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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:51 pm
Posts: 5

I recently had a sexual experience with a man that included unprotected oral sex and protected anal sex. Obvously, it was a stupid thing to do, but now that it's done I have two questions.

First, what am I at risk for so I know what tests to ask for?

Second, how long should I wait before those tests are valid?


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina

Here's a response we offered to someone with a similar question:

With HIV, it's usually recommended to wait at least three months after the last potential exposure to test (to give antibodies a chance to develop in detectable quantities), and blood tests for herpes are usually ok 12-16 weeks after exposure. Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing are good fairly quickly, so they are probably fine to check now.

Syphillis blood tests should be done no sooner than three months after a risky encounter. Blood work for Hepatitis B is generally reliable within 9 weeks (most will test accurately in about 4 weeks). Sometimes Hep C is also tested for (usually if the partner is diagnosed, rather than a general "what if?" screening), and the window here is around three months.

Keep in mind the amount of time it takes for a test to be accurate can vary, and many of the tests mentioned above can still be reliable even if one tests more quickly that what is recommended. Conversely, in some cases people don't have detectable antibody levels for longer than you would expect (this can, rarely, occur with HIV). Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about the accuracy of any of the tests you had, including the specific time frame involved.

Let your healthcare provider know you're concerned about oral and anal exposure, roughly when it occured, and ask which STDs they recommend you test for. Condoms are generally very effective in protecting against HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis but less so with herpes and HPV, as they are passed through contact with skin that can occur where condoms don't cover.

A number of STDs can also be transmitted via oral sex, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia.

I hope this helps. Post again if you have any questions.


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