Q: [A call at about midnight]: Doctor, two guys forcefully had sex with me, and afterwards, I heard one say to the other, laughing, “we don giv her pikin com add HIV on top!” I am scared. If they really are HIV-positive, am I now HIV-positive?

A: A lot of things in medicine are about probability, likelihood, and amount of risk. Having sex with an HIV-positive person doesn’t automatically confer you HIV-positive! We only say there’s a very high probability or likelihood of transmission of HIV from sexual intercourse. It is very likely you will get infected; yet, it also possible you won’t.

In fact, there are some people called “discordant couples”—where one partner in a sexual relationship is positive, yet the other is negative!

The chance of a “negative lady” getting infected from a “positive guy” is GREATER than the chance of a negative guy getting infected from a positive lady.

Transmission is also dependent on the severity of the infection in the infected partner, the nature of the intercourse, and several other factors.

Medically, we can further reduce the chance of you getting infected after intercourse with an HIV-positive person IF you report to the hospital as early as possible after the sex. We give special drugs. And run HIV screening tests at particular intervals.

First thing: CALL YOUR DOCTOR—and follow instructions!