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Brief encounter - unprotected insertive anal

Apr 12, 2012

Hey, there.

I realize that you've already been asked, and answered, questions similar to mine (with some differences), but I hope that you'll indulge me nonetheless. I would really appreciate it.

On April 1st I hooked up with some dude (HIV status unknown) in a bookstore/movie theatre. After messing around for awhile, and in the heat of the moment, I put approximately 2" (in case it matters, of my approximately 8", but at any rate, at least my head) of my unprotected penis inside his anus (stupid, I know). Within five seconds (if even that long), I came to my senses and pulled out, and nothing else happened. (Well, I then put on a condom, but it broke before we could continue.) There was no ejaculation and, apart from what was required to enter him, no thrusting. And there were no cuts or sores on my penis. I cannot speak to the condition of his anus or rectum, i.e., whether he was bleeding inside or whether he still had sperm inside from a possible previous encounter the same evening.

Afterwards I didn't worry too much about it since I hadn't deeply penetrated him and since what penetration there was had been so brief, but--here it comes--on April 8th, seven days post-possible exposure, I started feeling ill--muscle (but more joint) aches, a couple of bouts of diarrhea, a swollen lymph node on the right side of my neck, slight fatigue, and some unattributable sweating (I have no thermometer, so I couldn't take my temperature), all of which lasted 2-3 days. (As of today, the 12th, the symptoms have decreased appreciably, and I feel better.) As you might imagine, I am now worried that I've exposed myself to HIV. (Yes, I know that you can't diagnose HIV infection via symptoms, but for me, this is simply too much of a coincidence to be a cold or some other virus.)

(Some other guy fingered me that night, too, and I also gave a couple of blowjobs--with no pre-cum or ejaculation--but I know that, under most conditions, these are not considered to be high-risk, so I'm not worried about any of that.)

I will of course get tested, first at six weeks out (unless I totally freak out and decide to pay for a PCR test--which I know is not a diagnostic test, but which would tell me if HIV were present), then, if that test is negative, after another month or so, but for now, how high do you think my risk was? Do you think that it's possible that the bogeyman has finally found me? More specifically, are depth of penetration and length of exposure factors in assessing risk/likelihood of transmission? And, though I keep reading/hearing that symptoms of primary HIV infection appear within 2-4 weeks, I imagine that there could be some variability among people in terms of this timeline, so if I were experiencing symptoms of HIV infection, could I be experiencing such symptoms just one week later?

Oh, in case it matters in the scheme of things, I'm also diabetic (type II, insulin-dependent).

I would appreciate anything that you can tell me (and that would ideally help me to not further freak out). Thank you very much in advance.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

The length of time is important when assessing the risk. As for the depth, what is important there is that the deeper you go, the more likely his fluids can be pushed up into your urethra. It's unlikely that you would be experiencing ARS so quickly.

Given that it was a one-time incident, and that the length of time was brief, I would not be too concerned. I would recommend a test at the 90 day mark, just to be safe.

In health,


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