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How long does it take?
Dec 20, 2010

Thank you for the great service you're doing to the HIVers, I will donate to your foundation.

My condom broke while having sex with a girl. She claimed that she's clean, and I took her to take both antibody and PCR tests which were both negative. But I still suspect that she may have engaged in sexual acts with multiple partners during the previous week. So my question is, what if she got HIV a week before having sex with me, would she still be able to pass it to me? How long does it take, from the first exposure, before one is able to pass it on to another person? Thanks doctor!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

There are many variables associated with HIV transmission, such as viral strain, viral load, concurrent infections, host immunity, trauma, etc. Consequently, there is no exact time when transmission could occur. If you are asking if it is theoretically possible to transmit HIV one week after primary infection, yes, it is possible. However, in your case your partner had an undetectable PCR (viral load), which would make transmission extremely unlikely. If you remain concerned, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The statistical odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this broken-condom incident.

Good luck. Happy Holidays.

Dr. Bob



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