Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.
Although the replies to this question on the community forum were brief, they were accurate. You had entirely safe sex and were not at risk of HIV from the event described. HIV is much harder to transmit than you think. The regular partners of HIV infected persons often go many years, with frequent unprotected sex, without catching the virus; the average risk, if one partner has HIV, is once in every 1,000-2,000 episodes of unprotected vaginal sex. With the exposure you describe, it's a lot lower still. Further, well under 1% of sex workers in most of the world, probably including Singapore, have HIV -- so it is unlikely your massage work partner was infected.
As for your symptoms, a new HIV infection never causes just one or two enlarged lymph nodes, and absence of fever is also evidence against HIV. And certainly HIV can't cause tenderness under the arms. My guess is that the discomfort has resulted from your repeated feeling for lymph nodes. Stop trying to examine yourself.
So I agree with your doctor that there's nothing to worry about. You don't need HIV testing on account of this event, and if you have a regular partner you can safely continue unprotected sex without risk of transmitting HIV or any other STD.
Best regards-- HHH, MD
Dear Dr. Handsfield,
Thank you for your prompt response. Overnight additional lymph nodes have become swollen. There are now currently three nodes under each arm (towards the lower part of my armpits). Each is approximately the size of a seed pip. None of them hurting. I also now have some discomfort in my groin - more of a tingling sensation and no lumps / tenderness. Would this change your view of my situation?
Additionally is your view of my risk based on the statistics of infection or more to do with the probability that a low amount of vaginal fluid could have come in contact with my penis (inside the second condom) and that HIV does not infect outside of the host?
Thank you again.
This inforation doesn't change my opinion or advice. My assessment of your risk includes all the factors you mention -- but mostly the simple fact that HIV is rarely if ever acquired during vaginal sex with a condom (if the condom doesn't break), and that many (most) condom protected exposures include the kind of events you describe. Plus the low chance your massage partner had HIV.
Thank you very much. My own anxiety levels are difficult to control however your comments are helpful. My doctor has advised that I need to monitor the nodes so I will visit the doctor in the next week or so and take advice on further steps.
In the thousands of questions during the 8+ years of thie forum, not one questioner has caught HIV from an exposure they asked about. You're not going to be the first. If and when that happens, it will be from a legitimate high risk exposure, not one anything like yours. I know you're worried, but you need to think critically and concentrate on the science, the epidemiologic history, and the reasoned reassurance you have had.
So stay mellow. This is going to turn out fine.