[Question #5470] HIV Concern

23 months ago
Hi, I’m a gay male and have had condom-protected sex with someone I’ve been dating. I had a negative HIV test two months ago, and he says he had one around the same time. About two weeks ago, the condom he was wearing slipped nearly off. I don’t think it was entirely off because I was able to pull it down a little as he pulled out. He had not ejaculated.

I now have a fever of two days, muscle aches, nausea, and a headache. I’m extremely upset and concerned about HIV. I regret not seeking PEP but thought the risk was probably low. Because of my severe OCD, I have tried not to act on fears that seem out of proportion. I hope I did not make a terrible mistake.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
23 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your quesiton.

It sounds like youre being sexualy safe, both by using condoms and knowing your partners' HIV status (and presumably discussing your own). Even if your partner has HIV, despite his recent negative test, remember that the average risk of HIV transmission for any single anal sex exposure is one chance in a few hundred to a thousand. So the risk of any particular event generally is low, even with condom failure. And it seems it didn't fail anyway; if the head of the penis and meatus (opening) are covered, protection is complete or nearly so.

And your symptoms are not typical of a new HIV infection. However, the timing is pretty good for that. You and your partner should see a doctor together. You can both be retested. If your partner remains HIV negative, you'll know you could not have been exposed. And/or you can be tested for lab evidence of a new HIV infection. I'm very confident you don't have it, but direct exam and testing is the only way to be 100% certain in this situation.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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