Anonymous
Let's say about 8 months ago I had a no risk exposure. It had to do with possible dry blood not even sure if it was there. Anyways, doctors, websites, friends, family all told me I didn't have hiv. But I wanted to get tested anyways. So I went along with the three month testing guidelines. I had four up untill April which was three months and it was all negative! A day or two ago I had unprotected sex with a friend. Now I'm worried I might have exposed him??? Should I have waited till the 6 month make and got tested again. Or was that 3 months conclusive? I feel so horrible and I continue to think I have hiv and now he has it. But all the tests were negative and I didn't have any exposure since. Help me please. I'm going to get a standard std screening since I did have unprotected sex. But my biggest concern is did I have it from that 8 months ago dry blood exposure. Or have I really lost my mind
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV/AIDS related information.

I understand the stress you may be feeling over this. However, from what you described about an exposure involving dried blood, I can assure you that all your other sources were correct in saying that you are at no risk of HIV exposure from this activity. Additionally, HIV tests are conclusive at 3 months, so you don't need to worry about getting another test at 6 months to confirm. The reason you may have heard 6 months is because there are 4 situations in which HIV tests need 6 months rather than 3 months to be conclusive; these are 1) If you are undergoing antiretroviral treatment for Hepatitis C, 2) If you are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, 3) If you have been taking P.E.P (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) for HIV, and 4) If you have any previously existing immunodeficiency (e.g. Crohn's disease).

In terms of your concern of transmitting HIV to your partner , there is no risk for that, since you had no risk of transmission from the exposure to dried blood, and you said that you did not have any exposure since. I would however like to address your risk from this activity. Unprotected sex, as you are aware, this is a high risk activity. It is good that you're planning to get standard screening for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Remember, however, that the HIV test will not be conclusive until 3 months after this exposure.

Regardless of the activity, we recommend that all sexually active individuals get tested for all sexually transmitted infections including HIV annually, biannually, or on a regular basis depending on your lifestyle.

I recommend that you speak more to your health care provider about your concerns, and they might be able to refer you to a counsellor to address your anxiety about this if it consists.

For more HIV/AIDS related information, please visit our website at http://www.aidsvancouver.org

I trust that I have addressed your concerns, but feel free to contact us again if you have further questions.

Thank you,

Sandra, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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