“Condom came off during sex with prostitute”

Hi, I recently had sex with a prostitute. At first I used the condom, but then at some later stage I realized that the condom was not there, and I had unprotected sex for a couple of minutes (probably 2-4mins or so, not sure). I am now totally scared that I may have contracted an STD. What are the chances of this? And when and where can I go for testing? What are the symptoms of HIV, and when do these start occurring?

Please help and advise, I am really scared.
Anonymous

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Dear Anonymous,

First, I would like to acknowledge your desire to be proactive in protecting yourself (and your partner) by using a condom during sex. The use of condoms correctly during sex is very, very effective in preventing the transmission of STIs (sexually transmitted infections, also commonly referred to as STDs, sexually transmitted diseases) including HIV and unwanted pregnancies as well. However, occasionally condoms fail, break or come off (especially if they are not used correctly or if the condom is not your size) as you recently experienced. For more information on how to use a condom correctly see http://www.avert.org/condom.htm

Is there a “risk” of you contracting an STI (including HIV) because the condom came off during intercourse and you had 2 to 4 minutes of unprotected sex? The answer is yes. Although there are physical signs of STIs such as sores, scabs, blisters or warts in and/or around your partner’s vagina, there are also STIs that show no physical symptoms. Did you notice any unusual smelling or coloured discharge coming from her vagina? Did she complain of any pain during intercourse? These could be signs of STI. During sex, if you look before entering and you see open sores, blisters, or warts on or around the vulva, it might be a good idea to not go there. For more information on what STI’s look like, see http://yourstdhelp.com.

Did you start experiencing any pain when urinating or unusual discharge from your penis or notice any sores or painful blisters on your penis two or three days after the encounter? If you did or are, you could have an STI and you should get it checked out and treated as soon as possible. You are able to get tested for most STIs at Sassoon Hospital where you can talk to a doctor and counsellor who will advise you on correct treatment and ways of protecting yourself.

Did you talk to your partner about her HIV and STI status before having intercourse? The point here is COMMUNICATION. For example, if you had asked her if she was HIV+ or if she had any STIs before having intercourse with her and she said yes, you may have re-evaluated your choice to have sex with her even with a condom because you would have known there was some risk involved.

When did this encounter happen (how many days ago)? If (and this is a big IF) you were exposed to HIV during the encounter you referred to in your email, it takes somewhere between 2 weeks to 6 months for one’s body to develop enough antibodies for an HIV test to detect; however most people will develop antibodies by around 3 months if they were infected.

And because you were using a condom during sex, it appears to me that you are the type of person who is pretty concerned about being and staying healthy. Getting an HIV test would be a good idea and would relieve your fears. Being “totally scared” or fearful of having HIV is not doing you any good at all. Furthermore, contracting HIV is no longer considered a “death sentence” rather it is considered a chronic disease that can be effectively managed, very much like diabetes. Get tested and you’ll know for sure. See the Wake Up Pune website page Getting Tested for information on where to get tested.

Regarding your question “What are the symptoms of HIV?”, please see http://www.avert.org/hiv-symptoms.htm.

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Dr. Punewali

Hi I thank you for your counselling and reply. This incident happened the last week of Jan 2010. I need to go for testing after 3 months by May right? And apart from Sassoon can I go to any other centres? When would I get the report after the testing is done?

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Hello,

Thanks for writing again and giving us permission of publish your question to our website.

Yes, you need to go for testing during the last week of April or anytime in May. If you decide to go to Sassoon General Hospital for testing, you will need to wait a week for your result. If you come to Deep Griha Society located at 13 Tadiwala Road, the test will cost Rs 120 or Rs 150, depending upon which test is given, but you will have your result within 24 hours.

Dr. Punewali



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