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Asian guy - very worried
Aug 25, 2006

Dr Daar

This is my situation: I am a 27-year old circumcised male. Late April this year I had sex with a sex worker. In the middle of intercourse, we heard a 'pop' sound. The girl felt and realised something was wrong because about a few seconds (about 10 seconds or so i think) after that she told me to pull out. The condom had broke. My entire penis head was fully exposed. Anyway she didn't seem to be the least concerned (and neither was I back then) and was even amused by it, as she proceeded to remove the broken condom and put on a fresh one. We continued the intercourse and I finished by ejaculating.

About 2-3 weeks later, I developed painful rashes (one small concentrated spot - the size of small strawberry - just below my armpit, and a smaller, less-concentrated spot on my chest). I went to see the doc and it was shingles. I searched the net on it, and that's when my HIV concerns and nightmare began ever since.

My question - is shingles a symptom of ARS? I have no other symptoms (except maybe a rash on the perimteres of my armpit at the time of the shingles outbreak - part of the zoster perhaps?). Anyway, I went back to see the same doc 2 months later and he doesn't seem too concerned by it, saying that shingles is quite common and that HIV is unlikely when I told him about my situation. But the timing of it (shingles 2-3 weeks after exposure) is what's been scaring me like crazy.

Sorry for being so longwinded Dr Daar but I want you to get a clear picture. I know symptons mean nothing and I will get tested soon when I'm mentally prepared(it's been more than 12 weeks) but I need to hear your opinion on this because this entire episode has given me great stress. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Daar

Thank you for your post.

Shingles is not something one would expect to see with primary HIV infection. It does occur in those with chronic HIV infection but as your provider stated it is also common in those without HIV. Regardless, I do agree with you that you should have follow-up testing performed just to make sure infection did not occur as a result of the exposure you described. Best, Eric


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