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What are the chances?
Sep 25, 2001

About 4 weeks ago I had unprotected sex with a man whom I just found out had HIV. He did cum inside of me. I have an appointment coming up very soon but I was just wondering if there is any chance that I WILL NOT get it. If so, do you know of a percent? Thanks so much.

Response from Mr. Kull

There is a chance that you were not infected with HIV. Certain studies have examined the likelihood of infection during one episode of unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV infected partner. People often find that the odds of infection per contact are lower than they thought: studies have suggested anywhere from a 1 in 500 chance to a 3 in 10,000 chance of transmission. Many studies show that the risk of transmission is greater from male to female than from female to male. Certain variables can increase the risk of transmission: the higher the viral load (amount of virus in a person's body, usually measured in blood), the greater the chance for transmission.

The bottom line is that there is no guarantee that you have been infected. However, since you have had a definite exposure to an HIV infected person, there are certain issues to be aware of until you find out your HIV status. If you engage in sexual contact, use condoms to prevent possible transmission to others and anxiety within yourself about infecting others. See a doctor experienced in working with HIV patients to see what your options are at this point and educate yourself about HIV treatment options. Also, be aware of your emotional state. Situations like yours can bring up a lot of difficult emotions that can be hard to handle on your own. Seek out the support networks to help you through this.

RMK



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