When a condom breaks when having anal

Question

When a condom breaks when having anal sex with a high-risk individual, is washing off the penis with H20 immediately of any benefit?

Answer

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Washing afterwards certainly couldn't hurt, but do not depend on washing yourself, to protect you either. Once the condom breaks (or if you are having unprotected sex), HIV can enter the bloodstream during sex itself. You can also get other STD's during the sex act itself. Therefore, washing immediately afterwards will not necessarily benefit you. But then again, since washing afterwards couldn't hurt, it may still be a good idea to wash yourself after having unprotected sex, or if the condom breaks.

When people have put themselves at risk for HIV and other STD's, I have seen some people wash themselves with disinfectants like alcohol, bleach, Lysol, and other disinfectants. Please do NOT do this! Using disinfectants on sensitive areas of the body (like the penis, vagina, and rectum) can be harmful to these areas, and can sometimes cause severe irritation (or other health consequences). If you will wash yourself after having sex, soap and water are the best thing to use, and should not cause any irritation.

So if you have had unprotected sex, or have had a condom break, you can wash yourself with soap and water, but do not depend on this to protect yourself. HIV may have already gotten into your bloodstream, or you may have already been infected with other STD's during the sex act itself.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).