[Question #6430] Test Accuracy & Symptoms

14 months ago
Hello. I’ve had several tests done. HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis, Pap Smear, Trich, BV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and everything has come back negative. I’ve had the HIV test done 2x. All were done 9 weeks post sexual encounter.  The hiv test was repeated around 4 months post encounter.  Sexual encounter was oral and some genital foreplay, like rubbing the bare genitals against each other. 

Can I rely on these results? The gonorrhea/chlamydia test was a urine test not a swab, does that make it less accurate? 

I’m asking bc my current partner has developed a small bumpy, itchy rash near armpit, about the size of a quarter. And many stds mention a rash, but I can’t find any pictures or info to really compare. Can something like this be due to gonorrhea/chlamydia or hiv? If it were gonorrhea would he (he is a male) be having other symptoms?  

I am certain my partner has not had any other sexual encounters besides with me. So as I’ve asked in the beginning, these tests are accurate, correct? Should I be confident that whatever the rash on arm is, is NOT std related? 


Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago

Welcome to our Forum. I'll be glad to answer.  The short answer is that you are in the clear- all of your tests for STIs should be believed and are reliable.  Could you clarify however whether the oral sex you participated in was giving, receiving or both.  The reason I ask is that if your exposure was giving oral sex, to be entirely sure you were not infected, you should have a throat swab for gonorrhea and chlamydia.  Your tests for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis and BV are certainly conclusive . 

I'll now provide a bit more detail:

1.  In general, the sexual activity you describe, oral and some genital rubbing without penetration is relatively low risk for all STIs. 

2.  Urine tests are statistically equivalent to swab tests for detection of gonorrhea nd chlamydia.

3.  HIV tests are conclusive at any time more than 6 weeks after an exposure.

Given your test results, the rash under his armpit is due to something other than an STI.  There are any number of possibilities but, whatever it is, it does not represent a threat to your health.

I hope this information is helpful.  If there are further questions, please feel free to use your up to two follow-ups for clarification.  EWH

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14 months ago
Hello again, the oral sex that was performed was fellatio. I was the giving the oral sex not receiving. It did not last long, maybe a a few minutes, no ejaculation. I have since then given my current partner oral sex. Could I have gotten an oral infection and unknowingly passed it on to my current partner. Would he be showing symptoms by now? This exposure happened five months ago. Do you recommend I go get more tests? Oral and genital again??
14 months ago
Adding... and I hope it doesn’t count as a second follow up, but I am female. This is a heterosexual encounter.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago
Thanks for the additional information.  At least in theory, it is possible the you acquired gonorrhea or chlamydia following performing oral sex on you partner.  To be honest, it is statistically unlikely that this occurred but, if you want o be 100% sure you were not infected, my advice would be to have a throat swab for gonorrhea and chlamydia performed.  If you choose to do this, I anticipate that the test will be negative but hat is the only way to be sure.  EWH
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14 months ago
I’m sorry to ask for clarification, but I’m not sure I’m understanding, you’re saying that In theory I could have gotten gonorrhea/chlamydia through the oral sex and indeed could have passed it to my partner? If that’s the case, couldn’t he then pass it to me genitally? Therefore would you recommend a second genital chlamydia/gonorrhea test, being that some throat infections clear up on their own? How likely are genital symptoms in men? And would a rash with no other symptoms like the one I described be something you see with gonorrhea/chlamydia? 

Thank you, and I apologize for my misunderstanding.  I plan to locate a clinic that performs rapid gonorrhea throat swabs in the morning, would you say those results are reliable? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are transmitted through direct contact.  Thus, your throat could have become infected when you performed oral sex on him.  You indicated that you did not have penetrative vaginal sex with him, therefore you could not have gotten infected even if he had been (these infections are NOT transmitted through rubbing bare genitals without penetrative sex).  since you indicate that he has not had prior partners, it is unlikely that either of you are infected.  As I said above, if you want to be 100% confident you are not infected, a throat swab should be done.  My guess however is that it is unlikely that you were infected and, if I were you, I would not be worried and probably would not pursue testing.  Our role on this forum however will be to provide all information possible to clients.

In answer to your other questions:

The rash you describe would not be something that is seen with gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Most men with genital infection do develop symptoms.

The available tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia are very sensitive and reliable, including when specimens are taken from the throat.

I really would not be worried at this time.  I hope the information I have provided is helpful.  As per Forum guidelines, as this is my 3rd reply, this thread will be closed shortly.  Take care,  EWH


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14 months ago
Doctor, I have to add, these are two separate partners in which I am describing. My regular partner and one in which I engaged this particular act with, could you please reread my last question, I have indeed resumed regular inter course with my regular partner. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago
Thanks for the clarification.  It was not clear that you were talking about two partners.  Despite that, in putting it all together, I would not be concerned and would not change my advice to you.  End of thread.  EWH
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