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The condom is broken...and now? The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Feb 6, 1997

Dear Dr. Rick, First of all, congratulations for the wonderful job so usefull to all of us. I had a protected vaginal intercourse with a hiv+ woman. But, unfortunatelly, when we stopped, I saw that the condom was broken,so I think that we did some unprotected high risk sex for some minutes. Few hours later I saw some red small points (no bloody)at the head of my penis, very sensitive and with a little burn sensation when I touched. These small red points went away one day later and never came back. Is there a real sign that I became infecetd at this time ? What was these red points only on the head of my penis ? If it's red, can I assume that the virus had contacted with my bloodstream on any invisible cut or irritation ? Please Rick, give me some informations. I am very worried about that. My best regards and thank you again, Chris

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Chris,

Thank you for your question.

Based on what you told me, you may be infected with HIV, but there's always the chance you didn't get it. But the longer you had unprotected sex with her (after the condom broke), the greater your chance of infection. I can't tell you what those red spots were on the head of your penis, but it's not an indication of HIV infection. However, it's probably safe to assume that you may have had microscopic cuts and abrasions on the head of the penis, which could have given the HIV virus an access to your bloodstream. At this point, you have to assume that you're infected until a 6 month HIV test tells you otherwise. It's important that you use protection with any sexual partner you may have in the next 6 months. This is because we don't want you to transmit the virus to anybody else (assuming you were infected). It is also important that you do not donate blood in the next 6 months, again to prevent transmission of the virus if you did get infected. Remember, even though you were at high risk of infection, there's always the possibility that you did not get the infection. However, only HIV testing will answer that possibility.

For more information about the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, see the question "Symptomatic Stage". If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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