Anonymous
exactly 2 months after an incident I am experiencing the worst sore throat I have ever had, and the runniest nose I have ever had. I could not even swallow food for a day. Is this a symptom of HIV, the ARS stage, or any STI?

So I have gotten maybe 10 + handjobs from Asian Massage Parlors in Toronoto, Ontario. I am not concerned about the hanjobs, but I am concerned about a Blowjob I had on April 15, 2015 from an asian massage parlor. I did use a condom, but I did shave my pubic hair the night before with a straight razor. I did nick myself a couple of times near the base of my penis.

My question is What risk was I at for having these cuts and receiving a blowjob? How big does a cut have to be to get HIV? I got tested for HIV on May 15, 2015 (1 month after) which was a rapid hiv test that came back negative.

Should I do another test on June 25, 2015,(Aprox 2.3 months after) or should I wait for a 3 month period to get tested? Please I am so scared.

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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. It seems like you are very worried about your situation. Let me try to help you the best that I can.

First, I will explain how you can contract HIV. For HIV transmission to occur, you need all 3 of the following factors listed on this table:

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION


BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
---------- -------- ----------------------------
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection
As you can see on this table, exposure to body fluids and direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream is necessary for transmission to occur. It is very difficult to contract HIV. This usually occurs through high risk exposures such as engaging in unprotected anal or vaginal sex, or the sharing of contaminated needles. If a person acquires HIV, they go into a stage called acute retroviral syndrome or ARS. This is the body's response to HIV infection and involves a large amount of the virus being made in your body. There are no specific symptoms for this stage, although people commonly experience flu-like symptoms. However, the only way to really know if you have HIV is to get tested. If you want to know more about ARS, please read this[ site](https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/just-diagnosed-with-hiv-aids/hiv-in-your-body/stages-of-hiv/). You may also see your medical professional to discuss your symptoms.

With this said, you are correct in saying that handjobs are not something you should be worried about when it comes to HIV. Non-insertive masturbation, in the form of handjobs, is considered a no risk activity because there is no exchange of body fluids and no direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream.

On the other hand, receiving oral sex is considered a negligible risk. This means that while there is a risk due to the exchange of body fluids, there has been no confirmed report of infection occurring in this way. In addition, you used a condom which provided a barrier protecting you. Good job! To answer your question specifically about the cuts in relation to your blow job, there is still no added risk and you are still considered negligible. The reason for this is because for a cut to pose as a risk for transmission, it would have to be large, deep and actively bleeding so that it can provide direct access to the bloodstream for the virus to enter. This is not the case in the cut you described and you are at no added risk for HIV.

In regards to your HIV testing, I would first like to say that I applaud you for taking the initiative for your health and getting tested. HIV testing is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV and according to the BC Center for Disease Control, all HIV tests are conclusive at 3 months or 12 weeks after your last high risk exposure. While it is great that you have been tested, a test 1 month after is not considered conclusive and it is recommended that you wait and return at 3 months for conclusive results. However, considering your previously negative result and negligible risk level, I am optimistic about your HIV results and do wish you the best for your 3 month test.

While you are at a negligible risk for HIV, it does not mean that other STI's are out of the question since these infections can be easily acquired compared to HIV. For this reason, AIDS Vancouver recommends that all sexually active people be tested on a regular basis for all STI's including, HIV. If you would like more information on other STI's, please refer to this [site](http://smartsexresource.com/about-stis/stis-101).

I hope you feel better! Please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions.

Best wishes,

Mary

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (PST)

604 253 0566 Ext. 299

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