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Sep 2, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob,

Firstly, great website and fantastic work you do! I have donated to "concerted effort".

My tale is a familiar one; I apologise if this has been covered in the archives but I couldn't find anything exactly the same to help assuage my fears.

After a heavy drink & drugs session I had protected penetrative and oral sex with an escort. We used a new condom for each sex act and I am as sure as I can be, given the state I was in, that the condom didn't break or split. The next day I was mortified as I have a partner of over 6 years. I checked your website and spoke with someone at the Terence Higgins Trust and you both allayed my fears. As far as I could see my risk was essentially very low.

Two weeks later a coupel of hours after un-protected sex with my partner I felt a dull ache in my groin. I went to a sexual health clinic and after various penis and throat swabs were taken and a urine sample I was diagnosed with NGU, but non-chlamydial and non-gonoccocal. I have been on a course of Doxycycline for the last few days although my physician said that it might not respond to this drug as no-one could be definite what had caused the NGU.

My worry is this: I have read that HIV can "piggy-back" with other STDs. I know you said that HIV cannot breach a latex condom "no way no how" so I assume that it could only piggy-back if the sex were unprotected? I, however, have somehow managed to acquire NGU. I realise that this can be acquired non-sexually or it might be that my partner has cystitis and that I have caught that from her. However, I'm now scared that I got the NGU from the escort and that I might have acquired HIV too? Any idea what the chances are of that?

Thanks very much in advance for your help; I don't know whether you can help with my query: there may be too many imponderables for you to make an accurate assessment. I also realise thatmy guilt may be contributing in great part to my fears.All I know is that I'm scared that I've messed my girlfriend's life up and that of my own.

Cheers; keep yourself well and good luck fighting th egood fight.

GR. London UK

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello S,

NGU is much more easily acquired than HIV (thankfully). Your worries of HIV piggybacking are unwarranted. You are correct: HIV cannot permeate intact latex! No way. No how.

If you remain concerned, get a rapid HIV test at the three-month mark to put your residual fears permanently to rest. The result will undoubtedly be negative.

Thanks for your tax-deductible donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation! Stay safe. Drink only in moderation. Stop the drugs. Continue to use safer sexual practices.

Be well! Stay well.

Dr. Bob

You have never answered a question like this before!

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