[Question #7084] HIV RISK AND TESTING? FOLLOW UP ON #6941

10 months ago
Hi Doc, as per my previous post, you said that there was no risk and I did not need testing. 

i have noticed a small area on my left hand with small red dots. I believe it has appeared sometime in the last week or so as i did notice it before.At first I thought it was bloodshot due some sort of trauma as I have seen this before when i fall or scrape my hand. I dont recall hitting or causing any sort of trauma. I researched a little on the internet and the term for this 'purpura' and read that one of the causes is HIV. This has got me very stressed out that I may have contracted HIV even though my incidents were very little to no risk. Over the last week I have thought of taking an HIV test however the fear of it being positive has overcome me every time and I am literally venturing, if not already in depression over this.

I did forget to mention earlier that my last blood test was in Jan of this year for my visa medical and they specifically check for HIV and that came back as negative.

Summary of Incidents:
1. Unprotected oral and protected vaginal(no condom break) in feb
2. 3 sessions with a bdsm sex worker who penetrated and fingered me anally using sextoys with condoms each time and gloved hands also.

Questions:
1. Given the above, would your advice on no risk/testing remain in place?
2. If i somehow man up the courage to take a test, what are the chances/probability of it returning positive given the incidents?

I would highly appreciate your advice and whether I can move on from this as I am literally losing sleep and happiness over this matter.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
10 months ago
Welcome back. but I'm sorry you found it necessary. I reviewed our preveious discussion. I agree with my evaluation and advice at that time.

New HIV infections never cause only one or two symptoms. There are always several. And purpura alone doesn't even hint at HIV. To your questions:

1) My advice was that testing isn't necessary because there was no risk of HIV for all practical purposes -- but I did not specifically tell you not to be tested. You started that discussion saying you intended to be tested but could not because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I assumed you would be tested once you were able to do so. My advice is the same now:  from a medical/risk assessment, you don't need testing. However, many persons in your situation are more reassured by negative test results than by professsional opinion, no matter how expert. That seems to apply to you -- otherwise you wouldn't be back to this forum. By now, the pandemic shouldn't interfere. There are plenty of resources for entirely safe medical visits for blood testing.

2) There is no realistic possibility of a positive result. But even if there were, I have no patience with not testing for fear of the result. It isn't hte test that gives someone HIV. You have it or you don't. In the virtually zero chance you have it, you have a responsiblity -- to yourself and your loved ones -- to be tested. And when people delay testing for fear of the result, axneity declines after it is done -- even if positive. Fear of the result is more stressful than having the result, even if positive. But it won't be positive anyway. Suck it up and just do it.

I won't have any more advice or comment until and unless you return to let me know your HIV test result. Threads are closed after 28 days -- so do it before then. Stay relaxed in the meantime:  it will be negative.

HHH, MD
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9 months ago
Hi Doc,

I got tested today and the results have come back negative. 

1.Can i regard this as conclusive and move on? Do I require further testing?
2. The third session with the bdsm was fairly recent and the sex toys used were used with condoms. Is there any risk associated with these type of encounters?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
9 months ago
I'm glad to hear you were tested. Congratulations both for biting the bullet (it wasn't so bad, was it??) and for the negative result -- which of course was expected.

1) With your last possible exposure 4+ months ago (February, right?), your test is absolutely conclusive.

2) Anal fingering and sex toys carry no significant risk of HIV. But it doesn't matter. However high the risk at the time, the test result proves you were not infected.
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