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Avatar universal

HIV risk and anal sex

Help! Just over a month ago I foolishly engaged in unprotected anal sex (given, not receiver). I have recently (32 days since exposure) tested negative to HIV using a rapid result viral load test (apparently 99% accurate). Am I still at risk to contracting HIV? I did not have any STD's at the time of the exposure, and my penis had no visible breaks/tears/sores. Can I still contract HIV?

I have since suffered from anxiety, lymph node pain under my arms (for about 2 weeks) and some isolated muscle aches (lasting up to 1 hour). Would HIV related lymph node pain be general, not specifically just my underarms lymph nodes?

Is it likely that I could still be contract HIV from this exposure, given the negative test at 32 days?
12 Responses
Avatar universal
Your 32 day test is encouraging but Im not sure is a 32 day viral load is conclusive or not, i do know a 32 day antibody test isnt. As for your supposed lymph node pain, even if they are swollen it does not point to HIV. Swollen nodes have been around much longer than HIV.

Make sure you wear a rubber next time, especially in anal sex if you arent 100% sure of partners status.
Avatar universal
Thanks, although not conclusive, is there any data out there (ie what is the 'average' time before a test will indicate +ve - I know I probably need to wait 3 months before considering myself conclusively in the clear)

Are there % transmission rates for anal sex?

Would HIV symptoms be genral lymph node pain as opposed to specific (ie just under my arms?)
Avatar universal
CDC says average time to detect is 25 days. A 3 month is conclusive though.

The docs in the expert forum say anal unprotected sex carries a 1 to 200 chance of infection if your partner is indeed infected.
Avatar universal
I found this chart on wikipedia...

Estimated per act risk for acquisition of HIV-1 by exposure route
Exposure Route Estimated infections per 10,000 exposures to an infected source

Blood Transfusion 9,000
Childbirth 2,500
Needle-sharing injection drug use 67
Receptive anal intercourse* 50
Percutaneous needle stick 30
Receptive penile-vaginal intercourse* 10
Insertive anal intercourse* 6.5
Insertive penile-vaginal intercourse* 5
Receptive fellatio* 1
Insertive fellatio* 0.5
* assuming no condom use

ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV

Avatar universal
Thanks for all the help so far-

Is there any difference between the various tests available? Is the viral load (ie slaiva/gums swab test) any less reliable?

Is HIV able to enter the body through the urethra, or does it need to be via some sort of skin damage to the penis?

I am still v.worried about the lymph glands under my arms - 2 weeks seems a long time. I cannot feel a lump or anything like that, just hot and sometimes painful. Could this be associated with any other STD?
Avatar universal
An ELISA antibody test is the primary test. The viral load type tests that detect the virus directly arent used as much because they are more prone to false positives. But if you get a negative viral load test you can be pretty sure you are fine.

The primary entry point is the urethrea.

If you cant feel the node and it wasnt diagnosed by a doctor as being swollen than you are assuming and your nodes are likely just fine.
Avatar universal
What would the node feel like? Big enough to be touch? It is more a painful, swollen feeling. Could this swelling be associated with another STD? Is HepC also a concern?
Avatar universal
I fear I may have contracted an STD during the same exposure - does this heighten my risk for HIV transmission?
Avatar universal
Are their any symptoms more likely than others? (appreciating that there may be in many cases no symptoms).

Is there such thing as a home test kit, with rapid results (like a home pregnancy kit?)

Would I be able to feel (with my finger) a lymph node that is swollen, as opposed to what I have, which feels like general pain/swelling in the underarm area?
Avatar universal
Symptoms are meaningless, plus many symptoms are the same symptoms in lots of other ailments.

You would be able to see a swollen node.

Yes they have home tests, but they arent rapid, they take like a day. You can buy them at a local pharmacy.


Go see the doc and get an STD test is you are concerned.
Avatar universal
I would be able to see the node? Like a lump under the skin, as opposed to just sore/swollen feeling? I just cant seem to think of any other reason for this condition to last 2 or more weeks. Would HIV related lymph node swelling be general (ie I would likely have swollen lymph nodes in the groin and neck as well)?

While I understand that I need to wait for 3 months to be conclusively clear of HIV given a -ve test, does a -ve test at 30 days offer much encouragement? I assume the 3 month window must be quite generous to allow for all cases.

Is there such thing as a false -ve test?
Avatar universal
You usually can see a swollen node. Quit trying to diagnose HIV based on nodes, thats stupid. You cant think of another reason that the node thing would last 2 weeks because you are not a trained doctor, you are a hyopchondiac and looking for every reason to convince yourself you are HIV+ when the only thing that can confirm that is a blood test.

A 30 day test would be encouraging to me.
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