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Is it necessary to test for HIV after risky sexual behaviour?

Q: I visited a brothel 3 years ago and I had sex with a prostitute. I used a condom and withdrew before ejaculation after 7 to 8 strokes. After that I removed the condom with my right hand and using the same hand I masturbated. As far as I remember my penis was dry when I started masturbation. When I ejaculated I experienced a burning sensation due to a small skin erruption on my penis. The lesion was not bleeding but due to upper layer injury a red rash was visible. My penis is circumcised since birth. Since than I have never commited such act. I want to know if the vaginal fluid which came in contact with my hand while removing the condom can cause HIV infection during masturbation due to contact with the skin eruption? I could not discuss the problem with any one and I went through depression and high B.P. Till now there was no problem but recently I had diarrhoea for 10 days and I am taking medicines without any relief. Could I have contracted HIV virus as I read somewhere that chronic diarrhoea is a symptom of HIV? I know that breast milk, blood, vaginal secrection can contain HIV virus. As far as I know, after HIV infection and window period a person may develop fever and lymph gland swelling. I don't have any such symptom. I fear going for HIV test as it may be my death warrant. I have also read that India has developed a vaccine and it is in the clinical trial phase. Is it true and what are the initial results considering that U.S. trials have failed?

A:In theory is is possible to get a HIV infection by having vaginal fluid from an infected person on the penis, especially when there is a wound or rash present. However from your description the risk of infection though present is low. I would advise you to get a HIV test done from a reliable testing centre. If the test is negative, you can stop worrying and start living a normal life. If the test is positive, get a repeat test. HIV infection can be diagnosed only if two tests come positive. In any case though we do not have a cure for HIV infection yet, a person with HIV infection has a long and productive life ahead and should not give up. There is no curative or preventive vaccine available in India or anywhere else in the world. You are correct that diarrhoea is often seen in HIV infection, but please remember that the presence of loose stools or any form of diarrhoea does not mean that HIV infection is preent. As everyone living in India knows, loose stools are a common condition due to poor hygiene, contaminated foods and poor quality drinking water. I repeat, get a test done. The chances are that you did not get infected. Whatever the test result, please remember to avoid the chance of infection in the future.


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