Q. Can protected sex with commercial sex workers cause HIV?

Answered by
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 16, 2021

Hi doctor,

I had protected sex with a commercial sex worker four days back. And also, before three years, I had HSV1 and IgM is greater than 3.5. I have to discuss STD.



Welcome to

The chances of transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) by single protected intercourse is nil if the condom is used correctly.

HSV IgM (Herpes Simplex Virus Immunoglobulin M) positive implies recent infection. HSV can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, kissing, or as STDs (sexually transmitted disease). If there are active lesions, the chances of transmission to the partner are high.

You can ask for the clarification that you want.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for answering. The IgM results were positive before three years. I never had any lesions. But last month, I had a cut type on my genitals, and it healed in two or three days. The only concern is that I have had some burning sensation in my feet, thighs, and genitals for the past three years, but not regularly. And my genitals are also moist all the time. My vitamin B12 is also deficient is at 96 pg/mL. I want to know that whether I need PEP or not.



Welcome back to

If the condom is intact and used properly, then the chances of HIV transmission are nil. You may not need PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). You can discuss with your doctor in detail for assessment of the need for PEP.

PEP for HIV has to be initiated as early as possible post-exposure, not later than 72 hours. If beyond 72 hours, then there is no benefit of PEP.

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