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sex with a prostitute; could my armpit swelling be HIV?
Apr 4, 2002

I know how many questions you must get each week but would be eternally grateful if you could find a moment to answer mine. I am concerned that I may have contracted HIV through protected vaginal sex with a prostitute. Is this possible, even if the condom didn't break? If so, how? I seem to have developed a swelling under my left armpit (possible exposure was 2-3 years ago) and have a persistent cough with mucus for 3-4 months that refuses to go away. Could this be symptomatic? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Based on the information you have given me, it would be unlikely, but not impossible, for you to have contracted HIV infection. Condoms do not eliminate the risk of HIV infection, they just diminish the risk. We call this "safer" sex, rather than "safe" sex. The best advice, which I can give you, is to get HIV tested. Knowledge is power and you need to know.

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