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Condoms safety

Aug 29, 2007

Hi Doc, what a relief discovering this website.

My story is as follows: I am a 35 year old white, South African woman. I have been married for the last 5 years. My husband and I seperated last year for a few months. I slept with another mand during this period. We used a condom, and as far as I could tell it didn't fail. I am now back together with my husband. Recently he has started complaining about his feet feeling numb and tingling on the edge of his feet and in his toes, this has obviously got me a bit freaked out as I don't know what it could be from and so obviously worry that I got infected with HIV from the one night stand and have now infected my husband. A few things to add is that I asked the guy I was wiht about his status and he said he recently tested and is negative. I checked the condom in the rubbish bin the next day and it seemed to be intact.

I suppose my questions are as follows:

Would it be possible to contract HIV from this experience? Are there any cases where people have contracted hiv when using a condom? Am I understanding correctly when they say there is only a 0.1% chance of getting hiv if you sleep with an HIV positve person? And lastly are numb, tingly feet a symptom of hiv infection.

I would really appreciate if you are able to answer my questions.

I would like to make a donation, could you please send details as to how to do it from South Africa.

Many thanks in advance.


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Belinda,

If you used a latex condom properly and it did not fail (break), your chances of acquiring HIV from your one-night stand would be essentially nonexistent. HIV cannot permeate intact latex. No way. No how. I do not believe your husband's symptoms are related to HIV.

To respond to your specific questions:

No, you cannot contract HIV if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail.

Yes, there are cases where people have contracted HIV while using condoms. This is due to using the condom improperly, condom failure or using the wrong kind of condom (natural lambskin versus latex or polyurethane).

No, the statistics I quote are mere estimates of risk from various sexual activities.

"Numb and tingly feet" can be associated with peripheral neuropathy. Among the many causes of peripheral neuropathy is HIV/AIDS as well as side effects from certain HIV/AIDS medications.

Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site, From South Africa, donation options would include PayPal, credit card, money order, bank checks, direct wire transfers, cash, transfer of appreciated securities, diamond mines, oil fields and just about anything else imaginable. Those in desperate need are certainly not fussy about the type of gift!

Finally, if you remain worried about your HIV status, a simple rapid HIV test will provide you with a definitive result in as few as 20 minutes. The result will undoubtedly be negative, but this may be the most efficient way for you to put any residual HIV fears permanently to rest.

Be well.

Dr. Bob

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