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Fear of HIV

Question: 

Hello, I am an uncirmcised 27 years old male and I had protected sex with CSW. Before wearing condom I pulled my foreskin back. The encounter lasted about 15 to 20 minutes. After removing penis I observed some sperm in between penis ring and condom and the condom ruptured a very little at that spot. Then I remove condom and wiped my penis head with BED SHEET which we SLEPT TOGETHER. After two days it started mild itching on penis ring and mild rash on penis head. The rash is non itchy. The rash was red and little small pimples like 3 to 5 bumps are there. My GP told that It was not STD just a hypo dermis inflammation. I search in net and fond it was like BALANITIS. He prescribed an ointment and it was go away and come back after a week I stopped the ointment. It is 15 days over. I have mild yellow tongue. And fear of HIV and tension. Please tell me what are the probabilities to catch an STD or HIV ? It there any chances to catch some thing even after using condom? In this situation having Balanitis rash on penis head, If I will participate in protected sex with a suspected woman it will increase my chances to catch some thing? Thanks to all. You are the right source of information to us.

Answer: 

Hi there and thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver online helpline as your resource for HIV/AIDS related questions.

First of all, it is important to keep in mind that having an encounter with a CSW does not necessarily expose you to HIV; sex workers are often more aware of their sexual health and are more regularly tested than non-sex workers. As well, using a condom, like you did, is still the most effective way to prevent the spread of HIV and other STIs, because if the condom did not fail or break, then there is really no way for HIV to get through the latex or polyurethane of the condom. However, even if the condom did break (or like you mentioned, ruptured at a specific spot), the risk is still substantially less than unprotected sex. Protected sex is considered a low risk activity for HIV transmission.
I wouldn’t focus on the symptoms too much (ie. yellow tongue) because symptoms can mirror other viral infections, and so testing is really the only way to know for sure. I would recommend getting tested for both HIV and other STIs to ease your fear and tension. The standard HIV antibody test has a window period of 4 weeks to 3 months, with HIV guidelines recommending testing at 3 months after exposure for completely conclusive results.
Having balanitis, or an inflammation on your penis, would not increase risk of HIV transmission if you are having protected sex. It would still be low risk. However, if the rash does turn out to be an STI, then having an STI does increase your HIV risk, since you are more susceptible to infections. The best thing to do is to get tested for HIV and other STIs to know for sure.
Hopefully this answers your question, and if you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email us.
Take care,
StephanieAIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteere: helpline@aidsvancouver.orgp: (Mon-Fri 9-4pm ): (604) 696-4666w: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline