Anonymous
I had a low risk encounter with another male. It happened about 15 weeks ago. I'm a straight male but I was exploring my sexuality in the heat of the moment. This male performed oral on me but I did not perform oral on him and absolutely no anal-anything was involved.

At 25 days, 8 weeks and 88 days, I had blood drawn 3rd generation ELISA lab based test that came back negative. I am skeptical about my 8 week and 88 days test due to the reliability of the website I chose to test from (It was a online testing service where you order the test you want, they send you a script and you take your script to be tested at a local lab, and then your results are posted online at the online testing service's website.

I want to ignore these results because I don't know if I can fully trust the source. My main concern is that what led me to get tested was the fact that I had a flu-like illness at 11 days post exposure. I had an incident where my negative girlfriend and I did not use a condom for about a minute as it broke. I did not panic because I figured I reliably tested negative besides the fact I had a negligible/no risk in the first place. For some reason, I panicked for the pure safety of my girlfriend and my "what if" scenarios and I used a in-home testing OraQuick. I BELIEVE I tested negative but I'm not quite sure. My eyes kept playing tricks on me and I kept thinking I saw a faint line so I took a picture of it and saved it on the phone. The next day, I showed my therapist, and 2 HIV educators. They all agreed, although it's a picture, they saw nothing and that it was negative.

Because of my anxiety, the educators recommended that they tested me with another OraQuick right there in their clinic so I can have an expert interpret my result. I took the oral swab OraQuick in their clinic yesterday, 15 weeks post my unprotected insertive fellatio, and tested negative.

Am I conclusively HIV negative? Thank you
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Anonymous
HI there, thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV and AIDS related information.

The quick answer to your question is yes, you are HIV negative. Any HIV test is considered absolutely conclusive at 12 weeks post exposure, so your test at 15 weeks is completely accurate. If your ELISA test at 88 days was done properly this would also be considered absolutely conclusive.

I should also mention that your experience with the man did not put you at much risk for HIV to begin with. Receiving oral sex is considered to be negligible risk for HIV, this means that there has never been a confirmed report of transmission this way!

With respect to symptoms, there are no clinically defined symptoms associated with HIV. The only way to determine your status is by being tested. The flu-like illness that you experience must has simply been the flu, as you do not have HIV. You may have read about ARS or "Acute Retroviral Syndrome" which presents as a flu-like illness that some people experience shortly after having been infected with HIV. ARS does not happen to everybody and is not a way in which HIV can be diagnosed.

I hope that answers your question and alleviates your anxiety! Keep in mind that HIV is very hard to transmit and risk of transmission depends purely on the activity and not the persons involved. Feel free to contact us again if you have any further questions.

In health,

Arne, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

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