« Go Back

Transmission of HIV through breast milk in adults

Question: 

Hi
I am 24 year old male. I had a possible exposure to HIV on 1st Feb 2015(A month ago)

Description of exposure:
I went to a service bar where we get to pic a girl and we can fondle with her and request for a blowjob. I took one of the girls in my lap and started to fondle with her breast and nipples. In the meantime I was hugging her and kissed her neck and lips (no smooch she did not even open her mouth fearing infection.) Then I fingered her vagina twice (I am quite sure that I did not have any cuts on my finger). I did not even take that finger in my mouth. Next while fondling and sucking on her breasts I found out that she was lactating and I asked her why milk is there and she said that she has a 3year old son at home. While sucking on to her nipples I drank some of her milk. (Hardly around 1-2ml) But let's assume that I might have had 5ml of her milk. After the milk I had a around 750ml of beer too. Then she gave me a handjob(without condom) and the session ended. No penetrative sex (anal or vaginal), no oral sex no deep kisses.

Symptoms:
After the episode I was death scared about it. Then through the internet I learnt about ARS and waited for them to show up.

Exactly two weeks after the exposure i.e. on 14th Feb 2015 I developed cold. I was travelling on an overnight train journey I was feeling like I have fever (fever like feeling was only on that day alone). I did not check the temperature at that time though. Then on the next day I had a very bad headache (headaches did not repeat after that time). To cut the headache I had a dose of 250mg Paracetamol and 250mg Ibuprofen. The headache and flu like feeling went away. For the weekend I partied hard and had lots and lots of chilled beer and other cold drinks along with varied brands of cigarettes. What followed the week was severe cold and cough. Lots of phlegm (Green and yellow). Also my entire face was hurting with pain. The severe symptoms lasted for a week. I had a expectorant cough syrup and some brandy to cope up with the cough that’s what I basically take for cough. (symptoms up to 3 weeks). In the 4th week office colleagues started to say that I am spreading the cold and I should get myself checked. Then I visited a doctor who gave me some medicines. I do not know the names of the medicine but I think they were antibiotics as I got very much of liquefied stools. Doctor also said that I have a sore throat. But when I googled for the symptoms of the sore throat only some matched like dryness and itchiness. I had no pain in gulping of food but I had lost the taste for food for the entire two weeks. Then came the 4th week which followed a 3days course of medicines and that even mild cough seems to have gone away. Now I am in 5th week of my possible exposure. No or very little cough no fever and no sore throat as I visited the doctor again and she said that my throat has pretty much cleaned up. What scares me the most is the arrival of rash on my shoulders and some at back but not on trunk. The rash is like normal and very little pimples on shoulders. Also on the thighs and legs I have similar pimples at around 15-20 places. It is not that itchy but it is killing me with fear. These are the things which I can recall. I do not know if I have missed out any of symptoms in the course of worry. Also I have lost around 3kg of body weight. I don’t know whether is because of possible infection or heavy work load combined with this worry. I also tend to have regular diet but when I think of these symptoms I lose my appetite. In the past five weeks also there are red marks appeared on my body as that of mosquito bite and gone away within 2-3 days. I also monitored my body temperature on an alternate basis and was found to be average of 36.9. Only on the day I visited doctor it was around 37.2 and went on for a week. But not it is almost 36.5. My BP is 140/80. I had no so called ARS fever ie very high fever with muscle pain. I stopped my gym for 3 weeks to see whether I can get any muscle pain but I did not get any as that I the muscle pains by lifting weights. I couldn’t identify the swollen lymph nodes though I googled almost everything to identify the swollen lymph nodes. And there was a drastic shift in climate too. Usually its warn here now but there was some unexpected rains and cold weather.

Now the questions start.
1. The first and very important question: As I know symptoms cannot validate the status of infection but what would you think based on the exposure I had and the symptoms I described Am I infected? If in doubt what are the chances of me getting infected? I am waiting for a 3month mark to go for ELISA. But even If I go for ELISA which around 2 month away can you please let me know that should I consider going for it or forget this darkest and the black episode of my life as just one bad dream? I am dying with worry please help.
2. Can ARS cold and fever (which I think I did not get) be transmitted like normal cold and flu? Because one of my roommates developed cold and flu when I was in the third week and also my colleagues were blaming me that they got cold through me. I am not sure whether they got cold from me or not but to sooth myself can you tell me whether ARS cold and flu spread like normal cold and flu?
3. I know I had taken medicines. I can theoretically predict that Paracetamol and ibuprofen can curb down the symptoms but the symptoms can also antibiotics also curb down the same as the infection often described flu-like but actually it is not the same and theoretically medicines should not have any effect on the. I am correct? Also what will be effect of these medicines on ARS?
4. Now that I am in my 5th week of possible infection towards exposure and all the symptoms have started to fade away with the duration frame of 3-14 days does all these sounds like ARS?
5. Last and final question: this one is not actually the question it’s a request to all the forum members and the doctors to please answer my question as soon as possible and also to all who read this please do not make the mistake which I did as you will regret this for life. I would request all of you to please help me evaluate my situation here.

Thanks a lot and may god bless you all.

A person in need and grave danger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Answer: 

Hello!

It sounds like you're in distress so I thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver!

  1. You're right in that symptoms can't validate your HIV status. This is because HIV mirrors the symptoms of other illnesses/factors (e.g. your body's response to alcohol consumption can produce the symptoms of a cold), and so even in your case, the only way to know for sure is through testing; I commend you for planning your 3 month ELISA test in advance. If you're needing some peace of mind an ELISA test taken now (more than 4 weeks post exposure) is a good indication of your status (95% accurate). However, results are only considered conclusive at 3 months. At AIDS Vancouver we recommend regular testing if you are sexually active anyway so we'd encourage you to go for the 3 month test!

If you're in Canada here is a list of testing locations: https://hiv411.ca/ Or the US: https://www.aids.gov/

Your exposure to HIV is considered of negligible risk. This means that there has never been a confirmed report of infection in this way (e.g.fingering, hand-job, breast milk). In theory breast milk can carry the HIV virus, however, the risk is really only present between mother and child, as a baby's immune system has yet to fully develop. Babies also drink litres and litres of breast milk for a long time to grow. Lastly, there are protective enzymes in your saliva that protect you so drinking a few millilitres of breast milk is not a high risk situation (your immune system is fully developed, you do not depend on breast milk to grow).

  1. In short, no. ARS cold and fever is not contagious in the same way as a normal (seasonal) cold and flu. A person with ARS can develop cold-like symptoms from any type contagious illness and these symptoms therefore don't point to a specific illness. It's highly unlikely that someone could catch a contagious illness from a person with ARS unless their immune system is also compromised to the same extent.

  2. Medications like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen target symptoms and not the illness itself. As such, the symptoms produced by both a cold and ARS would be treated.

  3. ARS occurs when the HIV virus is very active in the body. Usually this is 15 days post exposure. Considering the activities you have described have never led to HIV, we would suggest you continue addressing the symptoms with your healthcare professional until conclusive results are achieved.

Let us know if you have any other questions!

Jeremy