I had oral and vaginal intercourse with a female sex worker in Amsterdam's red light district a week ago and I used a condom (unsure about its quality)for both and it did not fail.
I have seen many comments to the effect that proper condom use means "almost zero" risk. What exactly means almost zero risk: 0.1%, 0.01%, 0.001%?
Assuming the lady was HIV+ and there was no condom failure, can you say that my risk of catching HIV would be absolutely and definitely zero?
Do I need to test, if yes what test would be most appropriate and when would be the earliest date?
You are looking for a guarantee and such does not exist. Following a single episode of unprotected sex with an infected partner your risk of infection is 1 in 1000 (0.1%) Condoms should provide well over 90 percent (actually, far greater but lets be conservative) protection so now you're down to 0.01%). Finally, if your partner was a licensed sex worker, her odds of infection are less than 1%, thus you're now close to 0.0001% of one out of a million). So what is your risk- your chances of being hit by a car or being hit by lightning in the next year are higher. EWH
Actually my question is more straightforward & simple and goes beyond my personal encounter (I'm sorry if I annoy you and please ignore my need for reassurance I'm really very interested in your objective answer): Given that laboratory studies show that HIV disease organisms cannot pass through an intact latex condom (had no no holes or other defects) and assuming that the condom did not fail and there is no other unprotected interaction, (ie. if we rule out any possible human and condom error), why is that condoms do not provide absolute (100.00%) protection?
Is it because the laboratory studies were not numerous and/or extensive enough to completely rule out the possibility that HIV might pass through an intact and properly used latex condom? I can't think of any other reason given the assumptions above.
HIV does not pass through the latex used in condoms. However, it is impossible to study condom use in the general population and everyone who uses a condom thinks they are doing so perfectly. As a result, while properly used condoms do probably really prevent HIV, the studies allow us to only say they REDUCE infection. Laboratory studies, as good as they are are not real life and real life is pretty much impossible to study with perfection. EWH
The best data is in studies with serodiscordant couples (one partner -/one partner +). See this thread from The Body: http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/PreventionSexual/Q20149.html
I think the highest risk reported was 1 in 100 person-years (which might be 1/5000 - 1/10000 incidences of sex). But those studies are very susceptible to false reporting: all it takes is for 1 person to lie or forgot about the consistency of their use of condoms to skew the results.
Also, consider this- for two decades no licensed (legal) working girl in a Nevada brothel (where condom use is mandatory) has tested positive for HIV, despite having hundreds of partners a year. And their incidence of the more common and transmittable STDs is also very low.
Thank you very much for the insightful comments & info. Based on your extensive experience, are you aware (apart from the studies with serodiscordant couples) of any incidence where HIV was transmitted eventough an intact latex condom was used?
Please read the posts. My experience-no. Condoms certainly dramatically reduce the chance of infection. At the same time, in formal studies of condom use, there is often a small number of infections. EWH
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