HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Very worried due to high risk
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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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Very worried due to high risk

Hi Doctor,
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I've had very bad anxiety the last week thinking due to hiv scares. Over the last 8-12 months, I've had unprotected vaginal intercourse with 8 different women. I don't know what I was thinking and feel terrible about it. Most of these were one time events, very brief, between 1-2 minutes. In two of the cases, however, I casually dated the girls and had sex with them multiple times (between 3-5 each). Also, one of the times, I have reason to believe that the women was on her period as I found dried blood on my sheets the day after. The last exposure happened about a week ago, where I briefly penetrated her, maybe for 5-10 seconds, and then decided not to do it anymore. All these women are white, early 20's, caucasian, residing in the suburbs. I still keep in touch with all these women.

The reason my anxiety flared up is that over the last couple weeks, I've noticed weird skin symptoms. First, my skin began to feel itchy all over. I figured this may be due to the fact that I changed laundry detergent recently. THen, I had a very small ringworm on my forum that is pretty much gone now, due to application of Lotrimin. Now, over the last week, my skiin feels really irritated, almost like I have sunburn but I don't. The skins seems to be more irrated when certain materials of clothing get rubbed on it. Its very strange and has me very freaked out. I've had no symptoms besides this, other than very bad anxiety and some depression. My questions are:

1)Do these symptoms sound like HV or other STD infection?

2)I'm uncircumsized and I believe that one of the brief incidents of vaginal sex, the women may have been on her period. How does this figure into my risk?

3)Can you evaluate my risks based on these exposures for a) HIV and b)other STD's. HIV is my main concern, although i've started to feel anxious about other STD'd in the last week. I've had no symptoms that would indicate other STD's.

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Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be happy to begin to address your concerns however the real way to address your concerns once and for all is to seek evaluation by a trained professional  Most importantly, your evaluation should include SCREENING for STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and HIV.  You describe unprotected sex with multiple partners.  Thus you qualify for periodic STD "screening (testing in the absence of symptoms) because you have had multiple partners over a period of less than a year.  As a matter of personal protection, we recommend annual testing for anyone who has had two or more sex partners in the past year (we consider this to be health maintenance- we also recommend you get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly).

Your overall risk from the exposures you describe is low.  Most women do not have STDs (including HIV) and most exposures to infected partners, should one of them have been infected, do not lead to infection.  

With regard to your specific questions:
1)Do these symptoms sound like HV or other STD infection?
No, the symptoms you describe are not suggestive of any STD, including HIV.  

2)I'm uncircumsized and I believe that one of the brief incidents of vaginal sex, the women may have been on her period. How does this figure into my risk?
that your partner was menstruating makes no difference in risk for any STD, including HIV.

3)Can you evaluate my risks based on these exposures for a) HIV and b)other STD's.
See above- low.  Fewer than 1 in 10,000 American women have HIV and the risk for transmission if any of your partners had HIV is less than 1 infection per 1000 acts of intercourse.  Putting these numbers together, you can see that your risk for HIV is quite low.  

As I said above- go get screened but while you wait to get this done, there is little to worry about.  EWH
9 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Also, I forgot to add, but I have no reason to believe any of these women are IV drug users and I'm acquaintances with all of them.

Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
And one more update...sorry for blowing up the thread....

Today a noticed a small pimple-like bump near my pubic area, maybe an inch above the shaft of the penis. It doesn't hurt, itch or anything like that. Seems like a pimple or bump u would get from shaving. Does this sound like herpes?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank  you doctor, I will take your advise and get tested.

I'm just trying to figure out the timetable for testing. The last exposure was 7 days ago... I had brief unprotected vaginal, about 5-10 seconds, before i pulled out and did not proceed. Before that, my last encounter was in mid-February. Should I test now or wait (for both HIV and other STD's)?
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300980_tn?1194933000
For the most common STDs, chalmydial infection and gonorrhea you can be tested at this time.  In terms of both HIV and syphilis, both of which are very unlikely, best to wait until 6-8 weeks after your last exposure.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Dr. Hook, j
Just a quick update. I did a full STD panel at the local public health clinic today. They did a swab for chlamydia and ghonorrea and a blood test for HIV and Syphillis (syphilis). I'm supposed to go back in a week for results.

The anxiety has been killing me the last few weeks. I've convinced myself that I've been infected with HIV and every day it seems like I have new symptoms even though its probably my mind. I've been very depressed and very anxious. My blood pressure at the clinic today was through the roof because I was freaking out so bad.

Also , I've asked most of the girls that I've had these encounters with if they've been tested and they all told me they have and were negative for Everthing.  

Now I've convinced myself that because this was a public clinic for people in a lower income bracket they somehow may have used a contaminated needle and I may have gotten HIV that way.

I just don't know how im gonna make it for the next week. Do u have any advice on how to cope with this anxiety? I'm convinced that I'm gonna walk into that clinic next week, they're gonna tell me I'm infected and my life is going to get turned upside down.
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300980_tn?1194933000
Your anxiety and concern is really inappropraite.  People do not become infected in public health clinics.  If you cannot stop worrying, you should see a counselor for advice.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Doctor,
Just wanted to follow up with my test result. I was tested for HIV, chlamidya, ghonorrea, and Syphillis (syphilis)....all results were negative/non reactive!

Needless to say ,this was a huge sigh of relief. The HIV test was a blood test HIV 1/2 EIA AB Screen.

Just one last thing before I'm done posting...this puts all of my exposures, except 2, out of the window period. The 1st exposure was about 7 weeks prior to the test. I had unprotected vaginal sex with a women 2 times in one night...each time last about 2 minutes.

The second one was about 7 days prior to the test but I wouldn't even categorize it as a "risk" per se... I literally penatrated her for maybe 5 seconds and then pulled out, thinking better of it.

I would like to put this behind me and not have to test again anytime soon, as I feel much better and am ready to move on with my life. Do you think its ok to do so?

Thank you.
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300980_tn?1194933000
If I were you, I would move forward. EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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