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Broken Condom In Bangkok
Sep 7, 2009

Hi Doc,

I am trying to be a rational as I can, but I see so much conflicting advice on the internet I need some guidance. Yes I am married and yes I love my wife and feel utterly despicable and ashamed at what happened. I am in a job that takes me away from home for weeks and months at a time and in several years of doing this job my resolve to be faithful is good until now. I am still working in Bangkok I went out for a few drinks and then a few more! Before I knew what had happened I am back in the hotel with a girl from the bar and we were having sex with a condom (in date Durex from the mini bar!) it broke and I felt it go and pulled out immediately and rushed to the shower. Instantly sobered up and lost the will to continue. I asked the girl about her sexual health and she assured me that she cares a lot about her health and she always uses a condom and she says that she gets screened every three months and has always had the all clear. I would like to believe her but obviously there is no real way of knowing the truth. I will go and get a general sexual heath check up before I get home when I get to London on the last part of my work on this project and I know that I have to wait 3 months before I can get an HIV test so I will have to sort that one out at the time.

So my questions are about my risk, I am scared to death because I have a great wife and relationship and I put it all at risk. What are the chances of catching HIV and STD from a brief exposure?

Hoping for some help and advice

Martin

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Martin,

Just like the hit song from the musical "Chess" goes:

"One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free . . . ."

Your HIV-acquisition risk is low because your exposure was extremely brief. Testing at the three-month mark is still warranted, but the statistical odds are all in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this "one night in Bangkok." I'd recommend leveling with your wife and using latex condoms with her until your negative HIV status can be reconfirmed with your three-month test. As for other STDs, your general medical doctor can screen you for these at any time.

Martin, try not to be too hard on yourself. We are all human, which means we all make mistakes, even yours truly. What's important is that we recognize our mistakes, accept the consequences of our actions and learn from the experience. I believe you have done all three.

Good luck. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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