Anonymous
Hi all,

I am extremely stressed and I am seeking for some advice. A couple of years back I had a mid-life crisis and used the services of several professional sex workers (both women and transsexual). I am married and have kids, but I guess it was a crazy moment (which I deeply regret) and made some bad choices.

All sex was always protected. In some occasions I bottomed, but it was at most for a couple of minutes and never more than 2 or 3 inches deep as was not comfortable. There was never ejaculation from the top in those encounters and they were quite brief. Once with a women a condom broke for a few seconds and we replaced it immediately (I don't think it was more than 30 secs). I am circumcised.

This behavior lasted for a while and then was abandoned completely almost a year ago.

A bit more than a month ago my wife came with an HPV in her pap and somehow started to read again about HIV. Since then, I can't take it out of my head. The more I read on the web, the more anxiety I get. Even though at the time I thought I practiced sex as safe as I could now I get all kinds of second thoughts and can't stop stressing over this. I am experiencing a lot of anxiety, specially thinking about the family impact this may have.

All these episodes happened about 2 years ago and I have been looking through everything that I have to search for flu / cold and the similar (especially close to an encounter). I only had one flu that was quite bad, but only for about 2 days (no rashes, no chills, no muscle pain). The year before that I had a bad cough that ended up in pneumonia (both events around November) - in this case never been in bed and working all the time through it.

Experts, what is your risk assessment of the situation described above? Do symptoms look like ARS? I am freaking out and would love to read what experts in the subject have to share about my situation.

Thanks a lot in advance!
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for your question to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It seems you're stressed about the possibility of acquiring HIV through some encounters with sex trade workers 2 years ago. We'll provide you with some information here that will help you understand the risks involved in those situations, and give you a bit of direction for what to do from here.

It's great you used a condom for your encounters as they substantially reduce the risk of transmission of HIV and other STIs. Even though you used a condom in this encounter, because it broke during intercourse we classify that situation as high risk. This does not mean transmission occurred, but that most recorded transmissions have occurred this way. See our [risk assessment chart ](http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart)for the transmission risks associated with various activities. I notice you replaced the condom quickly, which is great.

We at AIDS Vancouver are not healthcare providers, so are not trained in diagnosing HIV based on symptoms. AIDS related symptoms (ARS) is an outdated tem used to describe the symptoms people with undiagnosed HIV experience 10-15 years after infection. Testing is the only way to determine what your status is at this time. Considering we've identified this as a high risk situation, we encourage you to go for a test. If you are in Canada, check out [aso411.ca](https://aso411.ca/) for testing locations, or feel free to give us a call if you have any other questions about testing.

I notice you mention your wife's HPV. Please remember that the presence of one virus is not a reliable indication of another, the two are quite separate. It is likely that your wife is receiving appropriate care and follow up from her doctor in regards to the HPV and its implications. However, for your information, [Smart Sex Resource ](http://smartsexresource.com/topics/hpv-and-genital-warts)has a section which you might find interesting.

I hope that this answers your question. Best of luck with your testing.

Best wishes

Wendy and Trevor


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