Semen contaminated with saliva
May 29, 2002
Hi Doctor, If semen, contaminated with saliva for an immediate period has direct contact with my damaged skin from Acne (no bleeding), will I get a risk of HIV infection? I have heard that saliva could kill HIV but I'm not sure whether I'm correct. Thanks
Response from Mr. Kull
It is extremely unlikely that you would be infected with HIV through fluid contact with skin, even if you do have acne.
The saliva of infected people contains little to no virus, and the virus that is found in saliva is often inactive (not infectious). Studies have found that a protein in saliva inactivates HIV (up to 90% of virus was inactivated in one test tube study) and other factors that may contribute to the noninfectious quality of saliva. This is why transmission through kissing or receiving oral sex doesn't seem to occur.
This does not mean that saliva will totally protect you from infection. While the proteins in saliva may reduce the risk of transmission when one comes into contact with infected fluids, saliva does not serve as a kind of microbicide. This is probably true because people can still become infected when performing oral sex on an HIV infected person.
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