[Question #2461] Fear of STI

45 months ago
I had recent sexual encounter with a stranger.  I wore a condom for intercourse. It lasted for only a min.  Through out the encounter i wore condom.  Immediately after that I have ensure to properly remove the condom and wash in such a way that it does not touch the tip of the penis.  I am worried that, though I have used condom I will be transmitted with any STI/STD like HIV/Herpes etc.  Let me know how early i can get tested so that I will be sure I am not infected.  Need your expert advice on this.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
45 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I think your fears are unjustified.  You do not say much about your partner but it is important to remember that most people, even most commercial sex workers, do not have STIs and that even with totally unprotected sex, most exposures to infected partners do not result in infection.  In the unlikely circumstance that your partner happened to be infected, condoms which are worn throughout a sexual encounter and which do not break (and you can be confident your condom did not break since when condoms fail they break wide open, leaving no doubt that they have failed) remain the most effective means of preventing STIs, if your recent partner happened to be infected.  Thus overall and statistically it is quite unlikely that you have any STI.

As far as testing is concerned, currently available nucleic acid amplification tests, which can be performed on urine, are the most accurate means of diagnosis of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichamonas we have ever had.  These tests provide accurate results any time more than 2-3 days after an exposure.  Testing for HIV and syphilis should be done on blood.  Current HIV tests are positive in the vast majority of infected persons by 4 weeks after exposure and are completely reliable at any time more than 6 weeks after exposure.  Syphilis blood tests are typically positive by six weeks as well although older literature suggests that on rare occasions it can take up to 3 months for tests to become positive.  Testing for herpes and HPV is not recommended.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  I really see little reason for you to worry.  EWH 
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