STDs Expert Forum
Fear of STD
About This Forum:

The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Fear of STD

Hi there,

I am a 25yr old girl and was very silly and had unprotected sex 4 - 5 weeks ago now although he did not ejaculate during. I am not sure of the man's history and I am not able to ask him at present. Prior to this I had been tested for STDs including herpes and all had shown up negative.  I have not had any symptoms in the genital region since the unprotected sex however today I have had aches and pains in my body and am very concerned I may have contracted something.  I am planning on having another STD test as soon as possible however I was wondering if you would be able to answer the following questions for me in the meantime?

1. How long should I wait till an accurate test for HIV and Herpes can be done?
2. If I should have a STD test done now what percentage of positive cases are shown at the 4-5 week period?
3. What are the chances of contracting Herpes through this scenario?
4. What are the chances of contracting HIV through this scenario?
5. If I had contracted Herpes should I have seen further symptoms by the 4-5 week stage than I have done yet?

Many thanks for your help!!

Laura
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Welcome to the STD forum.  I'll try to help.

You are at lower risk for STDs and HIV from this sort of event than you apparently fear.  Your "aches and pains" do not hint at any STD and probably are not at all related to the sexual exposure.  To your questions:

1,2) HIV testing can be done any time from 6 weeks after exposure.  I don't recommend herpes testing after a one-off exposure of this sort, but if you insist on being tested, do it about 3 months after the exposure.  (The HIV test can be done at the same time.)  It's more important you be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia, which statistically are much more likely than herpes or HIV.  Those tests are accurate any time after a couple of days and can be done now.

3) Probably less than 1 chance in 10,000.

4) Well under 1 in a million.

5) Lots of genital herpes is asymptomatic, so lack of blisters/sores is no guarantee.  However, most "asymptomatic" cases happen simply because symptoms are mild and not noticed.  Someone like you, who is anxious about it and undoubtedly on the lookout for the mildest symptoms, usually would notice something if she caught a new HSV infection.  So your lack of symptoms is quite reassuring.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
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