HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
One Time Exposure, ARS concern
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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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One Time Exposure, ARS concern

Hi Dr-

A few months ago I made a huge mistake and had unprotected vaginal sex with a former girlfriend. The sex did not last longer than a few minutes and then I came to my senses and put on a condom. From there I made the mistake of looking up symtoms (symptoms) and became familiar with the ARS symptoms.

Fast forward about two weeks and I developed two dark red marks on the outside of my left arm that were no bigger than a dime. From what I recall that was the only symptom I had outside of a scratchy throat a few mornings the rash was still present. The rash lasted a total of around 10 days before it slowly resolved.

From what I have read the rash does not typically present in this fashion and is usually accompanied by a fever that I would have noticed. I know that symptoms for HIV are non-specific and am I getting tested later this week. In the meantime I was just in search of your professional opinion. I'd like to add that I did ask her about her exposure history between our last encounters and she said that she was with one person (they used pertection) but she still got tested because her doctor scared her. (test results negative)
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question.

You describe a very low risk sexual exposure in regard to HIV.  First, your partner's negative HIV test more or less proves you weren't exposed to the virus.  Second, even if she had it, almost nobody ever is infected in one-time heterosexual exposures.  If a woman has HIV, the average transmission risk for unprotected vaginal sex is around once for every 2,000 events.

And your research was correct that the rash you describe is not at all suggestive of ARS.  I'm sure it is entirely unrelated to the sexual exposure.

Finally, you are also correct that the answer to your concerns lies in the results of your upcoming HIV test.  Based on all you have said here, you can stay very mellow, i.e. you can count on a negative test result.  

I hope these remarks are helpful.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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