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Hi,my partner is hiv+,just recently we had protected sex(with a condom)it dint break and was not expired,my worry is, 1)can a condom really protect me from getting the virus,? 2)can we have a gud protected sex and live my life out of fear of conctacting hiv,because i decided not to break with her because i love her,or condom is never a gurrentee,maybe in the future i might get hiv despite using protection..? 3)if a condom is used properly,not expired,did not break or slip off,can a condom give you maximum protection..?how safe is safe with a condom?


Condoms are an excellent way to protect you from HIV. If a condom is used properly, does not break or slip off,  it is unlikely that you will get HIV from having sex with a partner who is HIV positive.

There are a few ways to increase the chances that condoms protect you:

  • Check the expiry date (as you did)
  • Use lubrication to lower the chances the condom will break

Also, it is important to put the condom on correctly before you have genital contact. Check out our page on condoms for more info.

You didn’t say if your partner is being treated for HIV. If she is taking medications, and they are working well, then there should be a very low amount of virus in her body. This is called being “undetectable”. If someone is undetectable. the chances of passing HIV to a partner are much lower than if there is no treatment. With the combination of medication and condom use it is even more unlikely that you will get HIV from your partner. 

There are medications you can take if a condom breaks or you don't use a condom. This medication is called  PEP. These medications work best if taken as soon as possible within  72 hours after exposure to HIV. If you think there is a chance you have been exposed to HIV, then it is important to talk with a healthcare provider who knows about HIV treatment to see if this is an option.

Overall, if your partner is being treated and has undetectable levels of virus in the blood, and you use condoms properly, the chances of you getting HIV are very low. It is important to consider your comfort level with this very small chance. This is something only you can decide.

Please leave a comment to let us know if that answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

This answer was posted on January 30, 2014

Community comments

Shaban says:

Yes,she has been under medication for less than 3month,but my fear is maybe in the future i may get infected despite using protection,can i feel relaxed if i use a condom well,if its not expired or breaken,?or everytime i have sex with her i start to get scared again,thinking maybe i have been infected..please clarify this information to me,i want to know more about this issue...thanks

Shaban says:

Can arvs decrease the virus in the blood withing 2month,because thats my fear,but we are having protected sex...and condom is not a gurrentee,even if its used properly,?

Health Nurse says:

It’s difficult to know how much the virus would be reduced after being on HIV medication for 2 months; everyone is different so you would need to look at your partners blood test result. It may be worthwhile for both of you to meet with her doctor to discuss this, if she is ok with it.

It is difficult to enjoy sex if you are fearful of having HIV pass to you. There are lots of different ways to have sex so it may be worthwhile coming to a clinic or seeing a community agency like positive living ( for some information on what types of sex would make both of you feel comfortable.

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