Anonymous
Hello. I am a 26 year old Canadian male, currently residing in a hotel room in Cambodia. I am steeped in guilt and anxiety following two sexual encounters I had last night. I had far too much alcohol to drink and was walking down the street in a lively area of town when I bumped into a transgendered person, a ladyboy they call them.. Having little to no inhibition, within minutes I was receiving oral sex in an area of the street out of sight. This lasted for only about 15 seconds before I realized what I was doing and definitively put at end to the act. Maybe an hour later I ended up having protected sex with a female sex worker. Although I know the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is low, and despite the fact that the sex was protected via condom with the second of the two encounters, I am now consumed with feelings of guilt and self disgust having this being the first time I have paid for sex, as well as fear that this may be one encounter I won't walk away fully unscathed from... I am now very paranoid that I may have contracted HIV, being that this is a low income country, and the blowjob was from a ladyboy, and the sex was with a sex worker... I know there is no absolute way to be sure I have contracted anything until a couple months have passed and I can have accurate HIV/STI/STD testing, but is there anything, anything at all you can say to help me through this while at the same time not sugar coating anything? I have done ample research on HIV transmission being a naturally neurotic, paranoid person and realize the risks are low, yet HIV has no prejudice, and I still fear I may have put myself at great risk.. I will paraphrase my predicament in the spirit of transparency once more - I received oral sex from a transgendered person (not a sex worker) for approximately 15 seconds, and then I had PROTECTED sex (condom) with a female sex worker. No other acts were committed, I was tempted to perform oral on her but I mainly just kissed and lightly licked around the vagina and anus but I wouldn't consider what I did to even be able to be considered cunnilingus... Can you help me gain a little peace of mind on the matter? I'm freakin' out here and pretty sure I have tarnished the remainder of my trip now with this newly instilled paranoia. Thank you so much for your time.
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you're concerned about the possibility of HIV transmitting during a couple encounters. We're happy to answer your question for you.

As it seems you've already done a bit of research, you'll know that receiving oral sex is considered a negligible risk activity, and having protected sex is considered a low risk activity. We'll describe a bit more about what these risk levels mean in the hopes that it will ease a bit of your anxiety. Negligible risk means that while it is theoretically possible for transmissions to occur, none have actually been observed to occur during activities such as these. Low risk means that while transmissions are possible, they require specific circumstances to occur. These specific circumstances are typically things like the condom breaking, for example. You also mention kissing, and that you licked your partner's vagina and anus. These are actually no risk situations, as HIV is not known to transmit these ways.

You also comment on the fact that it will be a while before you'll be able to know conclusively your status after this encounter. While this is true, please consider the risks involved. When we assess cases like these we recommend that people engaging in them simply go for routine HIV testing, only because we at AIDS Vancouver recommend routine HIV testing for all sexually active individuals.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully and has eased your worries.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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