Readers' Submissions

HIV Stats

  • Written by Anonymous
  • June 27th, 2012
  • 5 min read


I just wanted to quickly point out the math for this. Let’s assume 4% of sex workers that serve white guys are HIV positive. Only 4% of encounters will put a person at risk for getting HIV. So after 1800 partners only 72 of them had HIV. After sleeping with 72 infected partners we’ve got a (999/1000)^72 = 93% chance of being clean. This number is somewhat realistic although probably is on the pessimistic side.

From all of the information I’ve read I’d put the chance of a man contracting HIV per heterosexual encounter to be more like 1/2000. I’d believe the 4% figure for HIV infected sex workers to be true as a high end estimate. If you’re taking young girls from gogo bars then this number is probably way too high. If on the other hand you’re talking about desperate, old freelancers then the estimate is probably way too low. Individuals should use some common sense in determining the risk for a particular girl – and not to think about some blanket number as that is not too useful.

One author brought up some other factors that he believes will confound the figures. However they really don’t. Having other diseases or having blood involved is already tied into the overall 1/1000 figure. If you are talking about sex where there are no open sores and there is no blood then the chances of getting HIV for the man probably drops to a remarkably small number (like less than 1/10,000). If run numbers again then we’re looking at a better than 99% chance of being clean.

I’d say that the HIV transmission numbers are misleadingly high for a variety of reasons. For example, there are certainly many cases where a man would never admit to having a homosexual encounter or being an intravenous drug user but contracts HIV. His report will hit the statistics as coming from a heterosexual encounter even though it is completely untrue. The reverse of this doesn’t happen.

If you use a condom you basically can be sure you won’t get HIV unless you’re ridiculously unlucky. Second, if you refuse to use a condom, then at least be smart about it. Don’t have sex with a girl when she is on her period. Don’t get too rough and cause an abrasion for either person. In addition to this, use lubrication as another author wrote! Don’t have sex when you have any kind of open sore. This one is huge in my opinion – as a betting man I’d wager that the vast majority (like 90%+) of males contracting HIV from heterosexual sex is a direct result of some sort of open sore or cut.

There seems to be a lot of concern from people writing on here after a single incident of unprotected sex. If that is you then you should not get too worried about it. That stress and wasted time / effort is going to cause you way more harm than the very small chance that you got HIV. Please don’t beat yourself up too much also! We are all just people and we all make mistakes from time to time. Just next time do your best to wear the condom so if nothing else you can have peace of mind.

Lastly, a lot of people reading Stick’s site don’t get HIV tests done. This is not a good decision for a few reasons. First off it is a very fast, cheap and low pain thing to have done. All in you can probably have it done for 250 baht at a reasonably nice clinic (my last test cost 450 baht at Chiang Mai Ram, the high-end hospital of Chiang Mai). In your home country it can almost certainly be done for free somewhere. Second, the earlier you find out, the better the treatment will work and the higher your quality of life will be. Learning a year after acquiring HIV will mean you lead a pretty much normal life. If you find out 8 years after acquiring it (i.e. once your immune system is already completely shot and they run a test for that reason) then there is a good chance the treatments won’t help you too much. Third, if you do turn out to be infected you can be a reasonable person and start using a condom going forward (which there is nothing really wrong with as long as you’re being careful). Also, even if you’re one of the lunatics that still doesn’t use a condom after testing positive you are still doing others a favor. By taking the treatment you will become a whole lot less infectious to others and will thus spread the disease to fewer new people going forward. This is huge because there is a rippling effect from each new person that you might infect.

I think all of this is a very pragmatic look at HIV. I am not trying to write some message here that says, “Yeah you should use a condom and if not you are evil and so on.” I am also not trying to write some message that says, “HIV is completely risk free and is basically a nonfactor in 2012.” All of what I’ve written is based off numerous scientific sources that are completely unbiased. People have to decide themselves what their own morals tell them to do and they need to decide what their acceptable level of risk is. That is pretty much entirely up to the individual. The only two things that I think are clearly immoral are 1: Being a very high risk individual and not getting tested, and continuing to not use a condom. And 2: Knowing you have HIV and not using a condom. So if either of those points is you: please stop doing this!



Stickman's thoughts:

There's a lot of fair and balanced advice here.

But I do have to say that given the utter hell some guys go through when they think there is a chance they may have exposed themselves to HIV and finally decide to get tested, I really don't think it's worth it. Besides, there are a lot of other nasties out there.

With that said, what has become obvious recently is that A LOT more guys bareback as a matter of course than I initially thought.