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Newly single and stupid

Hi everyone,
I am a gay man and just got out of a many years-long monogamous relationship about 6 months back (I should clarify, it was monogamous in terms of penetrative, anal sex but I did get blowjobs on occasion, that was the extent of it). So, cut to after my break up and I am sexually free and explorational for the first time in years. Since that time I have had 6 occasions where I ended up topping bottoms (6 different guys) who all said they were on Prep. They seem like trustworthy guys and I have no reason to doubt that they are, but I realize what I did was incredibly stupid and I am kicking myself for being so short sighted not just once but numerous times. I don't know what I was thinking. I have not had any symptoms that I know of although a couple months ago I did come down with a flu or cold for like 2-3 days (which seems pretty normal usually happens once or twice every year). There wasn't anything particular weird or long-lasting about that flu/cold, no rashes, no mouth sores, etc. but it got me thinking about how stupid I have been. Now I am petrified of getting tested. As I said, I topped each time (I do not bottom), and as for what I was told, they were on prep, and I do not have symptoms or other indications that I have HIV - but I am still beyond scared and the worst part of it is that I only have myself to blame for putting myself in this position.
What I am wondering is, how likely is it for a top to contract HIV based off 6 exposures, assuming these guys were lying about being on Prep? It's funny because I've received hundreds of blowjobs and am not worried about those but I have been working myself up into a state of major anxiety for somebody who already has anxiety issues and is prone to panic attacks. I think just being tested in a doctor's office is enough to make me pass out cold. How did I become like this? I need some encouragement that everything will really be ok...

  1. I am so glad you reached out because we can certainly provide you with encouragement and information here. It sounds like you are newly single and navigating these new explorations. You said your relationship was many-years and it makes sense you wouldn't test regularly in that case. Here in this community I hear many people who get tested regularly. The first time can be stressful, but I would suggest starting here with this article: https://h-i-v.net/testing-options



    As you also mentioned oral sex, I'll mention the risk is at the lower end of the spectrum compared to unprotected vaginal or anal sex. You can learn more about all these specifics of transmission through this article: https://h-i-v.net/transmission .



    Let us know what you think after taking a look at this info. We'll be here after you test to help and support you no matter the result, you're not alone. - Liz (Team Member)

    1. Thank you, Liz. I know I need to get tested and am working up my courage to do so. I know everything is probably fine but just taking on the knowledge of dealing with a chronic illness at this juncture in my life is too much so I keep rationalizing putting it off. It would encourage me to hear instead of "you participated in a high risk activity" (I know), something like the likelihoods of contracting HIV by bare back topping a handful of times is low...which it is, isn't it? So that's what I am trying to remind myself of!

      1. I would also be interested in knowing the per-instance likelihood of a circumcised top such as myself contracting HIV assuming the receptive partner is HIV+ and has a high viral load. I imagine that's closer to a 5-10% chance of transmission.

        1. How are you doing this week? I really wish I could give you a percentage and ease your mind, but we just aren't able to do that the way that a counselor at a testing site would be. Let us know, have there been any developments since you last posted? How are you doing? - Liz (Team Member)

      2. Hi Liz, good news. I worked up the courage to take the OraQuick HIV home kit test. My results were negative. I now have an appointment with a healthcare provider to get tested there, as well, and feel a lot more at ease given my tentative results. 90% of the weight has been lifted although I know I still need their results as well.

        1. I'm glad to hear you tested and that you're going to meet with a doctor as well. I hope everything goes well, and take care! - Liz (Team Member)

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