Sep 26, 2013
Dear Dr. Shannon, 2 weeks ago I had sex with a local black origin girl in South Africa (in a good area). There was no oral sex and I was drunk but clearly remember the whole intercourse was for a few minutes and with a condom with no direct contact (we only kissed a few kisses as well). The thing is when I wanted to use my condom she said and its not a good one and brought me a ribbed sealed one which felt and looked normal (in the morning I looked it and it stayed whole). 2-3 days after this i started having mouth ulcers and about 5 days after I had throat pain for one day. At about 1.5 weeks I started getting a continuos headache with no fever that only mildly goes away and come back. The headache has been going on for four days. I got tested a few times for HIV in the past, I am circumcised and always sleep with a condom. I also have history with anxiety problems and hypochondria. My question is objectively your opinion on the symptoms: could it all be coincidence and anxiety related? If the sex was protected all the way am I really safe? Is fever and swollen lymph nodes in armpits etc a compulsory symptom and what only headache and the symptoms i mentioned a few days after do or do not represent ARS? Please help me , this has taken over my life and each time i want to relax I seem to find a new symptom.
Response from Ms. Southall
Hi HIV transmission occurs whent there is a direct exchange of body and we know condoms are effective in the prevention of HIV transmission, as long as they are used correctly and do not break or slip off. From what you have described you effectively prevented yourself from HIV transmission but you also need to remember there are other sexually transmitted infections that are not all protected with condoms. As always the only way to truly know your HIV status is to receive testing. If your symptoms continue I would recommend that you follow up with your health care provider for evaluation. But again, HIV is low on the list of possiblities because of the use of a condom.
Be well and stay safe, Shannon
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