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Rimmed, blood on the partner's lips

Oct 31, 2002

Hello. Please do not ignore the question and consult me on safety of Oral-Anal Contact (Rimming). It is an extraordinary case and I have not met anything of the kind on this and another sites. I have never had any anal sex. My partner rimmed me and we later found out that there was his blood on his lips from a sore caused by the rimming. May it be a likely route of transmission of HIV into my organism and what is the possibitity for me to be infected? Thank you for your time.

Response from Mr. Kull

If your partner is HIV infected and his blood came into contact with your mucous membranes (the lining of the rectum in this case), then there is a possibility of transmission. This is only a possibility, and it's not a likely route of transmission.

Here's the scoop on rimming. A person putting their mouth on an HIV positive person's anus/rectum poses a very low-risk for HIV infection. There is only one published case of transmission occurring during receptive oral-anal contact (possibly through blood coming into contact with the mouth). HIV is difficult to isolate in feces, and any HIV present in feces is probably uninfectious or at harmless concentrations.

Generally, the person getting rimmed is considered to be at the least risk. HIV is not known to be transmitted through saliva, and it is unlikely that there be significant blood-to-mucous membrane contact during this activity.

A person should avoid rimming another after anal sex, or after any other activity that might increase the odds of rectal bleeding. He can practically eliminate the negligible risk by using a barrier (dental dam, condom cut into a square, plastic wrap).

A person rimming another without a barrier is at greater risk for infection with hepatitis A virus, parasites, and bacteria. Getting a hepatitis A vaccine is a good idea if for sexually active people (especially for men who have sex with men) or in a region where hepatitis A is prevalent (B vaccines are important for additional reasons).


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