[Question #1096] Assesment needed

87 months ago
I had protected vaginal sex with a woman I really dont know. We used a condom for the whole time and it seemed to be still in one piece when I took it off. The woman secregated lots of vaginal fluids and my lower stomach and pubic hair was pretty well covered with it afterwards. After I removed the condom I took a paper towel and wiped that off.

About three weeks after this incident I suddenly started feeling muscle ache and joint pain in my arms and legs and I have little sore throath and armpits that hurt and very stiff neck. I also have some redness on my chest that comes and goes suddenly, but it's not present all the time.

After the onset of these symptoms I started to freak out that I might have got infected from this episode. I took hiv ab/ag bloodtest 35 days after the episode and it was negative. The test was taken two weeks after the onset of symptoms so should it be able to tell if those were ars symptoms?

What is your assesment, is there any chance getting infected from what I have described? Can I trust these results or should I get tested later on?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
87 months ago

Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your question.  I'll be pleased to provide some information.  Congratulations on your condom use and commitment to safe sex- it will keep you safe.  Condoms remain the best way to prevent transmission of STIs, including HIV when you are having sex with a new or casual partner of unknown infection status.  Many of our clients worry that their condoms may have failed but we know that if the condom was worn throughout sex and appears intact after completion of sex, that the encounter is well protected.  When condoms fail, they break wide open leaving no doubt that they have failed, they do not "leak".  Thus had your condom failed, you would know it.   In addition, the presence of your partner's genital secretions on your stomach and in your public hair does not represent a risk.  This skin is not susceptible to HIV infection.   Finally, your combination HIV antigen/antibody test at 35 days is completely reliable and PROVES that you did not get HIV form the encounter you have described.   There is no need for concern or further testing.  My guess is that your symptoms were a summer cold or other viral illness- clearly they were not HIV.

I hope you find this information helpful.  EWH