Anonymous
Good day. I had an awkward night with a sex worker last September. We had French kiss ( I had a cavity in my teeth and I do not remember whether there was obvious blood or not in her mouth) , rubbing my penis (unprotected) on her vagina without inserting and 3 times protected vaginal sex with her as long as I remember the condoms were intact. Starting point of awful days was at 29 days after exposure by getting a cold-like and maddening anxiety. Day by day, I was finding new symptoms (as I thought). I felt fluctuation pains inside of arm’s muscles. Moreover, I was a little bit feeling cool on my both hand until I wore a jacket which somehow disappeared them from days of 42 to 48. At 42 days after my risky action when I thought I was HIV positive, my 4th Gen HIV Elisa test came out Non-Reactive. I could not believe the test result. I assumed that something goes wrong on my body not to produce enough antibody in order to be diagnosis by test. Further, I went to the same Lab (a private lab in Iran) to retest at 12 weeks mark which again was Non-Reactive through 4th Gen Elisa. After that, I started thinking that definitely the Lab's Technician was not master to conduct the test although he told me he was experienced about 2-3 years in immunology diagnosis departments. I could not help thinking myself until 200 days when I went to another lab to retest because of my killer anxiety regarding unreliability of last couple tests. The new Lab uses ECL method which is fully automated diagnosis screening method. Again came out non-Reactive. I just got calmed down for a while. After one month, again anxieties came into my mind that may be they did something wrong. Of course, most probably my worries are somehow due to obsessions. Now, I would like you to assure me whether my exposure was risky? Was my teeth made French kissing risky action for HIV transmission? Were my ARS related to HIV or not. Thanks a lot
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions! We're happy to help.

Kissing is considered to be No Risk as saliva doesn't transmit HIV and even breaks down the virus. Further, there's no direct access to the bloodstream through the mouth.

Rubbing the penis on top of the vagina (without penetration) is also No Risk as bodily fluids are exposed to the environment which damages the HIV virus and renders it inactive.

Protected vaginal sex (with a condom) is considered to be Low Risk meaning that although there have been cases of transmission in this manner, they're usually under certain identifiable conditions. In your case, if the condoms did not break, then your risk is greatly diminished.

Overall, your risk level is extremely low and HIV transmission is unlikely.

Further, testing is the only way to be certain of your HIV so I commend you on taking the initiative to go and get tested! Most specialists worldwide consider the 4th generation combination test you took to be conclusive at 6 weeks post exposure (42 days) meaning your first test would have been conclusive. Further, all HIV tests are conclusive by 12 weeks post exposure, so your 12 week test would have confirmed that. You even got tested at 200 days post exposure, and your negative result indicates that the symptoms you're experiencing are in no way caused by HIV.

Trust your negative test results. Most people develop detectable antibodies by 21 days post exposure. Your test results are accurate and conclusive, and you're indeed HIV negative (assuming this was your only possible exposure).

If you're still experiencing symptoms, I encourage you to go to a doctor to determine other causes (not HIV related).

I hope this helped to ease your anxiety!

Sincerely,

Christina

AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline

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