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Scared. Please help

Mar 31, 2013

Hi Dr Southall

Please could you help me? About a week ago I had sex with a woman. We used a condom for vaginal intercourse (twice with a new condom each time). She performed a covered blow job on me and I performed unprotected oral sex on her. I also fingered her and put said finger in my mouth woth vaginal fluid still on it, which I swallowed.

Since then I've developed the following symptoms: a stiff neck, upper back and shoulders; swollen lymph nodes under my chin which don't hurt; a constant dull ache at the back of my head and forehead; and occasional brief sharp pains in other parts of my body. I've also been sweating a bit at night.

I'm planning on getting tested at the six week mark but I'm very worried. Are these symptoms generic? Or is there a chance I contracted hiv?

Thank you, Travis

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi There are few things that you experienced that tell me that your risk of HIV transmission is very small. First, oral sex carries the lowest risk of HIV transmission. If she has HIV it is present in vaginal fluid, the only way for transmission to occur in this instance: if you had an open sore or cut in your mouth and even then the risk is incredibly small. Fingering doesn't pose a risk and you had protected intercourse. These are all reasons why I say that your risk of HIV transmission is very small. The other thing to keep in mind is that HIV is not the only sexually transmitted infections out there that you need to be concerned about and are easier to get than HIV.

The symptoms are generic for many things, I would recommend that you follow up with your health care provider for evaluation most especially if your symptoms continue.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon

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