Anonymous
Ok so around 9 months (April) ago I had intercourse with an escort, I used a condom and ejaculated inside it but I was still worried, I got tested 4 times within 5 months (Mo1: rapid test, Mo2: 4th Gen test, Mo3: 4th Gen test, and Mo5 rapid test) all tests came out negative (I had what I thought were symptoms). I was still worried afterwards, but I was stupid enough to get in contact with another escort 7 months later (Nov), however that time I did not use a condom because there was no intercourse, just very very close rubbing, I believed at the moment that I was at no risk but I started to get anxious afterwards. 2 days after the contact I had a sore throat, and ever since (2 months until now) I've been getting sick on and off, 2 doctors I visited (I did not say anything about HIV worries) told me its because of the weather change and viral infections. However, one doctor I visited today because I got sick again, and I told him about my HIV worries, said that there might be a chance I have it, he said that 5 months test are not necessarily accurate, and condom might not protect me. He also told me that my close contact (rubbing) could also transmit HIV except that it wouldn't be the reason for my sickness because HIV takes a very long time up to 5 years to show anything. How serious is my risk and should I listen to that doctor? also, could "viral infections" include HIV?
Note: I haven't had a high temperature, but the illnesses Ive had for the past 2 month included mostly sore throat only, but I do occasionally get fatigue, nasal, headache etc.

Sorry this took long but I really hope you can help
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline.

The risk of HIV associated with very close rubbing is considered to be negligible. This means that there have been no reported cases of someone acquiring HIV in this way in British Columbia.

HIV tests are considered to have the most accurate results when taken 12 weeks (3 months) or more following exposure. This means that the tests you took following your first sexual experience can be considered to be conclusive. If you are concerned about the second sexual experience you described I would recommend getting tested after 12 weeks.

There are only 4 factors that could affect the results of your HIV test:

1.) Taking antiviral treatment for hepatitis C.

2.) Undergoing treatment for cancer.

3.) Taking post-exposure prophylaxis treatment for HIV.

4.) Having another immunodeficiency disease (you would likely have been diagnosed with this as a child and would be aware of it).

If none of these factors applies to you then your test results 12 weeks after exposure would be conclusive.

In regards to the symptoms you've been experiencing, at AIDS Vancouver we do not go by symptoms as an indicator of HIV. This is because symptoms can be present for any number of reasons that are not related to HIV. My recommendation would be to partner with your doctor in figuring out the cause of your symptoms and hopefully finding treatment as well.

For more information about HIV you can always visit the AIDS Vancouver website or CATIE.ca.

I hope this information helps to answer your questions.

Isla (Volunteer)

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm (PST)

1844 INFO-HIV (Toll Free in Canada & USA)

Email or Forum: http://www.helpline.aidsvancouver.org

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