Q and A

Question

A condom burst with my positive girlfriend. Will I have HIV now?

I had sex with my girlfriend and the condom burst while i was inside her. She sent me an SMS a week later and told me she is HIV positive. I didn’t ejaculate inside her. I want to know if there is any chance i did not get infected?

Answer

Hi

Thanks for your question – and the quick answer is that you are much more likely to still be negative. Catching HIV from one broken condom is a very low risk.

The risk of transmission is also lower if your girlfriend is on treatment. She should also have had something called a viral load test. Someones viral load tells you how much virus is in their bloodstreat. The lower this is the lower the risk of transmission is.

If your partner is not on treatment the risk of transmission is about 1 in 500.

If she is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load the risk becomes zero.┬áThis is because when viral load is this low, transmission doesn’t occur.

All of this means that you are more likely to be negative than positive.

Taking a test is still a good idea as a routine part of your own sexual health check up.

You can find more information about HIV transmission here.

The answer to Q9 at this link have more information about the need for condoms when viral load is undetectable.
https://i-base.info/qa/what-are-the-most-asked-questions

71 comments

  1. NASIRU

    I’ve had sex with a woman who is positive. The condom broke.

  2. Lisa Thorley
  3. David

    I was engaged in cunnilingus and my gums actually bleed during this actions cos when I spat there was blood coming out with my spits please I want to know the risk of gettin infected

  4. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Thobekile,

    If the person you had sex with has an undetectable viral load the risk of transmission is close to zero. Please see here for more info:

    http://i-base.info/qa-on-the-partner-study/

    If however, there don’t have an undetectable viral load, then yes, you’re at risk.

  5. Thobekile

    I slept with a guy who’s positive. The condom burst, am I at risk?

  6. Lisa Thorley
  7. patrick

    Hi, I was having protected sex with a lady and suddenly I heard a condom braking,I stopped emmediately ,pit in a new condom and continued.I don’t know if that lady is his posetive or not.I m scared that I might be invented if she is.how are my risks,so sad.

  8. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Unknown,

    If you’re girlfriend is on ARVs and has an undetectable viral load, the risk of transmission will be close to zero. For more info please see the results of the PARTNER study:

    http://i-base.info/qa-on-the-partner-study/

    If they aren’t on treatment, then yes there could be a risk.

  9. unknown

    I am 8 weeks circumcised and last week the condom bust while I was having sex with my HIV positive girlfriend…. is there anyway I could be positive?

  10. Lisa Thorley