[Question #1839] HIV risk assessment

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85 months ago

I would be grateful if you can assess my risk for hiv since my last test in August 2015. I know you advised me to test in your answer to my last question. I will surely test but I want to assess the risk so that the result will not be a shock. I am a black African and all the incidents happened in an African country with an hiv rate of 1% to 1.5%. The incidents are as follows:  

1. Dry humping with 2 different ladies at different times. In both situations I had my clothes on and both ladies also had their clothes on.

2. I had condom protected vaginal sex with 3 different ladies at different times. In all situations to the best of my knowledge the condoms did not fail. One of the ladies was a medical doctor whom I knew when growing up. 

3. There is another girl I slept with on 4 different occasions. Each time was condom protected but during one of the occasions I realised the condom had fallen on the bed when we were changing positions. I cannot surely tell whether the condom came off when we were changing the sexual position or I had penetrated sometime without the condom on. 48 hours after this incident I called a pharmacist friend who advised me that for the sake of my peace of mind I should go on PEP. She gave me lamivudine and zidovudine but I only took it for 21 days because I could not manage the side effect. 3 to 4 months after the incident I impressed upon the lady to have hiv test. She did the test with an insti rapid test and sent me the results through whatsapp. I cannot tell whether the test was fake or real but all things been equal I think it's the truth.   

4. The last incident was the one I asked on this website a few weeks ago. In that incident what will be the risk if there was genital apposition of brief penetration. The lady in question also sent me her negative hiv results. HIV is like money everyone says he/she does not have it but I know it exist. On a scale of 0 to 10 what is my hiv risk.
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
85 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum.  As you probably know, clients on this site are not permitted to request who responds to their questions.  All questions regarding herpes go to Ms. Warren and Dr. Handsfield and I split all other questions.  As it happened, today I happened to pick up your question.  As an FYI, having worked closely for more than 35 years, Dr. Handsfield and I never disagree on the content of our replies although our verbal styles vary.  I will be addressing these questions.

Before I answer your question, let me agree with Dr. Handsfield's recommendation that you go on and test.  Delaying testing plays no useful purpose and will not change whether or not you are infected.  Based on your questions, I think it is quite unlikely that you are infected and testing will provide you with come comfort.  With that, I will go straight to your questions:

1.  Dry humping, with or without clothes is entirely safe sex.  No one has have gotten HIV through material. 

2.  Give the statistics about HIV prevalence you mentioned, it is unlikely that any of your partner had HIV and even if they did, condom protected sex is very safe.  If you did not notice a rip in the condom, it did not fail.  when condoms fail, they typically break wide open and do not fail  just a little.

3.  It sounds like you may have had an unprotected encounter.  Your partner however sounds to be low risk and if your partner tested negative for HIV, the encounter was no risk and I would not worry further.  The PEP you took would have possibly prevented infection if you had been exposed although I suspect you were not exposed.

4.  As Dr. Handsfield told you, your prior exposure did not put you at meaningful risk for HIV.   I would not worry.

In summary, the situations you describe were close to, if not completely no risk events that should not cause you to worry.  having said that, it is clear that you are both worried and have had several sexual partners.  As such, I would suggest that you go on and test for HIV, as well as other more common STIs such as gonorrhea or chlamydia..  

I hope these comments are helpful to you.  EWH .