I was once told, by an HIV specialist to listen to this explanation, so I'll now share it with you. Picture a needle with HIV infected blood inside of it. A person injects that needle into their arm and shoots a drug + fresh infected blood DIRECTLY into their bloodstream. In addition, this is ALL in a sealed air-tight environment. Now, (not to be overly graphic) picture a penis inside of a rectum - ejaculating infection semen DIRECTLY inside. The semen is soaked up by the blood vessels like a sponge. Again, in an air-tight environment. NOW ... with both of those examples, we've just accounted for the MAJORITY of HIV infections to spread on the planet. Sure, in underdeveloped countries, there are many infections from penile-vaginal sex due to open sores, STD's, etc. However, once again, the graphic pictures I described above are concerning developed countries.
So - there you have it, my friend. All air-tight situations in which there infected blood has a direct route into the blood stream. HIV is a rather wimpy virus (in the world of transmitted diseases) which is HARD to transmit. I've heard from GOOD doctors who are personal friends that the odds are probably even GREATER than 1 in 1,000 concerning a man catching it from a woman in the U.S. Now, is it impossible? No. There are certain circumstances in which it could possibly occur ... but with YOUR situation ... you can definitely breathe easy.
HIV is not "out to get you" because you messed around and got silly. HIV is a virus that needs VERY specific conditions if it's going to be transmitted. I mean, in the ENTIRE span of this virus (over 25 years now), it's still believed by most experts that HIV can't even be transmitted through oral sex. That's BILLIONS of episodes to which the experts are still saying there's no proof. Clearly, a situation in which your penis slips into a stripper for a minute or so is nothing to be very upset over.
This is a disease with a LOT of politics surrounding it; hence, an organization such as the CDC is going to tell you to get tested for simply "looking at" an HIV positive person. However, there are sources (such as this one) which will give you the facts. Good luck, my friend.
I think it’s rather unfair and manipulative to make assertions and analogies and present them in such a manner to the doctor. I have NO idea how you could even compare sexual intercourse with oral intercourse. Clearly, HIV (for a variety of factors) has been transmitted from women to men - especially in underdeveloped countries. There are MANY factors (lack of circumcision, lack of a clean environment, and open sores from existing STD’s) that play a role in this.
I know (from personal experience) all of the obsessing that can surround this disease. Lord knows I’ve had my share of obsessing, and I can empathize with the desire to want a STRAIGHT answer. Unfortunately, there are variables with this virus - and it will probably NEVER be black and white. If you’ve had unprotected sex and you’re in a low-risk group, chances are EXCELLENT that you won’t be infected with HIV. However, it’s still wise to get regular STD checkups, which should include an HIV test, if you’re having unprotected sexual intercourse.
Few, very few. Such events are the subjects of medical case reports and should be considered the "exceptions that prove the rule". EWH
Just FYI, Brazil has a very extensive anti-AIDS education program that has deeply ingrained safer sex as part of the culture in many high-risk groups, gay men in particular. In many respects, Brazil is light years ahead of us when it comes to prevention and treatment alike. The government even supplies free anti-retroviral drugs for anyone who is infected.
Thank you both very much you have at least helped me fall asleep tonight. Doc, just a follow up question, how many instances have you seen or heard of where a man contracted hiv after one exposure through vaginal sex? Thanks again to you both.
I understand your anxiety but you have little to worry about. You post indicates that you are well informed about the risks which, in your case, are quite low. As you mention, you had only a single exposure to a women. In addition, odds are that she was not infected as well. As for your specific questions:
1. You are correct about the numbers. The reason HIV exists are multiple and include: there are more than 3 billion people on earth, thus the proportions don't have to be high; some people are at higher risk, such as those who have other STDs, men who have sex with men, drug users, etc.; and many people have multiple, not single exposures.
2. Chaffing might make a slight difference but not enough to worry about (remember, sex is about friction and friction is what casues chaffing)
3. True, HIV is more common than in the US but it is still relatively uncommon. the odds remain high that this woman was not HIV infected.
4. At 4 weeks 85-90% of tests that are going to be positive will be. When combined with your single exposure, after a negative test you could be confident that you do not have HIV.
Hope this helps. EWH