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Condom mishap with HIV+ Partner
Dec 18, 2004

Dear Doctor,

I am 27 and live in the UK. My partner has HIV. His CD4 count is between 200 and 300.

Last night we had sexual intercourse and when he withdrew the condom had dissapeared I found it deep inside me and pulled it out by its rubber band. There was semen in it but I am unsure as to when it came off.

I know I need to get tested but wonder when the earliest time would be that I could?

Am I high risk at being infected now?

I do not hold him to blame and just think that it was one of those things that happen.

I would like to warn other partners of HIV+ people that condoms are not 100% safe and that maybe holding the base of the condom during ejaculation would be a good idea. If I had taken these steps then I would have had nothing to worry about.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Yes, you are absolutely correct. Condoms need to be used properly to be effective, and we need to do everything possible to decrease the risk of an accident.

Next, since we know your partner is HIV positive and that you had a potential significant exposure, PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) could be considered. I advise all magnetic couples to discuss this option and to be ready with a plan of how to start PEP if a significant exposure occurs. This could be arranged through the positive partner's HIV specialist physician or through a local emergency room if necessary. PEP should be started as soon as possible after the exposure and no later than 72 hours to be effective. If PEP is not started, HIV testing should be undertaken at three months (and, according to CDC guidelines, six months if the exposure was significant).

Good luck. We'll all be sending you our best good-luck karma that your tests will be negative.

Dr. Bob



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