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SHAME FROM SPAIN
Oct 17, 2008

Dr. Frascino:

While vacationing in Spain last week I went to a big gay bar and after a few beers I found myself in their dark room making out with a few guys. There was some kissing and cock sucking --nobody came-- and I ended penetrating two different guys --I did used condoms.

So far, it doesn't sound too risky, but here's the thing... About 3 years ago I contracted genital herpes, despite using protection. I do get mild/moderate outbreaks every few months, always on the same area, which is about 1-2 inches from the base of my penis in my left pubic area. This fact has been very difficult for me, not so much physically but rather psicologically. Eventhough I'm a decent, caring, intelligent, professional individual I can't but feel "dirty" and undesirable; and dating and sexual relations had become very challenging for me since my diagnosis.

But back to Spain... When I came back to my hotel that night I noticed to my horror that I was developing an outbreak --there was a small ulcer about a 1/4" in diameter in it's early stages. I have read that having genital herpes increases your chances of contracting HIV, and eventhough I used condoms while penetrating this two guys, I'm afraid the lession was close enough that I'm sure it probably got in contact with some bodily fluids from these two strangers. I'm not thrilled either with the fact that i could have infected them with herpes --I will never do that on purpose to anyone.

Three days after this crazy night I started to feel a sore throat, fever, watery eyes, sneazing, etc. I'm worried sick! Could it be that I messed out my life for one wild night in Spain? I will really appreciate your opinion and advice.

Thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"Symptoms" three days after a potential HIV exposure would not be related to HIV acquisition! HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) symptoms generally take weeks, not days, to become manifest.

Regarding your recurrent herpes, I would suggest you talk to your doctor about suppressive therapy (Valtrex, acyclovir). Taking an anti-herpes medication prophylactically can significantly decrease the frequency and severity of your outbreaks.

Dr. Bob



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