[Question #6213] Guidance and Advice needed

17 months ago
Good evening Doctors, some advice and guidance needed if you may for this heterosexual male in the UK.

I have during the past few years had a rather promiscuous, yet safe lifestyle. The 'safe' statement is used given I've always practiced safe penetrative sex (two minor incidents with the same partner when the condom has split resulting in a brief moment(s) of unprotected sex), oral when being the receiving partner has been a mixture of both and when giving it has been unprotected. I'm glad to say my lifestyle is changing, the promiscuity left behind however I have some questions to ask based on my past.

For the past 18-24 months or so I have experienced neck and shoulder pain which is resulting in quite significant headaches, I have had a number of tests that haven't been able to identify the root case (ANA, FBC, Bone Density Xrays). Recently they seem to be betting more frequent with the neck pain/shoulder pain not subsiding. In your opinion, do you believe I have anything to be concerned about from an STI/HIV perspective? The internet is a powerful tool, unfortunately it also creates quite alot of FUD. I have tested 4 times in the past for STI/HIV, all coming back negative however all these tests were prior to the neck/shoulder pain and headaches with no testing since. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
Welcome to our forum and thanks for you confidence in our service.  I'll be glad to comment.  Congratulations as well on your commitment to safe sex.  Based on your test results, you can be confident that your safe sex has served you well.  The symptoms that you describe are not symptoms typical of any STI.  I'm afraid that you'll need to look for other, non-STI causes.  

As far as any need for further STI,testing, I see no need for testing related to your neck and shoulder pains.  Any need for testing should be driven by your recent sexual history, not your shoulder and joint pains.  Hope,this comment is helpful.  If anything is unclear, please feel free to use your up,to,two followup,questions for clarification.  EWH
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17 months ago
Great - thanks you for the prompt response. So if I understand correctly, discount any form of STI/HIV being the cause of the neck/shoulder and subsequent headaches?

Would the condom breaks warrant cause for concern (all of this was post the testing I've had previously) - we're talking <1min of unprotected sex each episode, one being much less. 

Lastly,  random night sweat (when of general good health and no noticeable illness) anything to worry about - the last one being just last night?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
Correct.  The neck and shoulder pain you are experiencing as virtually certainly not a manifestation of any STI.

When condoms break, IF your partner is infected ( unlikely both statistically and as a guess from your comments), most exposures would still not lead to infection.  While periodic screening for asymptomatic infections is a good sexual health practice, in the absence of symptoms, I see no urgency to test.

Night sweats are non-specific and are rarely due to STIs.

Hope this helps.  EWH
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17 months ago
it does indeed - thank you for your help.