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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Will condom give full protection from STD?

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Dr. Rahul Tawde

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1980

Answered : 1 Question

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Posted on Tue, 29 Jan 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: In the last 2 months I have been to 3 different brothels and engaged in sexual activity with 4 different sex workers. On each occasion I had oral sex performed on me and we had intercourse (vaginal)

I was wearing a condom for the entire duration on each of the 4 occasions. I am not sure about the health status of any of the 4 sex workers I had sex with, but I am feeling extremely paranoid that there is a chance I may have contracted an STI such as AIDS. I have no symptoms but it hasn't been that long since my last visit.

I wanted advice on whether I should get tested for AIDS and if so, when? There are two reasons why I am feeling worried:
1) I feel that sex workers are more likely than normal adults to have STIs
2) I know that condoms do not provide 100% protection against STIs

I regret going to the brothels and am under a lot of distress. Please give me some advice.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rahul Tawde 1 hour later
First, your concerns are valid. You are correct that that sex workers are more likely than normal adults to have STIs and that condoms do not provide 100% protection against STIs. However, at least you are being proactive and using condoms 100% of the time, which will dramatically reduce your risk of becoming infected.
Since you are not symptomatic and you did use protection, getting testing right now to prevent getting a disease (I assume that's what you are inquiring about) is probably not necessary. Genital warts caused by HPV do not develop right away and you generally need to have a warts to test for this. Men can by asymptomatic carriers for chlamydia and gonorrhea, but testing and treatment is usually done for symptomatic males. The exception would be if you have a partner that you are worried about picking up something that you picked up, especially if you do not use protection (not recommended with that partner). In the case, it would not be unreasonable to test for chlamydia and gonorrohea. In the US, we are using urine tests for this. I do not know if these tests are available where you are. I generally do not recommend a penile swab in an asymptomatic male because it is uncomfortable and usually does not yeild results.
Main things to consider getting tested for are HIV and Hepatitis C. It's important to note that antibodies can take up to six month (HIV) to develop. If you got tested today and were found to be HIV positive, it may not have been from the sex worker. If you get tested and are negative, you are not out of the woods because it has only been two month.
If the urine tests are available and you are really worried, my recommendation would be:
1. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia (urine), and HIV, HCV and RPR (syphillis) test (blood) now AND in 4-6 months, another blood test for HIV.

Let me know if I can address any other concerns or clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rahul Tawde 4 hours later
I will get tested for HIV in a few months time from now. Won't be doing anything silly in that time. What do you think are the odds of catching something whilst using a condom?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rahul Tawde 2 hours later
Hi
Here is a link to the CDC web site, which has other links if you are even more curious.
WWW.WWWW.WW There is no way to definitively answer your question because research is difficult to do. The good news is that most every study shows that condom use is "highly effective XXXXXXX Since I know you are looking for a number, I would say the 1% or less is a very conservative estimate.
Best
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rahul Tawde 6 hours later
Thanks XXXXXXX I'll get tested in a few months regardless. I think my fear is a combination of guilt and anxiety issues, along with a small realistic risk.

Appreciate your help. Bye
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rahul Tawde 5 hours later
Best of luck to you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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