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Freaking out about HIV
Aug 21, 2013

Hey Richard,

First of all, I would like to say I am very impressed by your site's no nonsense view about STD's. You certainly don't make light of them, but you also show no fear of them. They are a disease to be dealt with, nothing more. This is a refreshing take on them considering the amount of anxiety and social stigma surrounding them.

That being said, I have ignored all of this in the past month and a half and literally driven myself crazy over the possibility of having HIV. To ignore a long and embarrassing story, I will jump to the climax (no pun intended). I went out with some buddies for a bachelor party about 1.5 months ago to what can be described as a high end strip club. After several drinks, several lapdances, and several more drinks, I was led to the back for some time alone with a stripper. During that time, she performed unprotected oral sex on me for approximately 15-20 minutes, and we made out for awhile as well. She was approximately 30-35 years old, I am 24. Not to be graphic, but I did not ejaculate in her mouth. About 2-3 weeks later, I experienced a breakout on my legs, arms, and back. Freaking out, I talked to a doctor who tested me for staph. It came back positive. However, I also noticed a very mild rash across my chest, and it does not look like staph. I've probably had it for about 3 weeks now.

I have not had flu like symptoms, nor a fever, but I feel inclined to ask if this is possibly HIV. I've had a couple painless mouth sores, too, but my doctor simply waved these off as a symptom of any infection, such as staph, telling me HIV was essentially impossible from this scenario and that I shouldn't worry. I still plan on being tested, but I know I should at least wait 3 months to expect a reliable result. Until then, I'm driving myself crazy. I probably look at the rash about 30 times a day, and I can't shake the feeling that I have contracted the ONE thing I never even considered myself getting.

I know the odds are slim, but I have convinced myself I have HIV from this encounter. I FEEL like I have it. I feel out of whack and not in tune with my life. Is this common?

My question is this: is a test now, at around 1.5 months, too premature to expect a trustworthy result? Or would a negative test now at least increase my chances of having a negative result later? Also, is the contraction of staph a indicator of HIV? Or, a complete coincidence?

Sorry for the long post. Sincerely, Kyle

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi Kyle,

I agree with your doctor. Transmission of HIV was essentially impossible from this scenario. See the paragraph at the bottom for TheBody's take on oral sex.

In regards to testing: Any testing done prior to 90 days is NOT considered conclusive. However, any testing done at 28 days or later would be a good indicator of what to expect at the 90 day mark.

In regards to how you're feeling... If you've convinced yourself that you have an incurable disease, then yeah, it makes sense that you feel out of whack and not in tune with your life. Just ask someone who is actually HIV positive.

You are not HIV positive from this encounter. Your symptoms have nothing to do with HIV. Staph exists on the skin and mucous membranes of humans. It can be a problem for those with weakened immune systems such as people who have been infected with HIV, are not on medication, and have been infected for awhile. That is not you.

If you continue to have trouble believing that you are negative from this incident then it might be helpful to explore the reasons why you think you have HIV. Maybe you're feeling bad because she was a stripper. Maybe you have a girlfriend or wife. Whatever the reason(s), you might find it helpful to explore your feelings a little more in depth. They might shed some light on the situation.

In health,

Richard

RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION FROM ORAL SEX: The risk of HIV transmission with oral sex is extremely low. It is even reasonable to state that for the person receiving oral sex (that is on whom oral sex is being performed) the risk of acquisition of the virus is practically zero. For the person placing his or her mouth on someone else's genitals, the risk may be slightly higher but still very very low. Theoretically, obvious cuts, wounds, sores, or infections in the mouth could raise this risk. But relatively speaking this is still considered to be a low-risk sexual activity as the mouth is not a hospitable place for the HIV virus. Please note that other sexually transmitted infections are readily spread via oral contact and you may need to be checked for these.



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