ...please..please...i can't think anymore. i feel so sorry for her that i thought i am free of virus. i just want to die now...

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question!

I'm sorry to hear that your sexual history, after so many years, is interrupting your current relationship. Let's try to work out some details together and make you get the answers you need to move forward healthy.

The important part with testing is to what a right amount of time after potential exposure ("risky encounter"). This is why we encourage all sexually active people to get tested on a regular basis for a full run of STDs.

I'm confused about some details of your story. When you say "the virus," do you mean you infected her with HIV? Or maybe you suspect you did but it hasn't been confirmed yet?

A lot of this gets answered by the question: how long did you wait after this "risky episode" to get tested? Each STD has a different amount of time that you'd need to wait. If your risk was very high (like unprotected sex or sharing needles with someone you know is infected) then it'd be a good idea to get tested at 3months then 6months for all your STDs, including HIV. Make sure they do a "full panel." That should include a visual exam.

This should give you peace of mind that you're doing what you can to determine your status. If you do this and come out positive for something, you can have a frank conversation with the person giving you the test on how to get you the right type of treatment/services. If you do this and come out negative across the board, it would probably help for you and your new wife to have an open conversation about your history, testing, and status.. and her's too!

Hope this helps!

Erik



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