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blood in my bowel movement
May 26, 2002

Dear Dr, I have on just recently noticed some blood at the end of my bowel movement. This is on rare occasions and is mostly not at all. Any advice what this is and what should I do. I am hiv positive. Thanks for your answer

Response from Dr. Dezube

Blood in the bowel movement should always be evaluated. It is never a normal finding. Often bright red blood is nothing more than a hemorrhoid (swelling of a vein in the anal area). Being that hemorrhoids are so close to the opening, they often cause bright red blood to coat the bowel movement or to cause spots on the toilet paper. An evaluation needs to be performed by a health care professional who can check you for other causes of bleeding such as fissures, inflammation, infections, trauma, and cancer. Depending upon your age and other circumstances, more extensive evaluation such as either anoscopy (looking up your butt) or colonoscopy (an examination of the entire large bowel) can sometimes occur. The key point is please try not to ignore the blood, but bring it to the attention of your provider. I should also add that some bleeding can be pretty common after receptive anal intercourse (being a "bottom").

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