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virtually indestructible / am i killing myself ?
Apr 5, 2002

i'm a young hiv negative woman involved and in love with an hiv positve man. when i met this person i was a vigin and for the first 7 months of our relationship we fooled around but did not have penetrative intercourse . he gave me oral sex and i used toys on him . we also had outer-course with condoms and once when he was rubbing his penis against me the condom broke. he was rubbing very hard and we weren't properly lubricated , we were actually using this aloe vera gel but i was suprised . we later had sex and everything was fine . he didn't come inside me and i felt pretty safe . we use trogans and ky . i was fiddling around with a condom today . i took it out of the wrapper and stretched it around my hand . it seemed vertially indestructible , very sturdy and flexible . it really screws with my head that it rippped that time . it seems pretty safe . i heard that condoms are pretty reliable. my friend says"i'm killing myself" i think waht happened was just a fluke . how often do condoms break? is it inevitable that it will break again? maybe we just weren't using it right?i'm scared .

Response from Dr. Remien

First off, I do not think you are "killing yourself" by having a relationship with an HIV+ man and wanting to be sexual with him. It is relatively rare for condoms to break, but it does happen. Research studies show that latex condoms, when used correctly, are highly effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. In a 1987-1991 study of mixed-HIV-status couples, all 123 couples who used condoms every time for four years prevented transmission of HIV. In another large study, among couples who used condoms consistently, there were 0, 1.1, and 1.0 seroconversions per 100-person years (CDC). Condom breakage during intercourse is estimated to be anywhere form 1% to 18% (based on a survey of literature), and the CDC reports the overall average of condom failure (based on studies) to be about 3%. Most of this is attributed to problems with use and not with flaws in the condom itself.

While there are clearly no guarantees you and your partner should continue to seek sexual satisfaction with each other and work together to prevent the transmission of HIV in this relationship. Make sure the condoms you use are not expired, follow the directions and continue to play safe.


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