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College student in difficult circumstances!!! Will donate $50
Oct 15, 2009

Dear Dr. Bob

I anguish and will like to hear from your expert knowledge. Im a 29 year old male and In my case, I think I was involved sexually with an HIV + female who I meet in a local bar. After the night came along we intended to have sex. She gave me oral with a condom then after submitting my penis in to her vagina the condom broke not even 3-5 seconds I had skin to skin contact. Then, I stopped all actions and inserted another condom; that it also broke after 2 min. I felt it right away and retrieve my penis and the sex was stopped since I ran out of condoms. I had no open wounds on my penis!!! Is that enough contact to acquire the HIV Virus? I did ask her if she had any STDs and she reply of course not!!!

By the first week I notice some little pimple like bumps behind my ear!!! Also, by week two I have been feeling my body nerves tingling all over more than normal. Are those HIV symptoms?? Please help I am going insane!!! I tried to do a HIV blood test, but the local clinic suggested that I should wait for 6 weeks. Since, it is too soon to reflect if I contracted the virus. What should I do??? Im starting week 3, 15 days after possible exposure and need some advice. I also saw in your blogs that you stated this I strongly recommend that anyone who has had an HIV exposure significant enough to warrant a course of PEP be followed by an HIV specialist physician during the 28-day course of treatment. I agree PEP was warranted; Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is any combination of antiretroviral drugs used to try to abort an HIV infection following an exposure. Are my symptoms enough considered talking to a specialist about (PEP)???

I try to not think about it too much since; I am in my senior year in college and can get in between studies. At this point I dont know if my head is just playing tricks on me or I do have the virus. I had panicked before but this time I have odd symptoms!!! PLEASE HELP will donate $50 since Im still a college student. Sincerely Sammy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Sammy,

Calm down! Your HIV-acquisition risk is low. Broken-condom sex can present the same degree of risk as unprotected sex. Your potential exposures, however, were extremely brief. The statistical odds are all in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this sexperience.

"Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. That said, your particular symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

PEP is not warranted in situations like yours. I do not feel you need to consult an HIV specialist.

Regarding testing, the gold standard remains an HIV-antibody test taken outside the window period (defined as the first three months after exposure/infection).

You ask: "What should I do?" Well, first off I'd suggest you check the expiration date on your condoms. Used properly latex (or polyurethane) condoms only very rarely break. To have two fail in a row is extremely unlikely. You can read much more about proper condom usage in the archives of this forum.

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV-antibody test is negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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