May 30, 2002
I have heard that unless there is a tear in the vaginal wall during or after intercourse, it is much harder for the virus to enter the body, is this true? I heard it can be absorbed through the membrane, but it is less likely. If I had one episode of receptive vaginal sex,without ejaculation and no tears, does this reduce my risk? PLease help I am VERY scared!!!! (i do not know the other person's hiv status)
Response from Mr. Kull
HIV is transmitted sexually when infected fluids come into contact with mucous membranes. Cuts or sores will increase the risk of transmission, but the risk is there without cuts, tears, or sores. The mucous membranes of the vagina actually experience a considerable amount of microtrauma (small tears in the vaginal wall that are not visible to the naked eye) during sex, and this microtrauma likely increases the probability of HIV transmission.
This is not meant to make you panic. The odds are against you getting infected in one episode of unprotected sex with someone of unknown status. Try to use a condom in the future.
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