“In the last month I had protected sex with a prostitute”

Dear Dr Punewali, In the last month I had protected sex with a prostitute. She asked me to use two condoms. But after that I am very scared. I am not able to concentrate on work and I am feeling very tired. I have tested myself for the virus but it is negative. I have checked the symptoms of AIDS and I am finding all the symptoms in me.

I am having severe headache. I am having very loving wife, she is in the village but now I am unable to face her. I am thinking that I am HIV positive and am avoiding her. Thoughts of suicide continue to haunt me. There is nobody to take care of my parents. What should I do? Please guide.

Thanks and regards, “Scared”


Dear “Scared”,

Condoms are an effective protection from HIV if used properly.  Your feelings of tiredness and headaches are most likely due to the stress you are putting yourself under by worrying about this issue.  However, you should visit a doctor again to have these symptoms checked.

It is not effective to get tested immediately after you think you may have been infected. If you do so, you should be re-tested in three months and then again at 6 months if your test results are negative. During this period of testing, avoid all behaviour that could spread HIV to others such as unprotected sex, use a condom when having sex with your wife.

Having said all this, finding yourself to be HIV+ is not the end of the world!  The World Health Organisation states that HIV is a chronic condition, just like diabetes.  By taking proper care it is possible to live with HIV without it ever progressing to AIDS.

Management of HIV requires strengthening the weakening immune system. Proper nutrition is crucial to keep the body healthy and strong. HIV positive people require medical treatment (including but not limited to anti-retrovial drugs), good mental health, and social support – which includes access to resources like adequate health care facilities, housing and employment, as well as an environment free from stigma and discrimination.

If you have any further questions or you would like to discuss this further we are here for your support, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.

All the best, Dr Punewali

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