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AIDS passing through condom??

Aug 10, 2003

Hi Dr Bob!!! About 10 wks ago,I had protected sex (as far as I know, there was no breakage in the condom) with a worker at a massage parlor in Vancouver (she said she was HIV negative)... she said she just started working as a prostitute for a month.. a couple of weeks after the encounter, I had diarrhea for a few days and mild fever for a day or so and about 8 wks after, got rash in armpits, sore throat, mild swelling in glands in neck - I saw on an hiv-testing website that the AIDS virus is small enough that it can pass through the condom if it has not yet attached to the antibody - ie. within first month (source: - is this true?? I'm totally freaking out about this!!!! I'm planning to test soon (about 10 wks and repeat at 12 wks) Might my symptoms indicate possible infection? Plese help!!! I just want to end this email by saying that you're a true inspiration to all of us and your bravery, courage, and positive attitude is truly amazing!! God bless you!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino


You found a website that said what?!?!?!? Well, I guess there is no law preventing ridiculous notions from being posted on the Web. Of course, if there were such a law, the folks behind this misinformation would definitely have to be arrested. Sorry you happened on to that scary (and totally untrue) website and missed the other gazillion HIV information websites that very clearly and scientifically state the truth that HIV cannot pass through latex condoms! Attached to antibody, not attached to antibody, first month or tenth month, the fact does not change. Stop freaking. Just sign off that website and keep your computer tuned to scientific sites like The Body.

Now, your risk is "protected sex" with a massage parlor worker who advised you she's only been on the job for a month. OK, whether or not she's a newbie is irrelevant. Your condom stayed intact; therefore, you had essentially no risk. Your symptoms could be related to any of a number of things. The one thing it is not related to is HIV. If you want to get tested, do so at 3 months, not before. Tests prior to 3 months are not considered definitive, so why bother to get them?

Stay well. I think you are just fine.

Dr. Bob

Scare in Paris !
Why didnt my doc give me the drugs?

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