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I still don´t get it: risk level

Question: 

I have searched your database, however I still have doubts. I had vaginal intercourse and the condom broke, I felt it immediately and remove my penis. Am I in high risk of getting HIV?

Thank you very much for your answer, I am very anxious about this issue.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about your risk of acquiring HIV after you engaged in vaginal intercourse and the condom broke. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be High Risk (Evidence of transmission through these activities and is the majority of cases of transmission).

The scenario mentioned above does meet the three components of the transmission equation(1). For transmission to occur the three components of the HIV Transmission Equation must be met: there must be HIV present in a bodily fluid (ie: in blood, semen or rectal secretions), direct access to the bloodstream (ie: inside of the vagina, anus and other mucous membranes) paired with a high risk activity (ie: unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, sharing needles, mother to child)(1).

In your scenario, while engaging in vaginal intercourse, the condom broke. During the time the condom broke you were exposed to a High Risk activity, unprotected vaginal intercourse. In this scenario, we would recommend getting an HIV test.

If you are continuously engaging in High Risk activity there are biomedical approaches such as PrEP and PEP that help lower your risk of acquiring HIV.

  • "PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV."(2)

  • "PREP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%" (3)

Recommendation: Refer to Physician for HIV test. We encourage you to look at the resources below regarding PEP and PREP and discuss with your physician if either may be right for you.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Hilary