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Old 15-04-2005, 08:19 AM
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Exclamation Condoms, HIV size and chance of getting infected.

I must agree with Mum.

A condom is a sheet of material (plastic / rubber) and hence the links between them are of an order of at least a thousand times smaller than the HIV virion and hence if used correctly will not permit the virus to come into contact with the user.

However defects in 'craftsmanshhip', material failure or improper use may allow infected secretions to come into contact with either partner.

Once this happens the virus must still have to gain access to the body.

Any breaks in the continuity of the skin (dermis) such as ulcers, sores or abraisions will allow the entry of the virus into the blood stream.

Once in the blood stream the bodies immune system will try to destroy the invading virus (via innate mechanisms); if successful no infection results however the virus has the ability to counterattack the immune system by binding to the bodies immune cells and 'hiding' in them thus giving rise to infection.

To put the risk in context the rate of transimssion in homosexuals practicing anal sex is of the order of 1 % after a single exposure with out the use of condoms.

This is the highest risk group (aside from drug users needle sharing).

There are couples in Australia where one partner has HIV and the other is does not have the virus. These couples have remained together for 10 years or so and with the use of condoms the virus has not been transmitted to the uninfected partner.

However one must realise that the infected partner was on antiHIV treatment and so his/her viral load would have been low as well.

In PNG the risk of transmission may be assumed to be at least 1% with each encounter.

Maybe the PNG Medical Journals or Institute of Medical Research may have more accurate figures for transmission in PNG.

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