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HIV risk?
Aug 8, 2007

A few months ago I had unprotected oral sex and protected vaginal sex with a prostitute. I just found out I have syphilis. What are the chances that I could have HIV also considering I used a condom for vaginal sex? I didn't think I could get syphilis using the condom so now I am scared

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Unfortunately you appear to be yet another victim of inadequate sex education pertaining to basic STDs. I can only assume Dubya's misguided and catastrophic "abstinence-only" sex education fiasco has struck again!

You contracted syphilis from unprotected oral sex. Syphilis, like many STDs, is very easily transmitted orally, particularly if sores or mucous patches are present. HIV, on the other hand, is not easily transmitted by oral sex. Your decision to use a condom for your penetrative vaginal sex was indeed a wise one and if the condom was used properly and did not break it should indeed have protected you from getting HIV if your partner was positive. If you had not had unprotected oral sex and only had protected vaginal sex, you would have been protected from syphilis as well.

Dr. Bob



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