[Question #6005] Worried about unprotected encounter

20 months ago
Hello doctor,

On Sept 9, I had unprotected vaginal/oral sex with a girl I met on a dating app in Sydney, Australia. She pretty much told me to not use condoms because she was tested 2 months ago so it's fine. And I sort of believed her and did it.

In hindsight, this was a terrible move because if she's doing this with me, she's probably doing this with anyone she meets on the first date.

On Sept 10, we met and had unprotected vaginal/oral sex again. 

After this I decided we need to get tested before we do this any more - just to be sure we're actually being safe. And unfortunately, she decided to stop responding to my messages. Now I'm very worried because why would someone not agree to get tested?

Anyway, fast forward to  Sept 13 - I feel sort of feverish, with my temperature hovering around 37.5 C. I also have a bad case of diarrhea. I go to the doctor and get a urine/blood test for a complete STD check. 

Sept 14 - My diarrhea is probably worse. And my stomach sort of hurts. My fever is hovering around 37.7 C now. I'm very worried. 
I have no other symptoms like rashes, tingling, burning, etc. 

What do you recommend I do now? Does this sound like the onset of some STD to you?

Thank you so much for the help!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
20 months ago
Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your question.  I'll do my best to help.  There are really at least two parts to your question, one being was there some risk for STI from the encounters you describe and the second being how likely is it that the symptoms you are describing (low grade fever, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort).   

I'll address the second question first.  Your diarrhea and stomach discomfort are unlikely to represent any STI and are more likely to be coincidental than related.  Most health care providers would not be concerned about a temperature of 37.7 and in fact, many do not consider a person to be febrile until their temperature exceeds 38.0.  Even if your temperature does go higher, it is more likely related to your diarrheal illness than to any STI, including HIV.

Now for the first question.  Your partner's use of a dating app and willingness to have unprotected sex suggest a casual attitude about STI risk although that she was negative two months ago is good news and makes infection less likely.  In addition, even if she did have some sort of STI, most STIs are not transmitted following a single or even two sexual encounters.  Nonetheless, it would be reasonable to have a sexual health check for asymptomatic STIs at this time.  Testing now will give you reliable information about the most common curable STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas, etc. and testing is easily performed on a voided urine specimen.  It is a bit early for testing to detect other far less common STIs which are detected by blood tests such as syphilis or HIV - to test for those you should wait 4-6 weeks.

I hope that these comments are helpful.  The public sexual health services in Australia are superb and should be able to help you rule out any problems.  EWH
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