[Question #2176] Hiv risk

47 months ago
Hi Doctors, I am writing because over the course of 6 months i have had a fair share of sex partners i am a heterosexual male, 4 to be precise. I have always wore protection, but two ocassions trouble me. One of them I was a bit drunk but recall exactly what happened, the condom started rolling up the shaft of my penis to my knowledge the head was always covered because i remember pulling the condom back down maybe twice, before ejaculating in it. The next situation condom was about a quarter up my shaft and i had a small razor cut. The other encounters one the females started menstruating but i was only in her less than 2 minutes for that same reason with a condom to my knowledge and from what i recall i checked the condom after sex and it seemed fine...this is all 6 months up until now. The rolled up condom happened in december and the others in february march time. This past month however i developed a stomach bug a few times 2 to be exact and a sinus infection this month and a cold/sinus infection in march as well....do you think i have been exposed to hiv and my immune system is weakening?? My nervous system has been out of wack i have had a headache for the past week and developed a canker sore last friday that is almost healed but was painful i developed this 3 days before i developed my last episode of gastroenteritis that lasted a day with fever of 100 degrees... the anxiety is killing me, i am finding vertical lines in my nails that had been gone for years and now seem noticable again please help
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

These sexual exposures carried little if any risk for HIV, which is more rare in women (in the US and other industrialized countries) than you might think; because condoms are highly effective; and because the average risk of HIV transmission for a single episode of vaginal sex is roughly once for every 2500 exposures (and that's without condoms). Exposed razor cuts do not significantly elevate the risk; the important thing is that the condoms covered the head of your penis and the urethral opening.

Second, none of the symptoms you mention suggests a new HIV infection. Even though many of the individual symptoms could be caused by HIV, individual symptoms are not nearly important as the pattern of symptoms. And the immune deficiency of HIV does not increase the frequency of gastrointestinal infections or colds; and when HIV causes immune deficiency, it is only several years after catching it.

So all things considered, I see virtually no chance you caught HIV during the exposures you describe over the past few months. But the answer to all this of course is to have an HIV test. (I have to wonder why you haven't done it already.) Based on all you say, you can count on a negative result. Go ahead and do that, and then return and let me know the result.

I hope this has helped. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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47 months ago
Thank you Dr. Hansfield I am just very fearful and guilty since I am a married man and fear I could have passed something on to my wife, my mind gets the best of me and has me always fearing the worst outcomes
47 months ago
The reason i am worrisome is because i developed a very mild sickness about 2-3 weeks after the encounters in which i felt like post nasal drip irritated the back of my throat and caused and infection and i had to get antibiotics, i had no rash or swollen glands perhaps a slight fever that i could recall but lasted hours at most
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
HIV does not cause common cold symptoms and is not a likely cause of post nasal drip. Sounds like you had a cold or garden variety sinusitis.

As for "I am just very fearful and guilty", that's not the same as HIV risk. Do your best to separate your emotions from the objective, scientific reassurance I have given you.

And do get HIV tested. That does not mean I believe you really are at significant risk; it's strictly for the anticipated reassurance of a negative result. I look forward to hearing the test result, but I suggest no other comments or follow-up questions until then. There is nothing more that will come to mind that would possibly change my opinion and advice, and you have only one more follow-up comment and reply coming before this thread is closed. OK?

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47 months ago
I understand you answered my questions and don't feel anything could change your mind, my test is tomorrow and i was checking dates and my sickness was off, my cold was 
March13-17 which is 11 weeks after my first protected encounter, far too long
March 23-i had my second encounter in which the woman started her period and got blood on me I finished and from what i recall condom was fine

4 weeks after 
April 19- i developed chills, vomit and diarrhea overnight and was gone after i evacuated everything. Night of heavy drinking and ate rare meat
May 3- same exact thing , nauseau and threw up had some chills the next day-light drinking ate rare meat
May 15-fever of 100 vomited 3 times diarrhea twice-ate seafood, dad also got sick
47 months ago
Not to mention a head ache that has been with me all week
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
Sigh. As I said, there is no information you were likely to provide that would change my opinion or advice. That remains true. These symptoms are not suggestive of HIV. You had some sort of gastrointestinal infection or, most likely, the effects of alcohol.

Your test result tomorrow will be negative. I'm feeling generous about the forum rules, and threads normally are closed after two follow-up comments and replies. But I'm still going to leave this open so you can post your test result. But if you post anything more before that, the thread will be immediately closed without further reply.

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47 months ago
Negative doc!!! I am definitely relieved...would you say this can be conclusive for an episode on march 23rd 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
47 months ago
I'm glad to hear the result -- but of course you're the only one surprised by it, certainly not me!

Assuming you had a blood test and not an oral fluids test (OraQuick®), the result is conclusive. If it was an oral fluids test, it's highly reassuring, but can take up to 3 months to be truly conclusive.

That concludes this thread. Take care and stay safe!

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