HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Worried man...
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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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Worried man...

Dear Doctor:

About ten years ago I had a one-time experience with a female sex worker in Madrid, Spain at a commercial sex club.  I used a condom and from what I could tell there was no breakage.  Thereafter, I grew very concerned about my potential exposure to HIV and consulted a doctor there about my risk.  The doctor with whom I consulted indicated that I posed virtually no risk.  At that time, he suggested that I go obtain an HIV test between 4-6 weeks from that date.  About 35 days later I took an HIV blood test and tested HIV-negative.  Thereafter I discussed the results with him and he assured me I was HIV negative.  

Then, about 6-7 years ago, I developed an infection in the mouth and tongue.  I grew immediately concerned after reading about the relationship between mouth infections and HIV online and consulted a doctor about it.  Although he didn't have a definitive diagnosis (as it had almost completely subsided by the time I saw him), he was not concerned and assured me that it was not related to HIV.  It cleared up on its own.

In the last couple of weeks, I have grown super concerned about whether the test I took almost 10 years ago was reliable and whether that mouth infection could have been HIV-related.  The doctor in Spain did not recommend a follow-up at 3 months or 6 months.  Would the doctor's advice have been valid almost 10 years ago?

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Welcome to the Forum.  The exposure you describe, condom protected sex with a commercial sex worker is a no risk exposure for HIV and we would not even recommend HIV testing for such an exposure today.  Admittedly, 10 years ago the HIV tests were not so good as they are now but the tests use at that time still would have detected over 90% of recent HIV infections 4 weeks following an exposure.  

The symptoms you describe since that time do not raise any concern about HIV and are most likely coincidence and nothing more.  

If you feel you need an HIV test at this time for your own peace of mind, I have no objection but when that test comes back negative as I am confident it will, please believe the result.  As I said, the exposure you describe was no risk for HIV.

I hope my comments are helpful.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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