What to do if the condom breaks and you are HIV positive

By Faeza
11 April 2017

BY Clement Ntuli

IT is undeniable that now or then a condom breaks during sex and this could be due to a

number of factors. Some of the reasons the condom might break include it was not put on

properly, it had expired or the way you were engaging in sex caused it to break. But what if

one of you is HIV positive while the other partner is negative and the condom was used to prevent transmission of infections?


Many people assume that when a condom breaks during sexual intercourse, you are guaranteed to get infected with HIV. So they just continue having sex and accept that nothing can be done. But there is no actual truth in this. However, if you or your partner pull out, there is a possibility of preventing infection. Often times, we can feel the condom breaking. Pull out immediately, even if it is hard, do it. If you want to continue, get another condom.


To detect if there was infection or not, it is important to go for HIV testing and explain to the health practitioner what happened. At times, the test will not immediately confirm

transmission due to the window period. So it is important to get tested again after three months.


Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is the administration of intensive ARV for emergencies. The ARV therapy is given for a month under thorough supervision which includes constant testing. This ARV therapy will only be stopped once the tests show that the virus has been successfully dealt with. It is offered to health practitioners should they get pricked by a needle when handling blood andis also given to victims of rape to prevent them from getting the virus. It is also offered to those whose condom broke and is offered free of charge in public hospitals.


It is important to note that PEP can only be given within 72 hours of the emergency, other than that, it will not be given. It is crucial for health practitioners to determine your status before PEP is administered. If the condom breaks, go to the clinic immediately to ensure you get access to PEP within this given time, but only if you are HIV negative.


The breaking of a condom is not a train smash if immediate action is taken. It all starts with pulling out as soon as you feel that the condom has broken. This is followed by taking the responsibility and getting immediate help. Do not just say that there was nothing that could be done. Visit a health practitioner immediately. Be honest in explaining your situation. Prepare yourself mentally to access the ARVs that will be given to you for four weeks