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Vaginal Secretions No Blood
May 25, 1997

I recently had unprotected vaginal sex with a married woman who had her tubes tied. Since pregnancy was not risk, I did not use a condom and did not consider the risk of STD's until after the foolish act was over. 4 weeks after, I tested negative for all STD's including HIV. Since my partner could not menstruate and my only exposure was vaginal fluid, should I continue to worry about disease? I did have some flu-like symptoms (fatigue, constipation, insomnia, muscle aches although no visible rash or fever) around the time of testing. I am worried SICK about being infected with HIV and I would appreciate any commentary you could provide. Thanks for your attention to this and other concerns.

Response from Dr. Cohen

I'm afraid your understanding of the female reproductive anatomy and physiology is a little off. The fact that a woman has her tubes tied has nothing to do with menstruation or risk of transmitting HIV. It simply prevents pregnancy by blocking the sperm's access to the ovaries.. Menstruation still occurs until menopause, because the hormonal cycles that cause the uterine lining to slough itself and regenerate each month still occur.

That being said, the fact is that female-to male-transmission is still much less common than male-to-female transmission in the developed world. The encounter you describe was probably low risk, but not no risk. To know for sure, you'd have to wait and get tested again.



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