First time gay experience led to HIV exposure.


Dear Dr

I'm 28 and have never considered myself to be gay, however, last week, for numerous reasons, I slept with a guy who has been interested in me for a year. We used protection apart for a few minutes at the end when i was active.

Ten minutes after he 'came', he told me he was HIV positive.

I know I should have insisted on protection and believe me, I'm going to be the biggest advocate of that if I get the chance, but I'm terrified about this experience.

His viral load is undetectable, and I started PEP within 9 hours of the incident. He also assured me there was no blood in him, but I had a tiny scratch about a third of the way up my penis on the top side, which wasn't bleeding, but was definitely a scratch,

I feel my whole world is crumbling. I can;t talk to anyone about this and I;m just scared as hell. Terrified. Angry - at myself as much as him.

I don;t know what I want from you, but in your experience, what do you think about my chances of getting through this?

I know it's a cliche, but if I'm clear, I'll be a much better person... I just can't live with it.

What do you think?



Sorry to hear your first gay experience had to be so traumatic!

You don't mention the type of sex (oral vs. anal) you had, but the basic facts are:

  1. Unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. (Anal sex carries a much higher risk than oral.)

  2. The insertive (active) partner is at less risk than the receptive (passive) partner for all types of penetrative sex.

  3. If indeed your buddy's viral load was undetectable, the chances of HIV transmission would be significantly reduced.

  4. PEP will further significantly decrease your risk of HIV acquisition.

The odds you did not contract HIV from this episode are very much in your favor. You've done everything you can at this point to abort a potential HIV infection. You've also learned a very valuable lesson, the hard way, about the need to assume all our sexual partners could be HIV infected and therefore the need to take all the necessary precautions to prevent potential transmission of HIV. I'm confident this is a lesson you'll never ever forget. Try not to be too hard on yourself. We are all human. We all make mistakes even yours truly! What's important is that we recognize our mistakes, accept the consequences of our actions and learn from our lapses in judgment.

I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive post-PEP HIV tests are negative. Either way, I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob