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Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

All Q&A (1183)

HI, I HAD PROTECTED SEX WITH TRANSGENDER ONLY ONE TIME ON 1 MAY , AFTER 2 MONTH IN MY BODY LOT’S OF CHANGES.I READ IN INTERNET I HAVE SYMPTOMS LIKE HIV BODY PAIN, HEADACHE . THEN I HAVE TESTED HIV DUO COMBO TEST AFTER 3 MONTH EXPOSURE MY RESULT IS NON REACTIVE CAN I CONSIDER THIS AS A FINAL REPORT. BECAUSE I CAN CONSENDRATE ON MY WORK. PLEASE SUGGEST ME . I CAN’T ESCAPE MY SOUL HE KILLING ME EVERY DAY.

Hi, and thank you for your question

The 4th Generation HIV antibody test is accurate 3 months after potential exposure to the virus. So if you had a negative, or non-reactive, result 3 months after exposure, this means that you do not have HIV.

It sounds like you have quite a lot of anxiety about this encounter and the fear of HIV. Our Worry and Anxiety page has some helpful tips on managing when worries are taking over. If you find that you are unable to concentrate or function due to your anxiety, I would also recommend seeing someone like a counsellor or even a family doctor to discuss this.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I am from INDIA.I had unprotected gay oral sex many times and I had anal sex one time without condom. I had severe joint paints for 10 days and 10 to 15 rashes some of itchy some rashes are not itchy. I went to blood test I don’t know the last exposure day please help me. 1.hiv-ab-serum 2.hbsag-serum 3.anti-hcv-serum 4.tpha test for syphilis serum (immuno chromatographic) this all the test are negative. I went for hiv1 and hiv2 antibodies western blot serum test. Hiv1 and hiv 2 antibodies screening test 0.06 index

Hi

You are doing the correct action by going for a test. A STI/HIV test will let you know if something was passed to you. The symptoms you have described can be caused by many different medical conditions so would not be a reliable way to know if you have an STI or not. For the best care it would be good to mention the symptoms you are having to the person that did your testing.

Given the type of sex you described I would recommend getting a full STI test which would include:

(1) Gonorrhea and chlamydia testing from the throat, rectum and urine. Wait at least 2 weeks after sex before doing these tests for the best accuracy.

(2) HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C blood test. We find that most of these infections would show up by 6 weeks after they passed to someone, but we still recommend doing a final test at 3 months just to make sure.   

It’s great that your blood tests came back negative, but the main factor is how long after the sex did you do the test? Even just a rough idea would be enough information; you don’t need to be exact to the day. If it has been at least 6 weeks from the time when you had sex until your blood test that is a great result and means there is a high chance you are fine, but we still recommend a final test at 3 months to make sure.     

As most STI/HIV do not show symptoms we recommend that people go for regular testing every 3-6 months if there is a chance something could have passed to you.

Condoms offer great protection against HIV and other STI.  I am unsure of the situation in India but in Canada we are also finding that PREP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is becoming very popular in terms of a tool that can stop HIV passing to you.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any further questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

Can I use flavoured condom for vaginal sex?

Hi, and thanks for your question

The simple answer is yes, you can! As with any condom use it’s recommended to check the packing for the expiration date, to ensure it’s not damaged and to make sure it provides protection against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

Check out our Flavoured Condoms page on Smart Sex Resource for more details.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Can you have pain and no discharge…with an sti

Hi and thanks for your question

Yes, it is possible to have pain with no discharge with an STI. In fact, most STIs can have a variety of symptoms ranging from every classic symptom, some possible symptoms, and commonly no symptoms at all.

If you are sexually active, we recommend visiting a clinic to be tested for sexually transmitted infections including HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Have a look at our Clinic Finder to locate a clinic in your area

You might also like our STIs at a Glance chart which gives an overview of many STIs and the possible symptoms associated with them. 

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

My herpes is Reactive Herpes simplex virus Igg my first test and my 2nd test same also. I dont have any symptoms, outbreak or sores ever since. I need some explanation so I can understand. So i take another test specific type of Hsv 1 and 2. Is there any possible the result will be negative? Thanks.

Hi, and thanks for your question

As you’ve indicated, there are two types of herpes virus – HSV-1 and HSV-2. The lesions, or blisters, commonly appear either on the mouth as cold sores, or on the genitals. Herpes is a very common virus which is very easily passed through skin to skin contact. So not only can it be passed through sexual contact, but it can be passed through more casual skin to skin contact like kissing. For this reason some people are exposed to the virus at quite a young age, and the longer the virus has been present, the less frequently people notice outbreaks. In fact, some people never experience an outbreak of sores at all even though they carry the virus.

As such, it is unlikely that if you repeat the test that it will be negative. In fact, we often discourage people from testing for herpes using the blood test since it provides very little clinical information and often causes quite a lot of anxiety about a virus that is generally considered to be pretty harmless.

You might find our Herpes: Patient’s Guide helpful for more information.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I took the sti medication within 10 hours and i slept with someone already i am still gonna get cured after seven days

Hi, and thanks for your question

Waiting 7 days after taking the medication for a sexually transmitted infection is necessary to get rid of the infection in your body. During that time, you can still transmit the infection to your partners. If you were to then have sex with the same partner beyond that 7 day period, there is a very good chance that person could give the infection back to you, since many STIs are pretty easily passed.

For this reason it is important that you get any STIs treated appropriately and that any ongoing partners also get tested and take the treatment right away to avoid the infection going back and forth between the two of you.

At this point, the person you had sex with after you took the medication, should get treatment for the STI and you both should wait until seven days after treatment before having sex.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Hi,Thank you for the quick reply! Question was: —————————Hi, I’m a male and had an unprotected vaginal sex. I tested at 21 days(3 weeks), 42 days(6 weeks), and 60 days (8 weeks) all negative 4th generation HIV test. I’ve been having rash that come and goes in the morrnings or random times of the day (chest) and on my 9th week I have gotten swollen lymph nodes. All the nurses and drs tell me at 8th week its conclusive but I keep stressing with my symptoms————————–ANWSER: Hi, thanks for writing in with your concerns. With the fourth generation HIV test, you can be reassured that you do not have HIV and there is no need to do any further HIV tests. You did not say if you also did any STI testing around chlamydia ( most common STI) gonorrhea or syphilis and if you have not already done these tests, then please do them to cover the possibility of exposure from over 8 weeks ago. if you have persistent swollen lymph glands and a rash, please consider seeing another doctor for assessment where testing and treatment for conditions other that STI’s might be recommended.———————————-To reply to your questions;1. I did test for all the other STDs and its negative.2. My worry was – what if I’m seroconverting at 9 weeks – because my neck lymph nodes are super swollen and hurts – would the test still have picked up something at 3,6, and 8 weeks?

Hi, and thanks for writing in again.

If you have a negative 4th Generation HIV antibody test done 12 weeks after a sexual risk or exposure, then you can be reassured that you do not have HIV from this encounter. 

Sore, swollen lymph nodes are what we call a “non-specific” symptom which means it could be attributed to any number of things, most likely a common cold or some other viral throat infection. Swollen lymph nodes are not specifically a symptom of HIV or of seroconversion. 

It does sound like you are maybe feeling quite anxious about an HIV infection, and so you may want to consider speaking with a counsellor or another health care provider such as a doctor or nurse if you are having difficulty trusting the negative result from your multiple HIV tests.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions
or concerns.
Health Nurse

Hi,I’m a male and had an unprotected vaginal sex. I tested at 21 days(3 weeks), 42 days(6 weeks), and 60 days (8 weeks) all negative 4th generation HIV test. I’ve been having rash that come and goes in the morrnings or random times of the day (chest) and on my 9th week I have gotten swollen lymph nodes. All the nurses and drs tell me at 8th week its conclusive but I keep stressing with my symptoms

Hi, thanks for writing in with your concerns. With the fourth generation HIV test, you can be reassured that you do not have HIV and there is no need to do any further HIV tests. You did not say if you also did any STI testing around chlamydia ( most common STI) gonorrhea or syphilis and if you have not already done these tests, then please do them to cover the possibility of exposure from over 8 weeks ago. if you have persistent swollen lymph glands and a rash, please consider seeing another doctor for assessment where testing and treatment for conditions other that STI’s might be recommended.

Recently i used a public toilet in international airport in Europe. I was sitting down when suddenly automatic flushing flushed the water and the tip of my penis dipped in toilet water. I am very concerned that i caught an STI that way. I am concerned because it was international airport where a lot of people use it. Thank you so much, me and my girlfriend are worried that i got something.

Hi, thanks for your question. We do not see people getting STI’s from toilets, by sitting on them or through  contact with the water in the toilet bowl. STI’s are sexually transmitted infections usually through genital skin contact with wet warm sexual fluids. Of course there are other bacteria that can be transmitted through contact with any toilet surface that many people have used. ( seats, flush handle, wash basins, door handles to name a few) Handwashing before and after can prevent this transmission. If you remain concerned or have developed any symptoms, please see your doctor for assessment. 

My partner knew she has gonerrhea and without telling me passed on to me. What can I do I’m sure she’s given to other men before we left bc we in Ontario now

Hi, and thanks for writing in with your question

The most important thing is for you to make sure you get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and to ensure that you take the treatment as a contact to a gonorrhea infection. It’s important to wait for 7 days after you take the treatment before having sex with anyone to ensure the infection is completely gone.

If you are still with your partner, it is also important that she also took the treatment for the gonorrhea infection. Even if you both took the treatment, waiting for 7 days before having sex again is important to make sure the infection doesn’t persist and continue to go back and forth between the two of you.

With regards to possible other partners, the testing provider will have had a conversation with your partner about informing any additional partners to get tested and treated. There is nothing you need to do on her behalf.

If you had a positive gonorrhea result from your testing, then the doctor or nurse that did your tests should have a conversation with you about informing any of your other partners from the previous 2 months as well.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse