Sex Risks and Guilt

Dear Christine,

I was on a business trip and ended up at a place where there were prostitutes. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I had unsafe oral sex from one of the girls.

I feel sick over this. Since I returned home, I am afraid to touch my wife or tell her what happened. They say HIV cannot be detected for three months but I can’t avoid intimacy with my wife for that long. I keep thinking I should just kill myself, but I don’t want to leave my little boy without a father.

Please help me. What is the risk that I have I become infected? I don’t want to die.

Scott

Dear Scott,

Please do not kill yourself or kill yourself with guilt!

According to the AIDS establishment, the chances of becoming HIV positive through a single sexual contact with a woman who is not in a high risk group is less than that of being struck by lightning, and according to the US Centers for Disease Control, female prostitutes are not even a risk group for AIDS. Further, I have seen nothing in the medical literature to substantiate the notion of HIV transmission through oral sex.

At a recent forum in San Francisco designed to warn gay men about the dangers of “HIV infection” through oral sex, presenters were forced to admit there have been only a handful of cases of claimed oral transmission of HIV ever recorded in the US, and that none of these cases were confirmed by eliminating other possible risk factors for testing positive. Even if these claims about oral HIV transmission proved out, this still does not address the fact that HIV tests do not confirm actual HIV infection.

Feelings of guilt over sex and qualms about disclosing behaviors that may be unfavorably judged by others often turn into irrational fears about HIV and AIDS. In some cases I know, this worry and stress become so intense that people actually develop symptoms associated with AIDS—and these are people who end up testing HIV negative. I have reports from men and women who’ve experienced various combinations of fevers, rashes, swollen glands, diarrhea, nausea and fatigue caused by nothing more than their fear and remorse over unprotected sex. Their symptoms all subsided after they tested HIV negative.

I suggest you do your best to forgive yourself, and try to learn something from this experience. The information at may help put your mind at ease, at least with regard to HIV and AIDS. However inaccurate the tests may be, you may need to take one to “prove” to yourself you’re OK. If you decide to get tested, don’t be afraid—the overwhelming majority of individuals who test turn out HIV negative, and this includes people in official risk groups.

Remember, even the best people make mistakes. Please do not kill yourself over yours and leave your family without a husband and father. Unfounded fears over an unproved viral hypothesis are simply not worth it.

Take care,

Christine

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References

to Risk Realities FAQ's - Unprotected Sex, Regrets and Fear

to Africa In Perspective