[Question #3272] A mistake 5 years ago coming back to haunt me

37 months ago
Am female in October 2013 I slept with a guy on two different occasions once with a condom and second time the condom was not put on after I did stop when I realised this I don’t think he came but can’t be sure of pre cum. The guy is a lady’s man (he has since had 4 girlfriends since) all glamour model looking.  I was on a six month break from a ex whom I got back with a week after exposure and have been with ever since. My boyfriend has lost lots of weight and has serve depression which makes me question my mistaken one night stand 5 years ago. After my exposure in 2013 I had server yeast infection on off for weeks from week one also in week one I had a bumpy rash on wrist. Second week I had a single lymph node in groin this was scanned it lasted about 16 weeks and vanished when I stopped touching it. I got nausea and felt tired a lot also had diarrhoea for 3 days. There were lots of symptoms on and off abdominal pains, shooting leg pain, headaches, dry skin, cystitis, toothache, backache, coated tongue, sore throat, hot and cold chills, sleepless nights, waking up sweating- no bed drenching tho, loss of appetite. On week12 I had a blotchy rash on face that lasted 3 days. I was guilty about the one night stand even tho we were on a break and for nearly a year after I had hiv anxiety thinking I’d caught it and passed it on. Once I stopped focusing on hiv and googling everything I felt normal again. After exposure I tested for everything except hiv no blood tests as I was to scared.  It’s 5 years later and the thoughts are starting to pop back in my head I was exposed 5 years ago and could possibly have hiv. Even tho we were on a break it haunts me and Iv never regretted anything as much as that mistake in my life. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You describe a much lower risk scenario for HIV than you might think. Heterosexually transmitted HIV remains quite uncommon in the US, despite what you might assume from media attention -- and most of those occur in married persons or others in ongoing, long term relationships in which one partner is unknowingly infected with HIV. Regardless of your past partner's "ladies' man" reputation, it is unlikely he had HIV. Af or your symptoms, they are very nonspecific -- i.e. do not point to any particular medical problem and certainly not HIV.

That said, I cannot guarantee he didn't have HIV or that you dont have it. The answer to your fears, as you apparently understand, is to be tested for HIV. While I sort of understand not being tested for fear of the result, I have no patience with that line of thinking. It isn't the test that gives someone HIV -- you have it or you don't. If you do, you have a responsibility to yourslef and to your current or future sex partners to know. Also, research and clinical experience have repeatedly shown that when someone delays testing for fear of a bad result (for HIV, but also things like mammography for a breast lump, colonoscopy for blood in stool, and so on), stress declines after testing is finally done, even if the result is positive. In other words, worry about the unknown is more stressful than knowing, even if the news is bad.

But the news won't be bad. There is almost no chance you have HIV. Don't confuse your concerns about a sexual decision you regret with infection risks from that event. They aren't the same. So go ahead and get tested. However, I won't have any other advice until you have done it.  OK?

Best regards--  HHH, MD
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37 months ago
Thanks for your reply. I am from the ukby the way. 

My previous partner whom I am back with now never had hiv when we first got together we were both tested. 

My concern was I could of caught it from the guy I slept with during my 6 month break exposure was already explained in previous comment. 

I have watched him on social media and he most definitely likes his ladies. 

I should of tested a long time a go but pushed it out my head and I no being scared is a pathetic excuse. My current partner I think lost so much weight through his server depression and he does smoke cannabis. 

I suppose I need to find the strength to suck it up and finally go test for me, my partner and my children. Once again thank you
37 months ago
When I say tested that was in like 2010 when we first met. We split up for six months in 2013 I had the exsposure and got back with him so if he now did have it well that would be because of me on my one silly night in 2013. And we are still together in 2018 nearly 9 years. I will do it thanks and happy new year.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
Thanks for the additional information, and I'm glad to hear your relationship is continuing and apparently healthy. But it doesn't change my professional assessment or advice. I'll leave the thread open for you to post your HIV test result, but all threads are automatically closed after 4 weeks (or after two follow-up comments and replies). Stay relaxed in the meantime; you definitely can expect a negative result.

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