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Help,Please clarify risk of HIV with std...am I overworried?
Feb 22, 2005

Hi Brian: I just want to thank you for taking the time to answer my question, I can't tell you how helpful it was. God Bless you. I was the girl who had protected sex with a friend who has had multiple partners whose HIV status is unknown and was worried about the risks of HIV transmission. You wrote that the risk goes well below 1% from one encounter, male to female. I was wondering, is it still below 1% even if he is HIV+? I am anxiously waiting for the results of his test so that I can put my fears aside. Did you think this was a situation that warranted testing in the first place? Also, if he had an STD and passed it to me, could that increase the risk of transmission of HIV? I am unclear about these risks. I know I should not, but I keep thinking about the worse case scenarios but am hoping for the best and hope that someone reading this in the same situation will know they are not alone. Any information you have regarding these questions would be extremely helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Conway

You are certainly not alone, and you are to be congratulated for the courage of coming forward with your questions. The risk of less than 1% applies if he is HIV-positive. There is no risk if he is HIV-negative. Trasnmission of an STD may increase the risk of transmitting HIV, but the risk would be greater with a pre-existing ulcerating STD, which was not the case here.

You were definitely right to get tested, and you should do so again if you find yourself in this position in the future. The question I would put to you is that what you would do to not put yourself in this situation in the future?

I wish you success in this endeavour and peace of mind.



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