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burning, tingling skin
Jan 24, 2002

Hi, thanks for taking my question. About eleven weeks ago, I engaged in vaginal intercourse with a sex worker. I used a condom, however it broke at some point and we stopped when we found out. At six weeks I developed a soar throat that lasted for two weeks. At seven weeks, I took a prliminary hiv test that came back negative. At ten weeks, I developed a condition where my skin getts a burning tingling sensation when any kind of light to moderate pressure is applied to it. I feel it mostly in my hands and feet because they come into contact with more things, however I feel that the rest of my skin is also more sensative. Something as simple as making a sandwich will leave my hands tingling and anything heavier duty will leave them burning and sometimes a raised red surface for five to ten minutes. Could this in anyway be a symptom of early hiv infection. I know that most symptoms if they show at all happen within the first six weeks, but if my body hadn't started fighting the hiv until now, that would explain the negative seven week test and the new symptoms. Please answer because I'm driving myself crazy. Thanks

Response from Mr. Kull

Condom breakage happens, and when it does, it can lead to anxiety and confusion. Fortunately, the majority of condom breaks DO NOT lead to HIV infection (according to the CDC). Your risk for infection will really depend on whether or not fluids could have come into contact with the tip of your penis. Unfortunately, that's often hard or impossible to figure out.

Many people who have experiences like yours decide to get tested for HIV antibodies after three months have elapsed as a precaution. One exposure through a condom break does not comprise a significant risk, but infection is possible. Trying to determine whether or not you've been infected based on the symptoms you are experiencing is sort of useless in your case.

See my response to "Condom Failure" for more information on condoms and breakage (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/PreventionSexual/Q2944.qna).

RMK



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