Risk of F to M transmission with no-break condom?
Mar 26, 2002
My brother went to Tijuana last weekend and had sex with a stripper. He said that he used a condom. He only did vaginal sex. He also said that there was no breakage in the condom, and no leakage. He said he had a cold sore on his mouth, and kissed her one time, but not too heavy. He said there was no blood transferred in the mouth. When he removed the condom, he wrapped it up in a tissue and threw it away.
He's not too worried about anything but I have some concerns. Could you tell me if there has ever been any cases where HIV was transmitted when a condom was properly used? If any, what were the reasons for transmission? I have been doing some research and found out that my brother should not test until 3-6 months later. Can he do it sooner? Also, for reference, if a couple has unprotected sex and one of them is HIV positive, is there a 100 possibility that HIV is transferred? Also, does exposure equal transmission (ie can HIV "disappear" once inside another person's body) Please let me know, as I am very worried.
Response from Mr. Kull
A latex condom that is used throughout sex and remains intact should provide total protection against HIV. Condoms studied in the lab show that HIV does not pass through the pores of a condom. However, condoms are not perfect. Studies have yielded different results (but the overall differences are not all that significant): some have shown that condom use prevented transmission among all participants and others showed a small amount of transmission when condoms were consistently used. The reasons for this aren't always clear; see Condoms: The Truth for more info. The bottom line is that correct condom use GREATLY reduces the odds of HIV transmission.
Exposure does not equal transmission/infection. In fact, the odds of transmission in one sexual encounter with an HIV infected person are much lower than many people expect. Studies have shown the odds (for the insertive partner) to be as low as 1% per act. These are not odds that I recommend people gamble on because it's not worth the risk.
It's very caring of you to be so concerned about your brother, but he's probably at minimal risk for infection. He could get tested at three or more months, but beyond that, there's not much else to do. If your concern continues to outweigh your brother's concern, maybe there are some other issues besides HIV to address.
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