[Question #2265] Risk situation

44 months ago
Hello Dr Hook/HHH, 
i would like your opinion on the following situation, first of all i would like to mentioned  that i'm located in El Salvador Central america both exposures that i will mentioned happened here. I'm a male 29 years old rarely get involved in sex, no drugs user. However 3 years ago i had a GF and had unprotected vaginal intercourse  and oral sex,  we broke  on our relation and then i learned she was involved in lesbian sex, never tested on it, than on 2015 i had protected  vaginal with a different GF and i don't think  the condom  broke, but  assuming  it broke, are my risks low on both exposures ?  should i get tested? i never  developed any weird symptoms  except that  in a period of one month i  catch twice  a cold  that was  recent, which i think might be due to the  rainy seasonality  we have right now here in El Salvador. Anyways  until i catch twice  cold made me think about  any HIV risks with those exposures.  i thank you in advance for your  comments  and probably i'm just irrationally thinking and never had a risk. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your quesiton.

This certainly isn't irrational thinking. However, the chance you have HIV seems extremely low. Although I am not directly aware of the overall frequency of HIV in women in El Salvador, it is pretty low in women in most of Central and South America. In general, lesbian women are at lower risk of most STD than strictly heterosexual women; HPV and certain vaginal infections are exceptions to this rule, but HIV is uncommonly spread sexually between women. (All sexual activity is low risk for HIV when there is no penile penetration.) And when a woman has HIV, then entirely unprotected sex results in HIV transmission to a male partner roughly once for ever 2,000 exposures. So even the condom had broken, and if your partner had HIV, that would be your maximum risk.

Many people assume that the immune deficiency associated with HIV can cause things like increased colds or other common infections. It does not. Colds are no more frequent in people with HIV, even advanced AIDS, than in anyone else. The kinds of infections that occur in AIDS are nothing like the garden variety everyday, minor infections we all experience. So your possibly having a few more colds doesn't raise my suspicion at all.

Having said all that, you should be tested for HIV. This doesn't mean I believe there is serious risk; I do not. But all people who are sexually active outside mutually committed monogamous relationships should be tested from time to time. More important, once this sort of question is on someone's mind, especially to a point of asking advice on a forum like this, usually the anxiety about it never truly goes away until a negative test result is in hand. In other words, the expected negative result probably will be more reassuring than anything I can say based on probability and statistics. If you would like to be tested and let me know the result, I will be happy to comment further. But in the meantime, I really see no cause for worry about it.

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

HHH, MD
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44 months ago
Thanks a lot for your  comment  Dr Handsfield,  its been very helpful. So it seems  odds are in my favor with these situations and we should expect a negative result  right? it also seems  based on what you said, that is not  that easy to get infected   with this  virus, unless high risk activities are practice on regular basis. Any ways  i will get back with my result as soon as i get it for now i will make sure not  to read stuff on internet,  about the topic to avoid anxiety increase, i will get back  to you with the result Dr Handsfield once again thank you :)  
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
Yes, I am confident your HIV test will be negative. Good idea to stay off the internet about this. But if you find yourself still tempted to further search online, you'll be less likely to be misled if you limit searching to medical/professional sites, e.g. health departments, academic medical institutions, etc -- or at least professionally moderated ones, like this one. And especially avoid sites dominated by personal testimony by infected persons.

I look forward to hearing your test results. Let's hold off on further questions until then.

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44 months ago
Hello Doctor Handsfield, I hope your week is going well so far :), i stayed away from the topic as promised and today had my testing, i had a blood test , rapid test 3rd generation on one of the best labs on my country. The result was provided 2 hours later and exactly as you expected;  it  came out non reactive which i assume is negative, just as you predict it :).  So i just would like to double check if this is conclusive? Which i assume it is since the exposure was 2 years ago right? And if so i just only want to thank you sooo much for your advice Dr Handsfield, Also for the explanation you gave me with statistics and patience kind regards Dr Handsfield
44 months ago
Hi Doctor Handsfield, just would like to get your final opinion which i think wont change much from my assumption of my previous reply, incase you didnt recieve it i had a blood test 3rd generation rapid test , result came out after 2 hours negative or in this case non reactive, i guess this is conclusive correct? By the way i really thank you very much for all your help. I will make sure to go with safe sex from now on and once you reply feel free to close the thread :) 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
Sorry I missed this last week.

Yes, that test result is conclusive. (Negative and non-reactive mean the same thing.)

Thanks for the thanks about our servcies. I'm glad to have helped. Apologies again for this delayed reply.

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