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Does tied up condom provide same environment as syringe?
Jun 26, 2013

I just have a question that has been puzzling me lately:

Does a used condom (with semen inside) that has been tied with a knot provide the same airtight environment as, for example, a syringe? In other words, can HIV live longer within this type of environment?

My roomate is both promiscuous and untidy and my child lives with us. I'm worried that she might pick up a used condom in my roommate's room and possibly break it, spilling the contents. In this instance, a previous sealed (knotted) condom would leak wet semen and, if my child had cuts, could provide a path for transmission.

Thank you in advance.

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello there Yes, technically HIV could remain viable longer in this environment than in the open air. Certainly the rapidity in which the condom was "sealed", the "air-tightedness" of the seal, volume of semen contained within it, HIV viral load and ambient temperature would all come into play and have a significant effect on the lifespan of HIV within the condom. One study of HIV survival within syringes performed under ideal laboratory conditions (not the "real world" environment) found some viable HIV virus days later but a syringe is not the same as a condom and am not aware of any studies looking at this. Take care, LHW



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