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can you contract aids while wearing a condom
Sep 18, 2003

today in my health class our teacher said that you could get aids by having sex with a partner who has aids while wearing a condom. I thought that if you had a condom on and you had sex with someone with aids then you were alright as long as no fluid exchange took place. But i must have been wrong. or maybe she was. Please tell me what is correct. thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

This was a "health class?" Your teacher's name should be "Miss Information," because that's what she gave you "misinformation!" I can't imagine why she would tell you something like that, unless it's a misguided attempt to scare you away from having sex. Or she's a complete idiot? Maybe both?

HIV cannot pass through a properly used latex condom. It's a scientific fact. If there is not exposure to HIV-infected fluids, as you indicate, then there can be no HIV transmission. So you are correct, and your teacher is wrong. I can only hope that she might be referring to the extremely rare possibility that the condom might break. In that case, of course there would be exposure and some risk. Statistically, the risk for receptive unprotected vaginal intercourse per episode with a partner who is confirmed to be HIV-positive is 0.1 to 0.2 percent.

You might want to suggest to your "health" teacher to sign on to this or other reputable HIV information websites. It sounds like she needs "health class" information far more than you do. Please also let your classmates know the teacher was wrong. It would be a tragedy if someone in your class thought condoms were not effective and so decided not to use them.

Dr. Bob



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