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Condom Breakage
Sep 10, 2001

Dear Ryan,

Yesterday I was involved in a sexual experience I am very concerned about. This involved vaginal sex with a girl I had met....During sex, I was wearing a condom, so I thought little about pulling out when I had to finish. So, I kept thrusting and finished inside her. After I pulled out and went into the bathroom, I noticed the condom had totally ripped! It was basically hanging off my penis. A couple questions...

1. I am ALWAYS very careful about safe sex, so that is why I am so scared...what are the chances of contracting HIV from a one time experience with a condom ripping like this? (I'm not sure of her sexual past)

2. What are the chances of her getting pregnant from an experience like this? She had mentioned to me that she had just finished her period the day before so she thought she was at a less risk to get pregnant...true?

3. Finally, does her just finishing her period the previous day play any part in an increased or decreased chance of contracting HIV???

Thanks much..

A concerned male

Response from Mr. Kull

Having a condom breakage happen to you can be an upsetting experience. It is important to remember that, according to the CDC, the majority of condom breaks do not result in HIV infection. This is probably true for several reasons, including the fact that the odds of getting infected in one exposure are pretty low (see "Recent Study of Per Contact Risk" http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/TransmissionSexual/Q13167.qna).

For questions about pregnancy, please consult either Planned Parenthood (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/index.html) or see The Body's "Where you can learn about pregnancy..." (http://www.thebody.com/sowadsky/learn.html).

If your partner is HIV infected, the mucuous membranes of your penis being exposed to her menstrual blood may increase your risk for infection. Other factors, such as her viral load and your immune response will play a role in this as well.

RMK



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