HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Need some help and answers
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Need some help and answers

Dear  Dr.
I need some help in order to stop major anxiety I am having. I am a 32 year old male from the suburbs of ny and need some expert answers. I have been with the same women for nine years and is my wife and we have been only with each other. Prior to her I had sex with a csw in a message parlor and do not recall condom breaking. The reason for my anixety is because I had a rash in 2004 that lasted for over 2 months and only went away after I got a sunburn. Other than that I have not been sick at all. So here are my questions.

Could I have hiv for this long and not know it?

My wife was pregnant in 2010 and was tested and was negative. She lost the baby.
My wife just gave birth and was tested and again was negative and so was the baby.
I had my first cbc in december of 2011 and all counts normal. My wbc count was 11900 and my doctor says that if i had hiv untreated for 9 years my levels would be all off the charts. Is that true?

Given all of the above am I being crazy or could it be that after over 2000 unprotected sexual experiences would it be likely god forbid she would have had it also and is my doctor right about the CBC and it being normal and no way could be that way after 9 years of no treatment. Please help me as I want to be a great father and do not want to have a heart attack
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You can relax. There is almost no chance you have HIV, for several reasons.  First, it is statistically very unlikely your CSW partner all those years ago had HIV; the vast majority of female sex workers are not infected. Second, the average transmission risk for a single episode of unprotected vaginal sex is only around one in 2000.  Third, if you were infected 8-9 years, probably you would've had symptoms of immune deficiency by now; in fact, you probably would be quite ill.  Fourth, after several years of unprotected sex, your wife probably would have been infected by the time of her 2010 blood test.

Therefore, you really should not be worried at all. From a strictly medical perspective, no HIV testing is necessary.  However, for anxious persons worried about HIV, testing is usually the best resolution. Therefore, I recommend you be tested for its reassurance value. You definitely can expect a negative result.

I hope this has been useful. If and when you're tested, feel free to return with a follow-up comment to let me know the result. But let's avoid any "yes but" or "what if" questions until then. I doubt there are any extenuating circumstances you might think of which would change this opinion and advice.

Best wishes-- HHH, MD
8 Comments
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239123_tn?1267651214
I meant to also say that a skin rash, without other symptoms, is extremely unlikely to be due to HIV.  Stay as mellow as you can while you wait to be tested. There is no realistic possibility you have it.
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you for the response.

I wanted to ask about the CBC. My white blood cells were 11900 lymphs 17.5% and absolute lymphs 2.1. My doctor said this would be the complete opposite if I had hiv for this many years and no treatment. Is that what you think also?

With the rash I had a low fever like a 100.1 or something and this was in 2004 and the rash was flat no bumps and lasted a long time. Is that typical of the rash associated with ARS. This will be my last question
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239123_tn?1267651214
HIV Is very unlikely explanation for those sorts of blood test results. Don't overthink the situations: The fact is that extremely few persons ever turn up with HIV in the face of sexual histories like yours. Perhaps you will also be interested to know that in the 8 1/2 years since this forum started, nobody Is been confirmed to catch ID from exposure they asked about.  Given your sexual history, you simply are not going to be the first.

I look forward to learning your test result. However, I will have no further comments or place until then.
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Avatar_m_tn
Please answer this last question. When you say hiv is a unlikely explanation are you saying those results hold a possibility to hiv. My doctors tell me the WBC would be very low after all those years and they also are telling me that all of the results are normal. Please clarify as I have a knot in my stomach. Wouldnt someone with long term hiv have low counts and not the higher end of normal. Please answer and I promise this to be my last question.
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Avatar_m_tn
Can you please answer my last and final question. It sounds like you see something in the numbers that say there is some possibility that it can be hiv but is unlikely please clarify so I can go on with my life
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Avatar_m_tn
I think you posted something to me in error
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239123_tn?1267651214
Exactly right -- that statement (now deleted) was indeed intended for another user.  Sorry if it was alarming!

As for your own follow-up question, my previous offer still goes:  I'll be happy to comment one last time when you post an HIV test results.  It's a waste of my time (and your emotional energy) to speculate about the meaning of normal blood count results when an HIV test will remove all doubt.  In the meantime, I will stress again that there is nothing in your story that justifies any fear about having HIV.
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