Anonymous

Hi there,
This is my 2nd month of research on HIV. During this time, I cannot stress enough the anxiety and stress I am going through. More below. So I need your answer please as quick as possible.

I am a 32 year old Indian male working in Kuwait. FYI, I am circumcised. I use e-cigarettes and vape constantly. Not a hard drinker.
I got tested for HIV, hepatitis and other diseases 6 months ago and all came back negative. All good. Now to the worrying part.

I have been seeing escorts for at least 4 years now. Regularly. Always the method is the same, UNprotected oral and FULLY protected vaginal sex. Always.
In the last 2 months, I dont know what got into me, but I ended up seeing 13 escorts. These are online escorts (NOT STREET) and high priced escorts. I think 9 of them were russians and 4 of them were Vietnamese/Asian. Same method, unprotected oral, protected vaginal sex with condom and proper lubrication. Never any anal sex.

In the last 3 weeks, I ran a fever for 3 days which cleared up, had dry cough and sore throat for 2 weeks. The sore throat changed to mornings only and seemed to clear up as the day progressed. I used to cough up yellow phlegm and have hoarse voice in the mornings only as soon as I wake up. I had 2 small tiny tiny red pimples on my left chest for 2 days which cleared up, FYI I usually get these at times. I had one canker sore on my right upper lip (I have had canker sores before too), followed by 3 separate nights with night sweats during the fever (not continuous nights). I had 2 days of sinus like localized headache where head ache increased when I sniff up through my nose. My job involves staring at a laptop screen for 12-14 hours a day. I had 3 days where I was very tired and sleepy. 3 separate nights, I had a pin and tingling feeling in my right hand while I slept, which I think is because I slept on my hand which went away in a few seconds when I adjusted my hands. Just putting it all out there.

I am so worried that I went back to most of these escorts to confirm their HIV status and all of them said they check once in 3 months and are all healthy.

I dont have any swollen nodes anywhere and no rashes of any kind. I feel all ok now apart from the slight dry throat in the morning which goes away after a glass of water.

I have been researching about this for a long time and I am scared to go in for a hiv test. And very anxious.
I keep reading that receiving oral is an almost 0 chance of HIV transmission and only theoretically possible, and I am pretty sure that all those escorts had well kept oral hygiene.
In fact, 2 of the escorts snapped at me and said: ''We are more scared of all this than you and we go in for regular tests!!! If you are this scared, dont come back!''.

Please let me know my chance of getting infected with HIV or something else taking into account all the above info.

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helpline-volunteer

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the possibility of HIV transmission in the event that you have engaged in unprotected oral sex, and vaginal sex with a condom on multiple occasions.

Here at the AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, we focus on the action/event, and not the person that is engaging in the event. Those who engage in regular High, Low, or Negligible Risk activities should actively seek HIV screening, as it is always important to know ones status, both for themselves and their future partners.

From the information given, this scenario is determined to be Low Risk (Evidence of transmission occurs through these activities when certain conditions are met). Penetrative vaginal sex with a condom is still considered to be a Low Risk due to the very real possibility of condom misuse, and given that condoms do not provide 100% protection from HIV.

You have mentioned that you have received HIV screening 6 months ago. For those who continuously engage in High or Low Risk activities, we usually Recommend regular (every 3-6 months) screening for HIV. The activities that you have described yourself to have engaged in do not warrant an extremely large risk for HIV transmission. As you mentioned, you have been responsible in using protection during each encounter when it comes to vaginal sex.

Although flu like symptoms, and some of the other symptoms that you have described have been associated with acute HIV transmission, it is almost impossible to diagnose without adequate testing confirmation. It could be likely that the symptoms you are experiencing are due to a number of other reasons unrelated to this scenario.

However, if you believe you are continuously putting yourself at risk of HIV transmission, it is important that you seek regular testing. From our research, it appears that Kuwait has a national policy surrounding PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis). PrEP is a pharmaceutical option, which can provide an extra barrier when protecting oneself against HIV transmission (1). If you feel that you it is safe/comfortable enough to talk about this option with your health care provider, you may want to consider using PrEP in the future, in combination with adhering to diligent condom use.

For the scenario you have provided, we Recommend that you receive regular HIV screening if continuously engaging in Low Risk activities such as the ones described above. Ask your health care provider about the use of PrEP, as it appears it is an available resource in your community.

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Online/Helpline, Cody

 
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