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HIV negative at 8 weeks after "dipping"
Aug 21, 2013

Hi,

I was with a receptive anal sex partner (I was the top) (said he was negative) on June 6, and we "dipped" a bit before I wore a condom. I only had safe encounters a few times after that until the end of July when I got gonorrhea from receiving oral sex from one of 3 partners. I visited doctor and got the shots and pills. The next day, my left linguinal lymph node in groin was quite swollen and sore, and the doctor kept saying he was concerned about acute HIV because of the lymph swelling. I tested NEGATIVE again that day which was almost exactly 8 weeks after my unprotected sex encounter. From everything I have read and researched, 8 weeks negative is very very encouraging. I have become angry at my doctor for continuing to state his concern even after testing. I'm making myself sick with worry and even had a breakdown in the doctor office. What is your opinion on my status? (PS: the node swelling went down to normal and is no longer tender, I also tested negative for syphilis, though the dr kept saying it could be a false negative!)

many thanks, JJ

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi JJ,

First, my suggestion is that you find another doctor. Your current one is obviously not up to date on his HIV knowledge, and quite frankly, it's not your place to have to teach him. As a man who has sex with other men you need a doctor that is knowledgable on HIV transmission so that you can have these types of discussions with them.

The risk itself was low. This was a one-time occurrence, it was brief, and you were the insertive partner. All signs point to transmission being unlikely. Of course anytime there is unprotected sex the risk increases. In the future, rubbing your penis along your partners buttocks, also called frottage, might feel just as good as dipping, but won't put you at risk for HIV.

Your swollen lymph node does not have me especially concerned either. A swollen lymph node merely indicates that your body is fighting off something. Given the risk, I don't believe it is HIV.

A negative HIV test at eight weeks is very encouraging. Any testing done at 28 days or later is a good indicator of what you can expect at the 90 day mark. You can test at the 90 day mark, or simply wait until your next regularly schedule round of STD screening.

Anyone who is sexually active should be tested for HIV at least once a year, and preferably every six months.

In health,

Richard



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