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"Could I have HIV?"
Hi, I'm really worried about HIV infection. I've only had one sexual partner, and about 6 months ago we went to a gay bar with our friends. We had quite a lot to drink and when we got home we had sexual contact. He did not wash his hands, before he fingered me and I am worried (I'm not homophobic I'm just worried that the HIV risk might be higher in a gay bar) that as I was quite inexperienced, that if he had got some HIV virus on his hands, that this could have passed into my blood stream if my vagina ripped or was cut. I have had a blood test but I am absolutely terrified that I might have it because of this. The thought of not being able to have children is devastating, and my life will be over. How likely do you think it is I have contracted hiv? I just need some reassurance as I am so worried. Hope you can help.
You are concerned that you may be at risk for getting HIV, so you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor. There are some misconceptions that you have and I will definitely clarify them for you. There are many places on the internet and community that indicate that gay men have a higher risk of getting HIV. Heterosexual people such as yourself are also at risk. There are no genetic differences between any human that makes one person less susceptible to getting HIV; thus, it is always important to use condoms every time you have sex. It is the only way to prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted disease. HIV is spread through fluids such as breast milk, blood, semen, and vaginal fluids. HIV cannot survive outside of these settings. If blood, semen, breast milk got onto a table at a gay bar, it won't be able to survive and it will have a very small chance of infection. If someone touched fresh blood or semen, and inserted his fingers in your vagina, it would be a different story. Also, there are many women who are HIV + who give birth to HIV - children. You should make an appointment with your primary care doctor to have standard STD check ups since you are sexually active. You can ask your doctor more about sex safe practices.
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