|Risk of sexual encounter while on vacation overseas
Sep 21, 1999
I recently went on vacation to Kenya and had unprotected anal sex with 5 or 6 hookers. Is this risky?
| Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Thank you for your question.
Since the invention of the airplane, infectious diseases are now spreading around the world faster than ever before. If you got an infectious disease while you were on vacation in Kenya (a country in Eastern Africa), or any other part of the world, you bring that infection back home with you after you return. This is why you should always take steps ahead of time to protect yourself against infectious disease while on vacation. This includes getting necessary vaccinations (for example the hepatitis A vaccine), taking preventive medications (for example drugs to protect you against malaria), bringing condoms, etc. The need for vaccinations and medications varies from country to country. Therefore, when you are traveling overseas, talk to your doctor several months prior to leaving, to make sure if any vaccinations or medications are necessary. In addition, always bring your own condoms if there is any possibility that you will be having sex overseas. Do not assume that condoms will be available to you overseas.
If you had unprotected intercourse with prostitutes, especially in Africa which has very high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you are considered at very high risk for these diseases. I have the following suggestions for you:
1) Get tested for HIV.
2) Get tested for other STDs as well (for example chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, hepatitis B etc.). Make sure that you tell your doctor or the clinic that you had unprotected sex in Africa. This is important since some diseases that are rare in industrialized nations (like the USA), are much more common in Africa (chancroid is an example).
3) If you notice any unusual growths, lesions, discharges, fevers, fatigue, or any other unusual symptoms, see a doctor immediately, since these may be symptoms of various STDs. In addition, these symptoms could also be due to an infectious disease (other than STDs) that are more commonly found overseas (for example Malaria and other tropical diseases).
4) Use condoms with all of your sexual partners immediately. This way, if you did get HIV or another STD, you do not give it to anyone else! I also suggest that you start using condoms now, so that you do not get exposed to HIV or another STD in the future.
5) Do not donate blood or body organs (based on your risks, you do not qualify to donate blood or organs anyway).
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
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