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Risk of transmission while menstruating
Jul 29, 2013

Hi I'm a male who recently had an encounter with a sex worker who I have known for a while. During our encounter she told me she was on her period but being in the heat of the moment I foolishly proceeded to have unprotected vaginal sex with her. The only reason was because during our last encounter, which was about 2 weeks prior, she assured me that she was disease free, because she has cervical problems and stays up to date with it. Before our encounters I took 2 oraquick tests which came back negative. Please help, I've never engaged in risky behavior like this before and I've been worrying myself sick by reading articles online. I'm very scared of the consequences that might happen because of this. Thank for your time

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi It doesn't matter if she is on her menses or not, you had unprotected sex this puts you at risk not just for HIV but all of the other sexually transmitted infections. You also had sex with someone who has multiple partners which increases her risk of acquiring an STI and increases you risk. She may stay on top of her health and a few weeks prior all of her results came back negative but what has happened between the last time you saw her and this time? You don't know and you also need to know about the window period for HIV. The reason why the testing guidelines say to get to tested initially at 3 week posts exposure and then again at 90 days and as long as there were no other exposures during this time the results are conclusive. The reason for the 3 week to 90 day time period is the testing is picking up your body building antibodies against HIV and everyone's body develops though at different rates. You could go in for testing at 3 weeks and your test is negative and then go in at 90 days and your test could be positive. This would mean that you have been positive all along, including the test at 3 weeks and able to transmit the virus. So my recommendation to you is to be tested. It is much more difficult for HIV transmission to happen from a woman to a man, but it does happen.

Be well, get tested and use condoms!!!

Shannon



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