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Is it HIV or something else?
Mar 12, 1997

Please help me because this has been plaguing me and my mind for months. I have read almost all of the stories but I think that the only way for me to feel better is to tell you mine. I had unprotected oral sex with a guy in late October. However, there was no blood or ejaculate involved to my knowledge. I had performed on him for only a minute and he performed on me for longer. I had a blood test done at 2 and 1/2 months and it was negative for HIV. I recently went back at 4 months for another test and it too was negative. Two days before I had my 4 month test, I had gone to my doctor to get a CBC test and everything was fine with my blood except my lymphocyte count was a little low. My doctor said that sometimes that happens when a body has been stressed or sick for a while. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I have been having flu like symptoms off and on since December. So I guess my questions are: do you think I have HIV based on what I told you, what are the odds that I have HIV, or do you think its just stress from worrying and being sick. Thank you for your time and God bless.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. First of all, your risks were very low when you were receiving oral sex (exposure to saliva). As far as your risks when you were giving him oral sex, without ejaculation, there still is some risk of getting infected, but the risk is generally low. Your risk would have been much greater if the man ejaculated in your mouth, but since he didn't ejaculate in your mouth, your risk is greatly reduced. The risk of giving oral sex without ejaculation is less than if he had ejaculated in your mouth, and the risk is also less than that of intercourse.

A person cannot determine whether they may be infected based on a CBC (Complete Blood Count). Only a test that specifically tests for HIV can determine whether a person is infected or not. Since you tested negative at 4 months, we can say that you are probably not infected, although a 4 month test is not conclusive or definitive. This is because some people can take as long as 6 months to show positive. It's still a good idea to follow-up with a 6 month test. But since you have tested negative thus far (at 4 months), you're probably not infected, especially in light of your relatively low risks for HIV. For more information about the risks of oral sex, see the question, "oral sex".

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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