STDs Expert Forum
Risk of STD
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Risk of STD

I'm a 23 yr old male who recently had a one night stand 3 days ago with a girl that I met that night, who is in her early 20s as well. I performed oral sex on her and we engaged in brief vaginal sex. A condom was used for the entire duration of the vaginal sex and there were no holes Ior tears in the condom. During intercourse my penis was semi-flacid, but the condom never fell off or slid too far up the shaft of the penis. My questions I guess are what are my chances of having contracted an STD from this event. I know you've said before that the risk of HIV is slim to none, but what about other stds, gonorrhea, herpes, chlymadia? I've also read that there is a chance of contracting herpes even with condoms? I'm planning on going in for testing in a couple days because my anxiety is killing me over this event. I guess im just asking for an assessment of the risks that I have stuipidly exposed myself to.

Thanks for all your help.
Tags: Research
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There is no risk to speak of from condom-protected vaginal sex.  In theory, there might be some risk for HPV, herpes or syphilis despite the condom (because of skin contact above the condom), but the chance is very low for any single exposure.  Oral sex is low risk in general and STDs are very rarely acquired by cunnlingus, if they occur at all.

I actually don't recommend STD testing after such an exposure.  However, if you are otherwise sexually active outside a permanent mutually monogamous relationship, you ought to be tested from time to time, like once a year.  So if you haven't had STD screening recently, this would be a good time, since it's on your mind.  But not because of this particular event.  But if you do it, wait a few weeks.  Although testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia will be accurate right away, there is no chance at all for those infections (from this exposure); and other tests are not valid until 6-8 weeks for syphilis and HIV, and 3-4 months for herpes.

All in all, your risks really were zero or close to it from this event.  Don't sweat it.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your comments, so bascially I just need to forget the whole thing and move on...with a couple important lessons to learn.
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Avatar_n_tn
One more question dr. We eventually stopped sex because I was unable to maintain an erection. However the condom remained on the entire time, I remember removing it after we were finished. Does this change your assessment at all, specifically with regards to herpes?
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239123_tn?1267651214
No.
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239123_tn?1267651214
FYI, Anna Wald is my close colleague and personal friend.  I am intimately familier with her research on genital herpes.  Directly or indirectly, she and our other colleague, Dr. Lawrence Corey, are the sources of 90% of what I know about the disease.

Condoms unequivocally are partly effective in preventing herpes, but they are not perfect and nobody ever suggested they are.  Consistent condom users can be confident of a reduced risk of genital herpes, but some risk remains.  It is true that getting precise figures on the amount of protection is very difficult, partly for the reasons you state about designing research on the topic.  There's nothing new in any of this.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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