Oct 14, 2009
I was separated from my wife from June 2008 till July 2009. On August 2008 I started a sexual relationship with another man, we had protected sex using latex condoms, then after months of being pressured to go "bare back" I gave in on July 3rd of this year only after he showed me his HIV results (which were negative) he had taken May 2009, we had "bare back sex". towards the end of July my wife and I decided we would work on our relationship and in August we had sex I told her I dated someone else wile we were separated (but I didn't say that someone else was a man) and that we should use condoms for a wile just to be safe she bought the condoms for us the first time they were lambskin condoms they were really enjoyable I never heard of them so I thought the were effective against std's just like latex. we used these condoms till they ran out( package of 3)then after running out of condoms I went looking for them and that's when I read the fine print.. They do not protect against HIV, so I bought the Latex instead. I wasn't that much concern at the time, because I thought that my last partner had just tested and he was negative I didn't worry, but then on September 14 I got really sick. I started feeling Extreme tiredness to the point of knocking out for hours, then I noticed 2 medium size purplish patches on top of my right hand the next week came diarrhea, loss of appetite, night sweats and weird skin rashes on my legs the sole of me right feet and flaky skin on the palm of my hands and to top it all red lesions in my mouth. I immediately went to my doctor he told me that since I had tested positive for Herpes 2 years ago that I was just having oral herpes outbreak. I took the medication he gave me and in 10 days the lesions were gone along with the purple patches in on my right hand. But I still feel tired now and then. I did not want to test till January after the 6 months period from the unprotected encounter, but now I am worried to death because my wife has started to have these same symptoms. My question is there any minute chance that the lambskin condoms protected her I know the label says it does not protect against HIV but I hope and I pray that I didn't infect her. Please help!!! I need to know that there is a chance that I didnt infect her. I am terrified I dont know what to do. I didn't want to do the rapid test because I've read that they tend to give false positives, like I mentioned I wanted to wait till Jan after the 6 months were up. Please help me!!
Response from Dr. Frascino
It is true that lambskin condoms, while effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, do not provide protection against HIV. (This basic fact should be a part of any grade school sex education class!!! I can only assume you are a product of abstinence-only sex education.)
Despite the condom snafu, the statistical odds are still very much in your wife's favor that she is not HIV infected.
Your anxiety stems from your guilt over being less than fully truthful with your wife. I would suggest:
1. Level with your wife. Advise her the other woman was in reality another man and that you had unsafe sex with him. This is not only the best way to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.
2. Get an HIV-antibody test done now. Tests taken three months or more after a potential exposure are considered to be conclusive. If you want to repeat the test at six months, fine. It's not necessary, but if it helps put your worries permanently to rest, it may be worth the effort psychologically.
3. Continue to use latex (or polyurethane) condoms until your negative HIV status is confirmed.
4. Consider psychotherapy (counseling) to explore sexual orientation issues.
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