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New Urethra (Pee Hole) Question!!!
Sep 24, 2004

Hello again Dr. Frascino-

Okay - scratch the first question I asked about how HIV enter's the urethra of males...I found an answer in the archives. If by chance you've already answered it - THANKS A MILLION!

My new questions is also with regards to how HIV enters the male through the urethra. I understand that if there's any trauma, infection, or inflammation of the urethra that HIV has a way of entering. What I want to know is whether or not HIV can enter a man's bloodstream MINUS any trauma, infection or inflammation. In other words, can the virus/infected fluid merely ABSORB into a healthy/intact urethra? Thanks in advance for sharing your wealth of knowledge!!!

xoxoxox CRP

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello CRP,

Yes, HIV can be absorbed across mucous membranes, including the urethra. There are certain cells, such as the mucosa-associated macrophages and dendritic cells, which can be infected by contact with the virus.

Certainly trauma and inflammation can increase the risk of viral transmission, but even without trauma or inflammation, HIV can cause infection if it has contact with mucous membranes.

HIV is much more efficiently transmitted (approximately 20 times greater) from men to women than from women to men. This may be linked to the fact that the surface area of the mucosal tissues in the female reproductive tract that are exposed to virus is significantly grater than that of the male urethra exposed to infected vaginal fluids. Also, the duration of exposure to virus-containing fluids is greater for women.

Hope that helps clarify things for you.

Stay well. I'm glad you found the answer to your first question in the archives!

Dr. Bob



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