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Author Topic: Condom broke in Thailand  (Read 2262 times)

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Offline Footielad

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Condom broke in Thailand
« on: April 04, 2013, 11:41:09 PM »
Hi guys

Having had a brief browse of the forums, I really admire what you guys do.

So here's my story.

I'm a healthy, mid-20s Straight British male on holiday with friends in Thailand.

17 days ago the condom split while I was having (drunk) penetrative sex with a Thai girl. I have no idea how long I was potentially exposed for - could be up to 15 minutes.

I have no reason to believe she was a sex worker given she bought her own drinks all night and wouldn't even let me contribute for her taxi home the next morning. Nevertheless, HIV is particularly rife in this area of Thailand (Chiang Mai).

After exactly 14 days I started to develop a fever and am now completely bed-bound by a number of potential symptoms. I have high fever, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, white tongue, nausea and diarreah. I'll add at this point that never in my life have I had such a bad fever and I can't remember ever taking a day off work or school for illness.

Last night I went to the local clinic here in Thailand and had a rapid test (negative) and an antibody test the results of which I will get on Tuesday.

I fully appreciate the reason why symptoms aren't discussed on this board, therefore I guess my main question is this - IF the my flu-like symptoms are HIV related, will it show up in the antibody test.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm thousands of miles from home, absolutely terrified and with no-one to talk to. I've never felt so scared, vulnerable and alone.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Condom broke in Thailand
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 02:06:48 AM »
I have read your question carefully, and wish I could give a definitive answer.

Your risk was, if this makes any sense, on the lower side of high. HIV is a difficult virus to transmit from female to male.

If your symptoms were ARS, that would indicate that your body recognized the intruder and began producing antibodies. Now, the amount of time it takes to produce enough to register on an HIV test varies wildly from person to person.  Depends on an awful lot of factors, including specific strain of virus, your innate immune system, the generation of the test used.

Moderator Ann can, should, and will correct me if I am wrong, but if you want to spend the cash, a PCR test at this point might - might - be within the window of accuracy.  It's essentially a viral load test, and after the body produces antibodies to fight off the virus, it's usefulness drops dramatically. If your symptoms WERE ARS, then a week after there might not be enough viral particles to register. It's a gamble, which is why we are always very hesitant to recommend it. It's pro-level diagnosing, and even experts mess it up.

You can choose that route at this point, or you can do an antibody test at the six week point after the incident. That's the established window period for the most advanced generations of tests, even though the global standard remains three months. From a cursory web search it appears that most of Thailand relies on the three month window, and in my humble opinion so should you.

However, please understand that your risk, while legitimate, was not what we would call great. Not even particularly good. It's not outside the realm of possibility, but I would be a little surprised were you to be so unlucky after this one-time incident.

I certainly wish I could offer more definitive answers, but sadly I cannot. Please do what it takes to ease your mind while you wait (even of you take a PCR test you'd still want the antibody testing to be sure.)


"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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