Nov 13, 2002
i have read some of the answers in this website and basically you say that one of the ways that hiv is transmitted is through sexual contact with infected fluids, but can you please clarify what exactly you mean by "sexual contact", what activities that people engage in are considered to be sexual contact? for example, what if you get semen from a guy on your clothes in the area where your vagina is,is that considered a sexual contact with infected fluids? thank you.
Response from Mr. Kull
When we talk about risk for HIV infection associated with sexual contact, we are basically talking about insertive or receptive vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Oral sex comprises much less risk for infection, and the risk is primarily associated to the receptive person (the person whose mouth it is). HIV is not known to be transmitted through other forms of "sexual contact" (kissing, grinding, lap dancing, erotic massage, mutual masturbation). So the type of exposure that you are talking about is not considered a risk for HIV infection.
In order for there to be a risk for HIV infection during sexual contact, HIV infected fluids (blood, semen, or vaginal secretions) need to come into direct contact with a person's mucous membranes (the lining of the vagina, rectum, mouth, or urethra). Cuts or sores on or around the mucous membranes could increase the risk for infection, but are not necessary for transmission to be possible. HIV infected fluids do not survive long when exposed to the environment, and they do not penetrate intact skin, latex, or clothes.
Don't get hung up on what is or is not sexual;it's just a word and it's difficult to define. The best way to protect yourself from HIV infection (and many other STIs) is to eliminate or reduce getting the semen, vaginal secretions, or blood of an HIV infected person in your body during penetrative vaginal, anal or oral sex.
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