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latex or not - can one tell?

Nov 30, 2006

Dr. Bob,

Thank you for the wonderful and comprehensive work you do, especially in your forums.

My question which I have not managed to locate within the archives is as follows. I had penetrative vaginal sex with a sex worker at a spa 4 weeks ago now. The worker placed a condom on me prior to insertion but I have no idea whether a latex condom was used. Assuming the condom was non latex or polyurathane, is this considered high risk or unprotected? Are these types of condoms commonly used within the sex trade industry?If so, this is real scary as one is assuming that safe sex is being practiced when it actually isn't.

It has now been 28 days since this exposure and I am experiencing some very strange sensations of aching muscles in my arms, legs and tightness in the torso area. The lymph nodes under my arms feel sensitive and my anxiety levels are sky high except whilst I'm reading your informative and witty replys to worried wells. I am waiting for the 3 month mark before testing but feel somewhat erasured given the stats of 6 in 10000 probability you indicate for receptive male to female vaginal sex infection. Are these symptoms of early ARS or other STD related?

Finally, what is the origin of the term dubya? Will his reign of error continue, especially if they are serious about Iran next.

Look forward to a potential reply and funding your charity.

God bless you and best wishes to your dear bro and partner Steve.

Bregards, Steve in Texas.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Steve in Texas,

You're from Texas and you don't know the origin of "Dubya"???? Hmmm . . . well certainly you (and the rest of the world) know that our current bumbling, incompetent President gets up every morning, arm wrestles with the English language and consistently loses, right? One of the ways he tortures the English language is with his pronunciation of the letter "w." It comes out "Dubya." It's also part of his name George "Dubya" Bush. Hence he's been nicknamed "Dubya." Just like Cheney's been named "Vice" and Gonzales, "Torture Boy."

Next, latex or not. Generally speaking, sex workers are better versed than the vast majority of their clients when it comes to all things sexual, including condoms and STDs! Although many folks never think about it from this perspective, sex workers need to protect themselves from whatever STDs their clients might have. Otherwise they wouldn't stay in business very long. I have no doubt your sex worker used a latex condom. They are the most cost effective and protect not only against unwanted pregnancy, but also many STDs. Natural condoms (lambskin condoms) are effective barriers for preventing pregnancy but not for preventing STDs. One way to be absolutely certain your sex worker uses a latex condom is to bring your own condoms for your future spa treatments!

Regarding your symptoms, no, these are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS.

Thanks for your donation ( In return, I'm sending my best good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test is negative.

Be well. Stay safe and you'll stay well!

Dr. Bob

Just donated money at Going for HIV Testing

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