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HIV transmission through male urethra
Aug 27, 2006

Simple question. I am only asking this because I have got a number of mixed answers. Alot of places online will say that HIV can enter the body through the urethra on your penis. Some say that it needs to be infected, and a doctor I saw when I was being tested told me that through the urethra was of no risk. I had one unprotected sexual encounter once with a girl that I know and was wondering how high of a risk I was at for transmission if there were no open sores present, just through the tip of my penis. (assuming she even is infected with HIV, which I don't know if she is.) I know each case is unique and there is no way to tell, but any input would be appreciated immensley.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The doctor who gave you that information was wrong. HIV can be absorbed directly across any mucous membrane. An infection, inflammation, or cut, etc. is not a prerequisite. HIV can and does permeate intact uninfected mucous membranes. All physicians should know and understand this very basic information about HIV transmission. That yours did not is worrisome!

The estimated per-act risk of acquiring HIV from unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 5 per 10,000 exposures. Your risk would be less, as we do not know the status of your partner. Since you had unprotected sex, HIV testing is warranted at the three-month mark.

Hope that clarifies the situation for you.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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