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Probability....
Nov 1, 2002

Mr. Doc,

I have read on the net the the chances of contracting the HIV virus in a single sexual act or quite low. I am searching for tha same article but am not able to locate it on the net. Can you verify this for us? What is the general calculated probability of contracting HIV from a single unprotected insertive vaginal intercourse,for the male,if we assume that the female is HIV/AIDS positive with lots of vaginal secretion present. Can you explain why it would be so low? I would assume that during unprotected vaginal sex, both the penis and vagina would be highly prone to microscopic tears giving easy acess into the blood stream, right?, yet the chances are so low. If I remember correctly, they where lower than 1 in 1000. If my math does not fail me, I would need to have 10 sexual exposures to be considered as having a 1 chance of get infected and 100 exposures for a 10 chances of infection, right? Then am I correct in stating that the HIV virus is not as easyily contracted as the general population may be lead to believe?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Suddenly this seems to have become a very popular question! Our best "guess-timate" from published medical reports is that the risk per episode of receptive vaginal exposure is estimated to be 0.1% to 0.2%. The risk for the male insertive partner would be lower, but we don't have an exact number to report. So are you correct in stating that the HIV virus is not as easily contracted as the general population may be lead to believe? Absolutely. If it were that easy, the human race would have been wiped out over a decade ago!

But remember, even if the risk is less than most folks believe, there is still a risk, so take the appropriate precautions and stay well! OK? You don't want to be that unlucky person who "wins" the HIV lottery despite the bad odds!

Dr. Bob


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