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What Is My Risk of Contracting HIV



In the past few days I have been contemplating getting an HIV/AIDS test, but I remain very nervous and scared. In my life, I have had sex only four times. I had my first sexual encounter at the age of 19 (4 years ago) and I had known her all through high school. This is the only person with whom I have ever had unprotected sex.

My main concern is that I did not know the HIV status of the three girls after my first. They were also random partners who were associates but, not close friends. Lastly I feel that there is a possibility that the condoms may have slipped a few times. To the extent of slippage, I don`t know, however it was still there at the conlusion of each respective session of intercourse.

Also I have only ever ejaculated with the first girl.(I dont know if this makes a differece in the chances contracting the disease) My main concern is my risk factor. What are the chances that I could have contracted HIV?


Dear worried: The risk of getting HIV infection each time you have sex is about 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000. It depends on the type of sex you have. If you are a man with a circumcised penis, your risk is lower compared to a man with an uncircumcised penis. If you had vaginal intercourse only (not anal intercourse) then the risk is lower. If you wore/used a condom, then the risk is lower. If your sex partner was HIV positive, risk also depends upon whether they were taking treatment and how much virus they have in their blood. The only way to reassure yourself is to get tested. In the future, make sure you use a condom with any kind of sex to reduce your chances of catching HIV. 

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati