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HIV Questions

Hi there, I am a healthy 21 year old female, and my husband and I have a 1 year old son together.  We both had our yearly physical in the middle of February, so just over a month ago.  Both of us came back negative for all STDs, including HIV.  I was not worried about that because I believed we were in a monogamous relationship.

Recently, I found e-mails and text messages between my husband and escorts from backpage (so I can only assume these women are not in the "upper echelon" of sex workers...) and there has been contact with at least 15 prostitutes in the last month since we have both been tested.  He has asked about oral, vaginal, and anal sex.  In the last month, my husband and I have slept together probably four times.  Each time we have engaged in unprotected oral and vaginal sex (never anal).  Based on his conversations with these women, it appears that only some have required condom use.  Clearly I do not know their HIV statuses, or if they are drug users.

My husband and I never use condoms...neither of us like them.  I imagine that if he was not made to wear a condom with these other women, he would not.  I do not know for sure, though.

It has been about two weeks since my husband and I have had sex, and of course my son and I both have pretty nasty colds.  We are both experiencing very dry, hoarse coughs, runny noses, my son has thrown up once, and I have a slightly tender and swollen left lymph node in my neck, with a mild sore throat.  I have been staying with my parents (both of whom had colds) so maybe that is where we developed these cold symptoms from.  But, I've read so much about ARS symptoms and I'm freaked out now.  I am still nursing from time to time, so I know I could have easily passed on HIV to my son if my husband gave it to me...

I have a couple of questions.  I know that the only way to confirm my status is to get tested, but I suppose you could say I'm looking for some reassuring statistics while I'm waiting for at least the 6-week mark to test, and then again at 12 weeks past exposure..

1. My husband is circumcised.  I read that this could decrease his chance of being infected with HIV if he slept with an HIV+ woman.  Is this true?  He is an African American male, mostly healthy except for allergies, and he has been with both Caucasian and African American escorts..

2. What are the transmission rates for an HIV+ female to an HIV- male, if they are having unprotected vaginal and anal sex?

3. What are the transmission rates for a female of unknown HIV status to an HIV- male, if they are having unprotected vaginal and anal sex?

4. Are there any HIV tests that would give me a good indication of my status, or a baseline, at this point, two weeks post potential exposure?

Thank you in advance for helping me to answer these questions..
2 Responses
370181 tn?1428176748
It MAY be possible that your husband is not actually acting on any of these emails or text messages..........perhaps they are just a means (like visual porn) to "turn him on."

It MAY also be possible that your husband is leading a VERY dangerous second life............one in which he is putting not only himself, but his entire family at risk.

I understand you're looking for some reassuring statistics but if your husband IS engaging in unprotected vaginal and/or anal sex with these women, then having unprotected sex with you..........there ARE no "reassuring statistics" to offer you. You asked about your husband being circumcised and this being less of a risk for contracting HIV. There IS a very slightly smaller risk than for an uncircumcised man, but certainly not enough to make it safe......it is still very much a risk.

You ask about transmission rates in various scenarios, but there is simply no way to paint this in a better light. If your husband is having unprotected vaginal/anal sex, then he is engaging in extremely risky behavior and bringing it home to both you and your son. You stated you are still breastfeeding and you clearly stated you understand the risks of that. If your husband has infected you, then he has also infected your child.

There are very expensive tests available this early that will look for the actual virus rather than the antibodies. These are not usually available at HIV clinics.......you would need to see an HIV/AIDS specialists and discuss this issue with him/her.

You could take a 4th generation DUO test at 28 days post exposure and this would give you a fairly good idea of where you stand, but you would need to take a confirmatory test at 12 weeks for a 100% conclusive result.

I get the feeling all of this is being done on a somewhat clandestine basis and I wonder if it wouldn't just be easier to confront your husband with what you've found and your extremely valid fears.

Is there someone you can confide in? Your family, a friend? Perhaps your church if you're affiliated with one? Your family doctor? A counselor at an HIV Clinic..........
You're carrying a VERY heavy and frightening load all by yourself. Talking with someone you trust will ease that burden.

The colds you and your son have are just that........colds. They are NOT symptoms of ARS. HIV is never diagnosed by symptoms.

I would STRONGLY advise that if you and your husband have sex before you have received a clear test result, that you absolutely insist a condom be used. Since you have said both you and your husband don't like them, I can certainly see him wanting to know why you are suddenly insisting on using them. You need to prepare for that possibility.

I don't think I've been of much help. I've tried to give your husband the benefit of the doubt because you're apparently not 100% positive he is actually meeting these women. If you WERE positive, my advice would have been different.
Please stay in touch with us.    
Avatar universal
Call your doctor or clinic and ask what they advise. Or just ask to be seen now for your sore throat and let them know about your concerns during the exam.  They may suggest testing now instead of waiting, for a couple of reasons -- one being the safety of your baby.  

The other reason is that you know when you last had sex with your husband, but it's not clear when/if your husband began having sex with these women -- he may have done it during the period just before your test, at which point it wouldn't have been detectable.  In that case, you could have been exposed earlier, and it could be detected now, with regular testing.  

Until you get this sorted out, it's probably best to switch to all formula for your baby.  I breastfed mine and I know how wrenching that is, so it might be a good idea to pump and save to keep your supply up, in case you get the all clear.

If you haven't talked to your husband about your findings yet, you might want do do that too, stressing your concerns about your baby.  As Ruby said, he may have been fantasizing, but you know him best.  Please stay in touch and let us know how it goes.
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