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HIV: How likely is it to contract M to F?
September 21, 2012 4:43 PM   Subscribe

I am a 20 year old Canadian female--I had a lot of unprotected sex with a very promiscuous male around 2 years ago. How possible is it that I may have contracted HIV?

I have no symptoms, but I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I feel fine, energetic and healthy. I haven't had sex with anyone since (I haven't fallen in love with anyone else.)


How POSSIBLE is it that I could've contracted HIV from him? He did not ejaculate in me.

Is it easy to contract it?

I will get tested soon. I was never worried before, other than about being pregnant. But the fears of a very paranoid friend have scared me into asking the question here.

Thanks!
posted by rhythm_queen to Health & Fitness (55 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Short answer, yes, you could have contracted it through any unprotected sex, even without ejaculation. Please go get tested, it's fast and it's typically free.
posted by banannafish at 4:49 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very unlikely[1], but you should get a test.


[1]One study put the chance for a woman becoming infected by an HIV-positive male through vaginal sex at 1 in 1000. Because of the difficulties involved in studying how effective HIV is at infecting someone, the numbers vary among studies. [source]
posted by bensherman at 4:49 PM on September 21, 2012


This is basically impossible to answer. It depends a lot on his sexual and drug history. Female-to-male transmission rates through vaginal sex are very low. Male-to-female are higher, even without ejaculation inside you. It is possible, but "how possible" is a meaningless question.

Really, just get tested.
posted by supercres at 4:50 PM on September 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah. He did a LOT of drugs -_-

I know I should get tested, but I'd like to know the LIKELIHOOD is all. I don't want to be unnecessarily freaked out if it's relatively unlikely.
posted by rhythm_queen at 4:54 PM on September 21, 2012


I know I should get tested, but I'd like to know the LIKELIHOOD is all. 

This is impossible for us to determine for you.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:00 PM on September 21, 2012 [17 favorites]


Ah, just saw your update. Was it intravenous drug use? If he was just a super slutty acid-and-pills doing hippie-raver, then odds probably aren't too much higher than normal. If it was heroin use with other junkies, then presumably the odds are higher. Thing is, there aren't any good statistics on this for ALL groups of intravenous drug users. Maybe you could google AIDS statistics for intravenous drug users in, say, Chicago, and narrow it down, but if you're somewhere no one has compiled those numbers, there's no way to know.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 5:00 PM on September 21, 2012


Is he a high-risk individual? Does he have sex with men or use injection drugs? His level of risk is probably the biggest determinant factor here. HIV prevalence among heterosexuals who do not use injection drugs is very low.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:01 PM on September 21, 2012


A quick search comes up with this.

The authors concluded that the average male to female risk of HIV transmission is .07 - .08% per vaginal sex act (which, in a large study, would mean approximately 7-8 cases of transmission for every 10,000 acts of unprotected vaginal sex) if there was no receptive anal intercourse, the HIV-positive person was asymptomatic, and there were no other cofactors present, such as other sexually transmitted infections.
posted by Garm at 5:02 PM on September 21, 2012


Oh I should add: I assume you've been tested for everything else, and have been getting regular PAP smears, yes? Because hpv is faaarrrrrrr more likely, but so long as you're getting your pap smears, you can avoid the possible cervical-cancer-at-28 issues your ex may have given you.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 5:02 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


We could sit here and speculate the possibilities for you, but we wouldn't truly know whether you do or do not have HIV. Sure, the odds are quite low as some of the posts above indicate, but this is the type of thing is best left to medical professionals. Get tested soon.
posted by livinglearning at 5:05 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


He is heterosexual and I know he did a lot of cocaine, smoked a whole lot of pot, as well as...well, other stuff. Unsure about the cocaine, but I do doubt it. Definitely a super slutty acid-and-pills kind of dude, but not sure if he ventured elsewhere.

=/

I am a little nervous, but there are only reportedly about 58 000 people in Canada who have HIV/AIDS. Obviously this isnt COMPLETELY accurate, but it must mean that it is rather rare to get it here, isn't it?

Another Q: If heterosexual female to heterosexual male HIV transmittence is low, then the heterosexual male to hetero female would be low too, wouldn't it? I mean, he isn't getting it from any girls, so I probably have less of a chance of getting it from him in turn? Right?

Am I making sense? I don't want to be worried senselessly. I'm getting tested on Monday at a clinic nearby.
posted by rhythm_queen at 5:06 PM on September 21, 2012


(this is the type of thing that is best left to medical professionals*)
posted by livinglearning at 5:06 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I meant to say UNSURE ABOUT THE INJECTIONS*


Thank you guys a whole lot. I will get tested, but I don't want to be horribly anxious all weekend if I don't need to be.

<3
posted by rhythm_queen at 5:07 PM on September 21, 2012


Do you have any reason to believe he is HIV positive apart from the fact that he is promiscuous, smoked pot, and may have snorted coke?
posted by prefpara at 5:08 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ok, so using the .07%, if you had unprotected sex with him fifty times, you have just under 4% chance of being infected. Multiply that by how likely you think it is that he is HIV+. Say 10%? Then there is a .4% chance you have been infected.

The odds are on your side, don't worry too much this weekend. Just use a condom next time, and pick partners you trust.
posted by Garm at 5:13 PM on September 21, 2012


No. I know he had a lot of unprotected sex with a whole lot of people, though.

Honestly, I don't think he had HIV. But I don't have mental superpowers and like they say--It only takes once! AIDS doesn't discriminate! AND a friend of mine has been telling me scary HIV stories all day. I'm a little scared for sure, but I don't want to be overly ridiculously scared.
posted by rhythm_queen at 5:14 PM on September 21, 2012


Garm, we probably had unprotected sex 10 times, but he was a firecracker in bed and so we stayed in bed for many, many hours at a time and he climaxed many, many times. So I'm unsure of how to calculate that. But gosh, thanks for being so helpful!!! I'm listening to my body and trying to be in touch and grounded, and its reassuring me that I'm fine.... but I'd like to get my mind cleared. And I will! I will also let you know :D
posted by rhythm_queen at 5:17 PM on September 21, 2012


I know you're worried, but with all respect there isn't much that can be done at this point. You last had sex with this guy about two years ago, right? Well, if you were able to make it through two years then you'll be able to make it through less than a week.
posted by livinglearning at 5:19 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


You have plans to get tested on Monday, so it sounds like at this moment, going forward, you're already doing everything you can to be responsible about this. I'd probably be freaked out too, but if you can, pat yourself on the back for making plans to get tested, and try to relax.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:19 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Multiply that by how likely you think it is that he is HIV+. Say 10%?

The prevalence of HIV in Canada is about 0.2%. It will be lower among heterosexual men who do not use injection drugs.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:20 PM on September 21, 2012


mr_roboto, that makes no sense. If the overall prevalence is .2%, that includes lots of people in lower-risk groups, like nuns and Hutterites and infants. A promiscuous heterosexual who doesn't practice safer sex and who may or may not have used intravenous drugs is going to have a higher risk than the population at large, though a lower risk than a promiscuous homosexual man who doesn't practice safer sex and who may or may not have used intravenous drugs.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:28 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh my god.

Girl, stop worring. It's pretty unlikey. It ain't impossible, but it's pretty unlikely.

BUT. Don't do that again- not the unprotected sex with people you don't trust, or the not getting tested for two years. HIV isn't the only thing out there. Other STIs are much more common, and some don't have obvious symptoms. If you aren't tested regularly you could do damage to your insides as well as passing it around to the next partner.

All sex comes with risk, but you can limit your risk by getting educated, regularly tested and practicing safer sex.
posted by Blisterlips at 5:48 PM on September 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Of course you should get tested, and never do this again.

That said, the ballpark estimates being thrown around in this thread -- in this layman's opinion -- are needlessly causing you anxiety, I think. Garm, OP's partner had sex 10 times without ejaculation (not 50 times with ejaculation), and is not known to be in a high risk group (so significantly less than a 10% risk).

Making those corrections, I'd guesstimate your chances of being HIV+ are probably in around the same ballpark as you dying or being injured in a car accident this year.
posted by dontjumplarry at 5:48 PM on September 21, 2012


If heterosexual female to heterosexual male HIV transmittence is low, then the heterosexual male to hetero female would be low too, wouldn't it?

This doesn't necessarily follow. Tranmission rates can (and do) differ. A female is more likely to catch it from a male than the reverse, all else being equal.

This is all pointless, though. Get tested. Everything else is baseless speculation.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on September 21, 2012


I'm listening to my body and trying to be in touch and grounded, and its reassuring me that I'm fine...

Your body has no idea if it has been infected with anything. That's what science and tests are for. I say this because the "I feel great so I'm obviously fine!" belief is what causes a lot of people not to get tested, and allows HIV to spread. So, yeah, don't listen to your body, listen to the test you should get ASAP.
posted by Justinian at 5:52 PM on September 21, 2012 [21 favorites]


Listen: there is no point in worry about this. Either you are or aren't HIV+, and getting all worked up about it won't help.

You'll go in Monday. They'll do (I assume) a rapid oral test and you'll get the results in ~20 minutes. And if the test is positive then they'll do a blood test (2 weeks for results) to make sure. But even then, stressing over it won't help. There are lots of great drugs these days, being in Canada you'll have access to them, and you'll live a full and productive life. You can even have kids that are HIV-, if having kids is something you want to do.

And if you aren't positive all of this worrying will seem silly in retrospect.
posted by sbutler at 5:54 PM on September 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


How is it that "He did not ejaculate in me," yet "we probably had unprotected sex 10 times, but he was a firecracker in bed and so we stayed in bed for many, many hours at a time and he climaxed many, many times"?
posted by jejune at 5:54 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


mr_roboto, that makes no sense.

I think you're underestimating the extent to which HIV is concentrated in certain populations. Something like 68% of the cases of HIV in Canada are among men who have sex with men and injection drug users. Of the remaining ~30%, half are people from counties where HIV is endemic. If the person in question is not from these groups, 0.2% is probably an overestimate. There are about 10,000 HIV-infected men in this category. There are about 4 million Canadian men between 20 and 35 years of age. If all of the HIV infected men are in this age range (which they aren't), the prevalence is 0.25%.

This is very back-of-the-envelop, I know.

Source.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:58 PM on September 21, 2012


Look, just go get tested. The odds are low but real, and this is something you need to know sooner rather than later. Even in the US, there are places that do HIV testing for free, so I have to believe that such clinics exist in Canada. Just go get 'er done.
posted by valkyryn at 6:01 PM on September 21, 2012


By all means get tested if you want to. But just to point out:

You are worrying about a risk of a risk of a risk.

What you know about this guy is that he is a promiscuous man who has sex with a lot of women and did a lot of pot and coke. None of those things make him a particularly high risk for HIV.

Based on this - you worry that he *might* be in a high-risk *group* for HIV (an IV drug user, or maybe a man who has sex with men as well as women). You do not know this. You just worry that he *might* be in such a group.

Now, of course, even if he is in such a group: Most people in either of those groups do not have HIV. So even if he is one of those groups, the most likely thing is that he does not have HIV. Still, you worry that he might.

Finally - if your first worry is true (he is in a high risk group) and your second worry is true (he actually does have hiv), as others have posted, it's not that easy to transmit HIV from a male to female via intercourse. ( dontjumplarry is right to point out: If you had sex 10 times without your partner ejaculating, it seems pretty safe to say the odds of transmission are a lot less than the 4% that Garm speculates, which is for 50 times with ejaculation).

It wouldn't hurt to get tested, but really - being a woman who had sex a few times with a guy who likes to party a lot really doesn't make you someone at high risk for HIV.
posted by ManInSuit at 6:01 PM on September 21, 2012


First, the people telling you to relax are correct. You've waited two years; another day or two to get an answer won't change anything. Your chances are extremely low, but there's no better answer than that without getting tested.

Second, many places have weekend and evening testing options (because those are the times you can reach more people, and that's the whole point of outreach work). You can check websites and phone your local hotline(s), or if you are comfortable giving the name of your city here chances are good that someone here will know where after-hours testing is available. There's no point in stressing all weekend if you can go down and get a test tonight, you know?
posted by Forktine at 6:09 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Put it this way: Say the chance that this guy is HIV positive is 3% (which, honestly, seems very high to me, based on what we know about him: That he's a guy who likes pot and coke and sex with girls, and based on what others are saying in this thread). And say the chance of transmission is 2% (which also seems high to me, given that he did not ejaculate in you). If those numbers are right, the odds of you having HIV would be about 1 in 1700. The odds of dying in a car accident in a given year are about in in 6500. So.... If these numbers are right (I think they are high, others may disagree), the chance that you have HIV is less than the chance of you dying in a car crash in the next 4 years. This is the sort of risk that one doesn't have to lose too much sleep over.
posted by ManInSuit at 6:11 PM on September 21, 2012


Yeah. A couple of things. You should get tested. I know it's scary the first time. But it's better than ignoring it. You can probably find a clinic nearby that will do this for free. I want to let you know, that for your blood can be tested for many things on-site, but to be tested for HIV it typically has to be sent into a lab. That means you won't get your result immediately - it can take up to a week or two.

I think you're underestimating the extent to which HIV is concentrated in certain populations.... This is very back-of-the-envelop, I know.

I hate to agree with this but *in my experience* I believe it's true. The first time I got tested, I was asked about my sexual history extensively. When the doctor established that I was a white heterosexual having sex with white women, she seemed to relax and she told me that I was not in a high-risk category. I've also been tested at a gay clinic in Los Angeles which provided free services (but could not technically discriminate according to sexual preference - that's how i was able to go). Here, my experience in consultation was similar. Once the person who took me in figured out I was straight, he seemed a lot less concerned.

This is highly anecdotal data I'm sharing with you here, but I believe it supports larger trends, which of course have nothing to do with you specifically. I really encourage you to go in and just deal with this. If you're super-freaked out, go with a friend.
posted by phaedon at 6:12 PM on September 21, 2012


How is it that "He did not ejaculate in me," yet "we probably had unprotected sex 10 times, but he was a firecracker in bed and so we stayed in bed for many, many hours at a time and he climaxed many, many times"?


-Well, he never came in me. He would generally climax on my breasts or belly. He made sure of this (i guess he didn't want to deal with the possibility of pregnancy -_-) and I can say for sure he didn't climax inside me.

Guys, thank you *SO* much. I am upset with myself for not being tested. I'll be doing so this Monday, but you've saved me from worrying needlessly. I AM concerned, don't get me wrong, but I'm also at a good place. So thank you for this. <3
posted by rhythm_queen at 6:12 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Statistics are meaningless after the fact. I can tell you there's a 10% chance you'll miss the bus tomorrow, but it's silly to say there's a 10% chance you missed the bus yesterday. You either missed the bus or you didn't.

You probably don't have HIV. But getting tested is literally, literally, LITERALLY the only way to find out. Anything else is just mind games.

Hugs to you. Getting tested for something serious is a scary deal. You'll be fine whatever happens.
posted by threeants at 6:31 PM on September 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


This isn't a heterosexual vs. homosexual issue. Just ask the millions in Africa who are HIV+ and decidedly heterosexual. Please quit framing it as such.

Also, defining the possibilities around such observably uneducated statements as "Well, he never came in me. He would generally climax on my breasts or belly. He made sure of this (i guess he didn't want to deal with the possibility of pregnancy)" demonstrates that you understand little about HIV transmission, the possibilities of ways to get pregnant, and sex in general. It's not your fault you don't see these things yet, but you need - NEED - to further educate yourself. You can get pregnant if he doesn't cum in you. You can get HIV even if he's never had gay sex. You can get HIV even if he's never been sharing needles. You can get HIV from him even if he didn't come in you, and even if he never shared needles, and even if he never had gay sex. Ad nauseum, ad naseum... Yes, female to male transmission is possible. Even if he didn't cum in you. In other words, the possibilities are endless.

But on the bright side, let's put it this way... unless your boyfriend was having unprotected sex with multiple partners, who in turn were having unprotected sex with multiple partners, who were also crossing sexuality lines with forays into homosexuality - yeah, people cross lines, and maybe also sharing needles with intravenous drug users, chances are very slim that you've contracted HIV.

But... there's still a chance. AskMe can reassure you, but AskMe can't answer the question. Go get tested, and have safe sex from now on. And please please PLEASE realize that you can catch something, or get pregnant, quite easily if you're not safe. He doesn't have to cum in you. Let's state that again... HE DOESN'T HAVE TO CUM IN YOU.
posted by matty at 7:06 PM on September 21, 2012


Make sure when you get tested you get tested for other STDs as well. HIV might be the worst case scenario for you, but a lot of other things are more likely to contract.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:19 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Make sure when you get tested you get tested for other STDs as well. HIV might be the worst case scenario for you, but a lot of other things are more likely to contract

I would like to second this.
Also, lots of those other things can be asymptomatic, so two years with no suspicious activity down there doesn't mean anything. Go and get the works - lots of testing centers make it way easy, simple, and cheap to test for multiple STDs in one session.
posted by vivid postcard at 7:22 PM on September 21, 2012


You can get HIV even if he's never had gay sex. You can get HIV even if he's never been sharing needles. You can get HIV from him even if he didn't come in you, and even if he never shared needles, and even if he never had gay sex. Ad nauseum, ad naseum... Yes, female to male transmission is possible. Even if he didn't cum in you. In other words, the possibilities are endless.

Yes. It is possible for a woman in Canada to get HIV from a Canadian man who has never had gay sex and never used IV drugs, by engaging in sexual relations where he does not come in her. But judging from all the information others have presented here, it is not highly likely. The OP was asking about likelihood, not possibility.
posted by ManInSuit at 7:22 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


which is why I said "chances are very slim that you've contracted HIV". And being Canadian has absolutely nothing to do with it. Neither does being gay, nor having ever used IV drugs. That was kinda the point.
posted by matty at 7:28 PM on September 21, 2012


Look, two friends of mine have been HIV+ for 20 years or more so you can relax either way.

(i guess he didn't want to deal with the possibility of pregnancy -_-)

I hope that is the "but i realize he didn't know what he was taking about and that a woman can get pregnant even if the male doesn't ejaculate" emoticon.
posted by salvia at 7:35 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also... re-read the question ManInSuit:

"How POSSIBLE is it that I could've contracted HIV from him?"

Pretty sure the OP was asking about possibility.
posted by matty at 7:37 PM on September 21, 2012


Being a straight, female Canadian who doesn't use IV drugs actually has a lot to do with it, no?
posted by ShutterBun at 7:41 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Folks, please stick to the question and don't turn this into a general debate. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:49 PM on September 21, 2012


This isn't a heterosexual vs. homosexual issue. Just ask the millions in Africa who are HIV+ and decidedly heterosexual. Please quit framing it as such.

This is just dumb. Race, sexual orientation, and drug use are all incredibly relevant to any discussion regarding the likelihood of transmission of HIV. This is not to be dismissed as "framing." It is childish of you to make it sound like the people that are bringing this up are suggesting that HIV somehow "targets" certain people, because I don't think that's what anyone is saying.

In 2009, according to the CDC, gay men represented 2% of the population and accounted for %61 of new HIV infections. So, if the question is, how possible is it that the OP contracted HIV, one conjecture would be, if her partner didn't have sex with other men, then the probability is lower.
posted by phaedon at 9:03 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


[Seriously, the OP is not anonymous, feel free to take discussion outside of the scope of the question to memail. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:44 PM on September 21, 2012


Hey Rhthym Queen,

I have done dumber things re: unprotected sex, and I know the feeling that you are feeling right now (FREAKING OUT).

You are probably fine. But get tested. The larger questions about demographics, etc. . . You're not going to get enough of answer to feel at ease until you get an actual answer.

You've inspired me to get tested (for the first time in an embarrassingly long time).

Deep breaths, and step away from the internet.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:45 PM on September 21, 2012


i just want to echo a couple posters who urged you to get tested for STIs that aren't just HIV. the general message of the thread is correct, you are in a low risk group for HIV. but you are in a higher risk group for HPV. get yearly pap smears, get tested before and after every new partner, require that your partners get tested too. just because HIV isn't a death sentence doesn't mean that the attitude towards STIs should be relaxed.

scarleteen is a good website to do general reading about sex (and STI) related issues. please require your partners use protection until you are in a monogamous long term committed relationship where everyone is on the same page with respect to life goals. your health is worth taking care of and you should only be with guys who agree with that.
posted by nadawi at 12:09 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also wanted to echo those urging you to get tested for all the STIs (as possible/available). It's practical too, you just give a bit more blood is all.

get tested before and after every new partner, require that your partners get tested too.

Absolutely yes. I know a few straight acquaintances who, 10-15 years ago, were the sorts who said "oh I'm not worried, I'm not going to give into scare tactics" and never got tested, and who now have STIs and regret their youthful insouciance. It is a little more work, and not exactly enjoyable, but the thing is, it actually does make sex into the worry-free fun it should be. Much better to have a little temporary discomfort at the start than a lifetime of discomfort and often worse afterwards.

As for the HIV risk in your case, I wouldn't worry too much either, but yes, get those tests.
posted by fraula at 1:13 AM on September 22, 2012


I don't want to be horribly anxious all weekend if I don't need to be.

I don't understand why you have any more grounds for horrible anxiety in the few days before your test than you have had for the last two years.

If you do have an STI, it has clearly not been causing you any trouble for two years and it's unlikely to start doing so before the test lets you know that it's there and you start taking measures to deal with it.

If you don't have an STI, you're just wasting all that excellent anxiety on nothing at all.

Go get tested. Commit to doing whatever the results say is necessary. Until then: chill.
posted by flabdablet at 3:31 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is it that "He did not ejaculate in me," yet "we probably had unprotected sex 10 times, but he was a firecracker in bed and so we stayed in bed for many, many hours at a time and he climaxed many, many times"?


-Well, he never came in me. He would generally climax on my breasts or belly. He made sure of this (i guess he didn't want to deal with the possibility of pregnancy -_-) and I can say for sure he didn't climax inside me.
The reason why this is relevant is because the fluid transfer is totally different. After ejaculation, some of the ejaculate remains in urethra. If you then engage in intercourse again, without first cleaning the penis (ideally this would involve him urinating and then washing the outside with soap and water), that ejaculate winds up inside the receiving partner. Ejaculate generally has a higher HIV concentration (and, of course, a higher concentration of sperm) than pre-ejaculate. This means your risks are much higher.

In summary: continuing intercourse after ejaculation greatly increases the chances of pregnancy and disease transfer, as compared to ejaculating outside of intercourse and then either stopping or fully cleaning the penis before continuing. (Mandatory disclaimer: of course there are other methods which are even better, just sayin'.)
posted by anaelith at 6:46 AM on September 22, 2012


Good for you for scheduling a test. Better late than never!

I used to work for a national organization in Canada that specializes in HIV information. I think there are 3 main things to talk about here: odds of infection, how testing works, and HIV anxiety.

1. In Canada, heterosexual transmission does happen, but not as frequently as transmission between injection drug users or men having sex with men. Heterosexual transmission here is higher among Aboriginals (due to higher rates of IV drug use) or people who have moved here from countries where HIV is endemic. Race, sexual preferences, drug use, and which city you are in all have impacts on your risk profile, statistically speaking. But anyone can be infected.

2. If you can, get tested at a clinic that offers rapid testing. You can find one near you with this site: http://www.aso411.ca/ Rapid testing only takes a few minutes. If it comes back negative, you don't have HIV. If it is positive, you might still be negative, so they send your blood off for the traditional test which takes a few weeks. If you are in Toronto, the Hassle Free Clinic is a good place to go, and they can test you for all sorts of things and answer your questions about STIs and safe sex: http://www.hasslefreeclinic.org/HIVTestUpdate.php

3. HIV anxiety is when the fear of HIV becomes bigger and someone becomes convinced that they must be positive despite negative test results. Sometimes when we engage in risky behavior and we feel guilty or stupid about it, we subconsciously decide that we 'deserve' something bad to happen to us. For sexual regrets, we might think we deserve HIV (while ignoring other, more common STIs or the possibility that we got lucky). If your test comes back negative and you are still worried about HIV, this may be what is happening. If you find yourself testing multiple times and not trusting negative results, then it will be more fruitful to talk to someone about anxiety or regret than to get tested again. It doesn't sound like you are at that point, but I thought I would mention it just in case.
posted by heatherann at 7:44 AM on September 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thank you, my babely mefites <3



I'm kind of looking forward to getting tested (for everything that I can) on Monday--Heatherann, am going to the Hasslefree clinic near my school on Monday morning!

I'll keep y'all updated.
posted by rhythm_queen at 8:02 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good luck in your test, and I hope you take advantage of your time with the counsellor there. It's a nice chance to privately ask all of those pesky little embarrassing questions with someone who is totally used to talking about sex and who won't be squeamish about it at all.
posted by heatherann at 2:28 PM on September 22, 2012


Go for a rapid test, don't sweat it, whatever the result it's not going to change between now and monday. Just make it part of your health routine to get tests regularly.

Along with using condoms.
posted by ead at 1:15 AM on September 23, 2012


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